Famed landlord Donald Trump has been asking some questions about President Obama's background, such as what were his college records at Occidental and Columbia?
The basic impetus behind questions about Obama is the perfectly reasonable feeling: "Who is this guy?"
For example, I lived in Chicago from 1982 until the late summer of 2000. I read local newspapers, I watched local news. I've got a pretty good memory. When Barack Obama became a media superstar in 2004 and an heir apparent to the Presidency, I said to myself, "Oh, yeah, him! I remember him from my Chicago days from ... stuff. Well, I'm pretty sure I've been hearing his name for years, maybe going back to the early 1970s. Oh, wait a minute, I'm thinking of playwright Amiri Baraka, not of Barack Obama. Well ..."
My best guess is that when Barack Obama's name surfaced in the news in 2004, it wasn't new to me, but I might just be kidding myself.
Now, if I'd been paying close attention to local Democratic black politics on the South Side, I would have remembered him as the guy who got crushed by Bobby Rush (whom I was quite familiar with) in early 2000 in the House primary. If I was a player in Democratic rich white politics on the Gold Coast, I would no doubt have heard about how he leaves wealthy white liberals with fainting spells about he should be President.
But to a white Republican yuppie on the North Side with a job, he just wasn't on the radar. And why should he have been? What was he accomplishing that marked him out as Presidential timber?
Four years later, he's elected President, eight years after losing badly a House primary.
That's not the most amazing eight year rise in American Presidential history. For example, in 1860, Ulysses S. Grant was a counter clerk in his dad's shop in Galena, IL. Eight years later he was elected President.
Of course, in the meantime, Grant had conquered Vicksburg and Richmond and defeated Robert E. Lee.
In contrast, over eight years, Obama had ... uh ... well, mainly he had given up his lifelong ambition of rising to power on the back of black voters and switched to a strategy of rising to power on the back of white voters.
Back in 2008 in VDARE, I considered various popular theories about Obama
For example, obviously Obama wasn't born in Kenya. The cost and discomfort for a pregnant lady to travel from Hawaii to Kenya in 1961 would be prohibitive. And why would Barack Sr. have taken Ann to Kenya? To meet her co-wife?
So, what is Obama covering up?
Well, one thing that he's not particularly trying hard to cover up, but almost nobody has noticed is the dubiousness of his parents' marriage:
"In fact, how and when the marriage occurred remains a bit murky, a bill of particulars that I've never quite had the courage to explore. There's no record of a real wedding, a cake, a ring, a giving away of the bride. No families were in attendance; it's not even clear that people back in Kansas were fully informed. Just a small civil ceremony, a justice of the peace. The whole thing seems so fragile... "[Dreams From My Father, P. 22]
He doesn't spell it out, but as a lawyer and a politician, the whole thing would strike him as trouble: Barack Sr. was already married back in Kenya with a wife and a couple of kids, so getting married in Hawaii would be the crime of bigamy. (This situation was anticipated uncannily in John Updike's 1978 bestseller The Coup, in which an African student in an American college in 1959 keeps trying to tell his white American girlfriend that he has a wife back home in Africa.) Or, you could argue that Barack Sr.'s marriage in Kenya according to the customs of his tribe wasn't a "real" marriage, but that's not very liberal. And the whole thing raises the topic of polygamy, which isn't really on-message in American political campaigns.
So, what is Obama hiding?
I think the basic situation is that Obama wakes up every morning in the White House and says, "Holy crap, those poor dumb saps really did elect an old lefty black guy President. I'd better act like a complete tool of Wall Street and the neocons or they'll figure it out."
One theory that makes more sense of his career — graduating in the top 16% supposedly at Harvard Law School, where he made a big impression on everybody, along with long periods where he seemed lethargic and withdrawn — is that he's mildly bipolar. Lots off people are. Famous people often are those whose up phases coincided with periods of opportunity in their lives.
Another theory that I'm increasingly drawn to is that Obama got a little help along the way from CIA/NSA types, but that's completely off everybody else's radar because it doesn't fit ideological categories. His father was a protege of the CIA's main man in Kenya, and was chief witness of his assassination. His mother worked for U.S. government and U.S. establishment organizations in Indonesia, a main front in the Cold War, for years after the 1965 coup. Barack Jr.'s one private industry job was as a copy editor at a firm, Business International, whose owner had admitted serving as a front for four CIA agents.
But, mostly, Obama's big dark secret is that just didn't accomplish that much other than self-promote himself as the guy who should be the first black President. The secret that nobody wants to talk about is that he's President for the same dumb reason as the last guy was President: because of who his daddy was.