June 19, 2012

"In the college life of Barack Obama in 1961 and 1962, as recounted by his friends and acquaintances in Honolulu, there was no Ann; there was no baby."

Writes David Maraniss, at page 171 of "Barack Obama."
In Neil Abercrombie’s crowd, the antiestablishment group that carried on a movable conversation from the Snack Bar on campus to George’s Inn and Peter Gilpin’s apartment, only Abercrombie himself could dredge up memories of Ann Dunham in 1960. By the following year, the year he was married and had a hapa son, Obama had developed another large network of friends and acquaintances on campus....
Here's what Abercrombie remembered (pp. 157-158):

These gatherings, they weren’t necessarily formal, but we would see each other and all that. She made her appearance, but she was a girl. And what I mean by that is she was only eighteen [still seventeen, in fact, until November 29]. She had just got out of high school the year before, she was a freshman, and he met her and he brought her at different times.… She mostly observed because she was a kid, among other things. Everybody there was pretty high-powered grad student types, and the women were older. She never participated much in the discussions, but she was obviously interested and obviously interested in Barack. He always saw himself in charge of everything. And don’t forget he was also very much a man of his time. We’re talking the nineteen-fifties culture and we are just beginning to talk about patriarchy, just beginning to try to figure out what feminism is all about, just beginning. In the Beat era women were still seen as servicing men. They hadn’t gotten past that, or even in remotely understanding that dynamic. The whole Kerouac era when you read it now is almost misogynistic. As Thoreau said, you drag your cultural baggage through life with you. In any event, Barack, I expect he dominated the relationship is what I’m trying to say.
As Maraniss puts it, Dunham and Obama Sr.'s "time... together" was "a brief point of confluence with few witnesses or supporting documents." They did marry, after she became pregnant, but he already had another wife, and they don't seem to have lived together.  A friend from that period described Obama Sr.'s apartment:
“I could see no sign of other inhabitants,” [Robert] Ruenitz said. “It was monastic at best. A study table and a bed and a light. It was not a dorm. It was private. I think he had a landlord who had built a small attachment to their house. It was small, and I think he had a hot plate for coffee; not very well appointed. It was not close [to campus], but I think each day he would walk to school.”
Maraniss says — at pages 175-176 — that apartment "reflected the reality of a man who was married in name only."
Within a month of the day Barry came home from the hospital, he and his mother were long gone from Honolulu, back on the mainland, returned to the more familiar turf of Mercer Island and Seattle and the campus of the University of Washington. The question of why they left is what lingers, unresolved. This period, Washington State revisited, is missing from the memoir the son would write decades later. In his account, the family breach would not occur until 1963, when his father left the island. That version of events is inaccurate in two ways. The date: his father was gone from Hawaii by June 1962, less than a year after Barry was born, not 1963. And the order: it was his mother who left Hawaii first, a year earlier than his father. 
Maraniss surmises that Dunham left because of the apparent bigamy. He notes that there might have been physical abuse, though the only evidence is Obama Sr.'s abuse of his next wife. He doesn't mention what would seem to me to be the easiest explanation: That Obama Sr. married Stanley Ann Dunham only to make the baby "legitimate," and there was never a prospect of living together as a family. That fits the facts, including the fact that Dunham didn't want to talk about any of the details.

ADDED: There is a subsequent letter written by Obama Sr. that refers to "my wife" — not "my former wife — "in Nairobi" (p. 180). This letter makes no mention of the additional wife, Stanley Ann.

60 comments:

Paul Kirchner said...

They did marry, after she became pregnant, but he already had another wife, and they don't seem to have lived together.

Is there actually any evidence that they married?

Ann Althouse said...

"Is there actually any evidence that they married?"

Maraniss drops a footnote, n. 87: "Marriage facts recorded in divorce records, Mar. 5, 1964, First Judicial Circuit State of Hawaii Division of Domestic Relations."

That's at p. 62, where the text says: "[O]n February 2, during the semester break, Stanley Ann Dunham and Barack H. Obama flew from Honolulu to the airport at Kahului on Maui, found their way to the county courthouse in the city of Wailuku, the county seat and a popular tourist destination in that era, and were “lawfully married.”"

Ann Althouse said...

It's questionable whether the marriage was legal, since there's reason to think he was still married to his previous wife, though he said he'd divorced her, following the applicable law that he said empowered him to divorce the Kenyan wife by simply telling her he was divorcing her.

Jay said...

Obama's father and grandfather were polygamists.

But we're supposed to faint at scream about Mormonism!

bagoh20 said...

"by simply telling her he was divorcing her. "

Awesome system.

garage mahal said...

following the applicable law that he said empowered him to divorce the Kenyan wife by simply telling her he was divorcing her.

Efficient, as it cuts through useless government bureaucrats.

Ideally, as easy as ordering a sandwich through a WaWa machine.

Done. Thanks!

edutcher said...

Not Kenyan law, one suspects, but it is Sharia.

One turns in the direction of Mecca and says, three times, "I divorce thee".

Sounds like Stanley was pretty much a nonentity in his life.

One wonders if he regards all women that way.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Well, being a bastard is not a disqualification for being President.

edutcher said...

Technically OT:

Watching Commandante Zero (waiting for him to be declared our first Hispanic President) at his press conference at the end of the G20.

Can this guy put together a simple, declarative sentence on his own?

More to the point, does he know anything about economics, foreign affairs, etc?

No offense, but it's really hard to believe anybody intelligent could have voted for this guy.

Yeah, I know, TOTUS 24/7...

Wally Kalbacken said...

Actually, strictly speaking, under Kenyan law you don't have to tell the spouse, you can just tell a friend.

Tim said...

"No offense, but it's really hard to believe anybody intelligent could have voted for this guy."

Maybe no one intelligent did, or more to the point, not intelligent enough?

David said...

Everybody there was pretty high-powered grad student types . . .

Abercrombie is a riot. If they were highly powered by anything it was choom. Abercrombie is glorifying himself with this line.

I also love his line that the Kerouac era was "almost misogynistic." That's like saying that Everest is almost a mountain.

Abercrombie is a politician now. Democratic governor of a state. Lying to suit his interests comes with the territory.

Milwaukee said...

I question whether Barack Obama Senior was actually the father of Barack Husein Obama. They don't appear similar, but that could be the mother's influence. The father is noted as having a very deep, baritone voice. Don't hear that in the President. Testing his siblings and him for DNA should be pretty straightforward. If Senior isn't the father, then who is?

the wolf said...

@David: Thanks for echoing my thoughts. Trying to figure out what a "high-powered grad student" is...

Terry said...

Within a month of the day Barry came home from the hospital, he and his mother were long gone from Honolulu, back on the mainland, returned to the more familiar turf of Mercer Island and Seattle and the campus of the University of Washington. The question of why they left is what lingers, unresolved. This period, Washington State revisited, is missing from the memoir the son would write decades later. In his account, the family breach would not occur until 1963, when his father left the island.
Finally someone admits this. Obama has been saying for years that his father left him when he was two years old, this did not jibe with the known fact that Obama Sr. continued his studies at Manoa while, within a month of his birth, Dunham was back in Seattle attending the University of Washington.
No vetting. Few MSM reporters talked to the relevant people, most read snippets from his memoirs and never looked deeper.
We were told he was a professor of constitutional law. He wasn't, he was a part time lecturer on the 14th amendment as it relates to civil rights, e.g., he was a professor who taught that the constitutions boundaries must be stretched in the name of civil rights.
He admitted, in writing, that he benefitted from affirmitive action.
Maybe some day some bright journalist will discover that taxing the 1% and giving the procedes to the 99% isn't keynesian economics, it's redistributionism. Obama does not know the difference. The man is a fool.
Conservatives were right about Obama. They didn't vote for him. Liberals were wrong about Obama. They voted for him.

wyo sis said...

High powered grad student = high grad student with a lot to say

The Crack Emcee said...

He doesn't mention what would seem to me to be the easiest explanation: That Obama Sr. married Stanley Ann Dunham only to make the baby "legitimate," and there was never a prospect of living together as a family. That fits the facts, including the fact that Dunham didn't want to talk about any of the details.

I'm always flabbergasted over obvious oversights like that. Instead we get clouds of bullshit that supposed to be smart? Fucking comical. A bit sick, too, in how it plays out.

Jay,

Obama's father and grandfather were polygamists.

But we're supposed to faint at scream about Mormonism!

Thanks for reminding me we now live in an era where "two wrongs make a right" is the general rule:

I'll never have to wonder what living in Hell must be like with the likes of you around,…

SukieTawdry said...

I had not intended to read this book, but I think I will after all.

I read Maraniss' excellent biography of Bill Clinton First In His Class. It was a great read and by the time I was finished, I felt I understood Bill (and Hillary) very well. Maraniss is an excellent researcher and meticulous about footnotes. I never felt as though he was trying to elicit sympathy or scorn or any other emotion from the reader. It was Maraniss, I believe, who was the first to determine (or at least to report) that William Blythe had been elsewhere nine months prior to Bill's birth. It was when he went to the family with that information that William Jefferson Blythe III, born of normal weight and size, became an eight-month baby.

Don't Tread 2012 said...

Really, not compelling... this man's past is only marginally less interesting than his present - I see him as a cliche', an American tragedy. It reflects the vacuousness of a 'certain' strata of society.

Hipster luck, maybe? I think Biden had it right. Ole' Joe Diarrhea Mouth identified something when he made remarks about 'teh won' being 'clean' and so forth. An admission of institutional bigotry, anyone???

Moose said...

So can we get Sully to weigh in on Obama's uterus?

It's his specialty.

Reliapundit said...

Obama's real father was Frank Davis - who was a pal of Vernon Jarrett and Paul Robeson and connected to Chicago.

Barack Senior marr ried Stanley Ann to get a better visa and explain why she was having a black baby. (Frank was also married at the time.)

The summer before she met Barack, Stanley Ann worked as an au pair in Chicago.

That would have been her very first summer in Hawaii.

Why and how did she get this job?

Who was it for?

The only person in the Dunham's life who had a connection to Chicago at the time was Frank Davis.

MORE HERE:

http://astuteblogger.blogspot.com/2011/02/ten-reasons-why-its-completely.html

AJ Lynch said...

How, in 1961, did a 19 year old woman move to Seattle to attend college when she had a 1-month old baby? Where did she live, where did she get money, who watched the baby? etc The challenges seem insurmountable without an immediate family to support her.

ricpic said...

What a relief square boring Mitt will be after exotic man.

Rick Harper said...

"In my country, we say, 'I break with thee, I break with thee, I break with thee!' then we throw dog poop on her shoes!"

wyo sis said...

I'm not sure how many, but a lot of the people in the world who are around Obama's age have similar stories. And, a lot more who are younger. It's not so much the mixed up story and the whole sections of Obama's history that are missing that are concerning. It's the realization of the absolute absence of any of this information being brought up four years ago that's completely mystifying.
He was running against HILLARY CLINTON! I mean where was the Clinton machine?!? How did this happen?

wyo sis said...

Go Rick!
I wondered who'd bring that up.

Ann Althouse said...

On the move to Seattle... it was a move back to Seattle, where she grew up and would have wanted to stay. She got moved to Honolulu by her parents, and she did badly at the University there, what with having a baby in the middle of the semester.

"After her one tumultuous semester at the University of Hawaii, from which she emerged with credits in only two courses and a grade point average that placed her on probation, for the first time in her life Ann faced academic obstacles. Her return to the Seattle area was not only an escape from personal trauma but also the beginning of her long, slow resurrection as a scholar, an important part of her self-identity. ... It was early summer 1962 by then. Her grades had been restored, her life clarified. Time to get back to Hawaii."

Maraniss, David (2012-06-19). Barack Obama (p. 178). Simon & Schuster, Inc.. Kindle Edition. "

Not much talk about money there, but she was a teenager. I think her parents were supporting her.

They had encouraged her to have the baby (and to marry the father).

Maraniss, David (2012-06-19). Barack Obama (p. 177). Simon & Schuster, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

Ann Althouse said...

Where did she live in Seattle?

"apt 2 at the Villa Ria Apartments at 516 East 13th Avenue in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, two miles from campus. Her apartment was on the first floor, to the right as one entered the building, above the garage, about five hundred square feet."

Maraniss, David (2012-06-19). Barack Obama (p. 177). Simon & Schuster, Inc.. Kindle Edition. "

Tim said...

"He was running against HILLARY CLINTON! I mean where was the Clinton machine?!? How did this happen?"

I'm not a Democrat, so I followed their primary only so much, but at some level, I have to think the Clinton campaign thought something similar to what I thought (and still do): "...there's no way this guy is qualified for office, the voters aren't dumb enough to give him the nomination, they'll figure it out before long and we'll win."

Well, they were wrong. The voters were dumb enough (boy, were they!) to give him the nomination; it's an open question, after four years, if they're smart enough to figure it out the second time around.

I fear they aren't. Dumb like that is hard to fix.

Unknown said...

Garbage said......Efficient, as it cuts through useless government bureaucrats.

Ideally, as easy as ordering a sandwich through a WaWa machine......

I suspect all of Garbage's intimate relationships are as considered, mutual and lasting as those sandwich orders.

edutcher said...

wyo sis said...

He was running against HILLARY CLINTON! I mean where was the Clinton machine?!? How did this happen?

It was right there with her, including Willie lending his "fine political mind".

Proof, as I've said, that the political genius was Morris, not Willie.

Ralph L said...

what with having a baby in the middle of the semester.
In August? What happened to her fall semester?

Is there any proof she took a less than month old baby to Washington at the age of 18? I can't imagine her parents allowing, much less paying for that. Of course, naming a daughter Stanley Ann shows there was something screwy about the Dunhams. Did they know she would be their only shot at a son?

rcocean said...

Yes her parents were 'Screwy'. They were example, communists.

jeff said...

"Obama's father and grandfather were polygamists.

But we're supposed to faint at scream about Mormonism!

Thanks for reminding me we now live in an era where "two wrongs make a right" is the general rule:

I'll never have to wonder what living in Hell must be like with the likes of you around,"

So, just to clarify, you insult Jay for pointing out that no one cares about actual bigamists, but complains about Romney who has been married just once, and who's religion no longer condones bigamy. I know that you are always right about everything and have nothing but contempt for anyone who doesn't agree with you about everything, but you're not even trying anymore. Totally turned into that crank that just stands on the porch and yells at everyone.

jeff said...

"I suspect all of Garbage's intimate relationships are as considered, mutual and lasting as those sandwich orders."

Garage stopped trying quite awhile back, also. I think he finally became self aware about always being wrong, and has decided to try snark instead. Sadly, he isnt very good at that either.

jeff said...

"I suspect all of Garbage's intimate relationships are as considered, mutual and lasting as those sandwich orders."

Garage stopped trying quite awhile back, also. I think he finally became self aware about always being wrong, and has decided to try snark instead. Sadly, he isnt very good at that either.

Cedarford said...

Whoops!
Guess Anne or Meade did not like the comment I made about knocking them up and leaving them...

Or the followup of the young black thug now in a Tennessee jail for robbery that has sired 30+ children out of wedlock for us taxpayers to rear!

Meade said...

Cedarford, it did seem to me you were - even more than usual - daring us to delete your comment. If it was an attempt at creative writing that went over my head, and you would like to put it back up and see what sort of critique you get from your fellow commenters, I'm willing to let it go for a while for the sake of discussion.

leslyn said...

So is this where Mor-a-nis is being accurate, or inaccurate?

I lose track.

edutcher said...

Ralph L said...

I can't imagine her parents allowing, much less paying for that. Of course, naming a daughter Stanley Ann shows there was something screwy about the Dunhams.

About the time Stanley was born, or at least conceived (1940), Warners made a soap opera called, "In This Our Life", with Bette Davis and Olivia deHavilland, playing 2 sisters with boys' names.

Olivia was the good sister (natch), named Roy, while Bette was the bad one, named Stanley. I've always wondered if that was where they got such a goofy name for a girl.

Ann is so much better.

(if I polish the apple any brighter, do I get a free toaster?)

gadfly said...

And don’t forget he was also very much a man of his time. We’re talking the nineteen-fifties culture and we are just beginning to talk about patriarchy, just beginning to try to figure out what feminism is all about, just beginning. In the Beat era women were still seen as servicing men. They hadn’t gotten past that, or even in remotely understanding that dynamic. The whole Kerouac era when you read it now is almost misogynistic.

I attended college in the late fifties and got my bachelors in '62 - admittedly from a hick school in flyover country. I didn't know a single druggie and the women certainly didn't kowtow to men. Outside of the sororities, there were no women's organizations; there were slobs but no hippies; no malcontents but a whole bunch of screwed-up drunks; and no patriarchs, to speak of, but lots of jock heroes.
The British Invasion happened later and with it came the stuff of the middle and late sixties when 'Nam heated up.

I am calling BS by a carried-away writer.

David said...

Cedarford's comment was, indeed, provocative racist crap.

cassandra lite said...

So because this rebellious brat wanted to go native and stick it to her bourgeois parents, we get stuck with this racially confused man-child suffering from a world-class case of messianic projection. Fuck.

Ross said...

@Jeff

Actually, I thought Garage Mahal's snark was witty enough for me to smile on the inside. But probably not for the reasons he did his post. =)

Cedarford said...

Nah, Meade...you nailed me fair and square.
It WAS provocative.

I am just questioning how hard we try to avoid attaching "moral judgments" these days on rampaging bigamists.
Or how hard we try to avoid any mention that we cannot sustain our way of life or recover our finances from government devoring more and more for wealth transfers - if we all subsidize a violent black thug who can sire 30+ kids. Done with 11 quite willing mommas, that fully expect and demand for us taxpayers to support them and all their out of wedlock kids for decades.

The Entitled demand, and we all meekly comply - even Tea Party people - without batting an eye to it or suppressing a desire to speak out because of fear of looking selfish about not paying more taxes, mean-spirited (denying the welfare dependents the best is just punishing the innocent children!!)
The silence is now demanded. PC forces stifle any pushback - of asking how long can we suppress any expression of moral anger that we taxpayers are tapped more and more for wealth transfers to bigamists and the feckless.


Only by lucky accident of Barack Obama having a wealthy Indonesian stepfather, then a grandma who was a bank exec - did we avoid people being taxed for Barack and Ann's food, housing, edication, and medical bills.

Long term - of seeing the genetic impact of grad degree engineers with two kids becoming less and less of the American population - and a gang-banger siring 50 before he is done leaving more and more generations of a shrinking number of smart, hard-working people to support.

It makes me react a little outside PC.

Ralph L said...

I've always wondered if that was where they got such a goofy name for a girl.
Stanley was her father's first name, IIRC.

Cedarford, in her last years, my 90ish cousin began obsessing on a book from her youth called The Rising Tide of Color. It might have had something to do with her having 3 children but only one grandchild.

leslyn said...

(if I polish the apple any brighter, do I get a free toaster?)

Nope. You gotta buy it from Amazon.

JAL said...

IIRC the infamous birth announcement in the Hawaiian newspaper listed Stanley Ann Dunham Obama's home address. It was her parents' address.

She was not 19 when she went to Seattle, it was right after Barack was born. She was 18.

Somewhere in my past browsing was a comment by a friend of hers from those days which placed her in Seattle with a very young baby which short circuited me.

As mentioned in the past as we have discussed Dreams from My Father, there is something seriously wrong with a man who writes a friendly book about the sperm donor who abandoned him *when he was a baby* BHO Sr. may have seen him as a toddler, but the evidence indicates that Obama Sr never lived with Dunham as husband & wife. He returned to Hawaii and met Barry when he was 10. Big whoop.

To fixate ones life and identity on that kind of a person does not indicate a healthy person.

Junior should have moved on many many years ago. Instead he suckered the voters of America into throwing away years of our lives, tearing the fabric of our country, and pouring trillions of dollars of our hard earned money into the black hole of his friends' pockets while trying to undo 200 years of a representative democracy.

Fraud.

MayBee said...

I find fascinating that Obama, a man born in modern times, has made up and propagated so many false facts about his own life.

People who, during the "birther" debates, pointed out that Stanley left for Seattle to live (alone with a baby!) in an apartment withing weeks of her son's birth were told they were nuts. Obama has never acknowledged this part of his story, when he has even tried to play up his personal ties to Kansas and Indiana, places he never lived.


Does Maraniss cover the education committee Obama served on in Chicago before he went to Harvard? Tom Maguire has found evidence Bill Ayers' dad was on the same committee. Valerie Jarrett's mother was also involved in Chicago education issues at the time.

I go back to thinking how odd it is for a modern man with two memoirs has such an opaque background. How actively Obama and his people work to obscure it. And how odd it is people who try to figure it out are so very criticized (even when they turn out to have been right).

cokaygne said...

Y'all are working for 0bama's reelection. The sins of his father are the sins of his father. Judge his record over the past four years. Everything else is racist nonsense.

Darrell said...

The mystery surrounding B.O.'s early years makes Lefties salivate at the thought that Barack is really the son of Malcolm X (Malcolm Little). Barack used to show a picture of his mother with Malcolm X (they traveled in similar circles) to people he got to know during his college years. I never read that he ever claimed to be his son, but some things don't need words especially if you show a picture of Senior and his other sons. AP and Reuters keeps on putting up pictures of Malcolm X miscaptioned as Barack Obama. I'm sure it's only a coincidence.

I'm not saying that Barack is Mqalcolm Little's son, btw, but since he is Lefty royalty and a martyr to the cause, leaving that
inference to Lefties' imagination might go a long way in greasing your way to success. Explains why people like Laurence Tribe treated Barack like royalty after their first meeting.

Hagar said...

No big deal exactly, but once again nothing about this guy is quite what he has represented it to be.

Barack Obama would be a great subject for an Eric Ambler story.

gerry said...

The post-modern president.

Increase the contradictions! Stoke the dialectic!

Michael K said...

" "...there's no way this guy is qualified for office, the voters aren't dumb enough to give him the nomination, they'll figure it out before long and we'll win."

She assumed that Texas would be the last contested primary and she ran out of money. Even Hillary didn't realize that Democrats are that dumb.

Steve Koch said...

cokaygne said...
"Y'all are working for 0bama's reelection. The sins of his father are the sins of his father. Judge his record over the past four years. Everything else is racist nonsense."

So you're saying that BO's autobiographies are off limits? You may not be clear about how American politics works.

Nathan Alexander said...

"They had encouraged her to have the baby (and to marry the father)."

Maraniss, David (2012-06-19). Barack Obama (p. 177). Simon & Schuster, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

The pro-life/pro-choice irony of this statement is thick, no?

wildswan said...

My idea is that Obama Sr. got Anne Dunham pregnant and"married" her due to family pressure. Then the family removed her to Seattle to help her recover from her disillusionment while constructively attending college. She came back to be with her family when Obama Sr. left and to continue at college. She met another man (who seems to have been much nicer) and went with him to Indonesia. But the Indonesians were very prejudiced against Barack Jr. because he was part African. They threw stones at him. His mother sent him back to Hawaii which has a strong tradition of accepting multi-racial children and he went to an excellent school where he was accepted. He was a party guy doing drugs but not overdoing them. The same in college. In all this, he was following the idea of being a multi-racial child - his Hawaiian identity and an advanced, cool social thinker as as shown by drug use - his teen age identity. But when he decided to become a mainland politician in Chicago, then he had to remake all this and "become black" with the help of Bill Ayers. At present some earlier rather harmless deceptions his grandparents put in circulation to protect his mother are colliding with later, less harmless deceptions circulated by Bill Ayers.
Obama has to be seen as "black", not multi-racial, to hold the African-American vote for the Democrats and so there is no honest investigation by the LSM. Into the vacuum thus created, there pours all kinds of theories about who Obama "really" is. Here's who he really is - he really is someone who cannot fix the crash of 2008; he really is someone who is making it worse. He really is in the habit of making up changing stories to fit changing situations and this really is not enough.

PatCA said...

Now gatewaypundit has pics of his mother, supposedly, in stripper costumes.

I'm not believing it. Campaign shenanigans.

bhollis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bhollis said...

Maybe Oprah should have Obama back on the show to give him a scolding about his "memoir", a la James Frey.