A relevant, but perhaps overlooked, aspect of President Obama’s character was briefly mentioned in the thought-provoking documentary film 2016: Obama’s America. While a young teenager, Obama made an enlightening discovery. He figured out a trick – that he had a “knack”. The trick was, if he smiled, was polite, and “didn’t make any sudden moves”, he could manipulate people. Not only that, he could get people to want to help him. It was a “knack” he carefully perfected through the years. It became a trick that would help put him in the White House…
Does America have a Trickster-in-Chief? Who is the real Barack Obama?
Today, The Washington Examiner published an in-depth article peeling back the layers of the Obama you don’t know. In a four-month research effort, many interviews were conducted with Obama supporters and non-supporters in Chicago and elsewhere. In an effort to separate myth from reality, court transcripts, government reports and other official documents were also referenced. I’ve only highlighted some of what was written and urge you to read the entire article.
Over the years and in two autobiographies, Obama has presented himself to the world as many things, including radical community organizer, idealistic civil rights lawyer, dynamic reformer in the Illinois and U.S. senates, and, finally, the cool presidential voice of postpartisan hope and change.
With his air of reasonableness and moderation, he has projected a remarkably likable persona. Even in the midst of a historically dirty campaign for re-election, his likability numbers remain impressive, as seen in a recent AP-GFK Poll that found 53 percent of adults have a favorable view of him.
But beyond the spin and the polls, a starkly different picture emerges. It is a portrait of a man quite unlike his image, not a visionary reformer but rather a classic Chicago machine pol who thrives on rewarding himself and his friends with the spoils of public office, and who uses his position to punish his enemies.
First lady Michelle Obama told the Democratic National Convention that “Barack and I were both raised by families who didn’t have much in the way of money or material possessions.”
It is a claim the president has repeated in his books, on the speech-making circuit and in countless media interviews. By his account, he grew up in a broken home with a single mom, struggled for years as a child in an impoverished Third World country and then was raised by his grandparents in difficult circumstances.
Uh, not so fast…
Obama’s step-father, Lolo Soetoro, had a coveted job in Indonesia as a government relations officer with Union Oil Co. They lived in Menteng, the most exclusive neighborhood of Jakarta, where economic elites resided. Obama would later live with his grandparents in Hawaii where his grandfather was in sales and his grandmother would become one of the first female vice presidents of a Honolulu bank.
The year Barack joined them, his grandparents moved to a “sleek new 10-story apartment building” close to the prestigious prep school Obama would attend for eight years. The school was one of the most expensive on the island and was a “lush hillside campus overlooking the Waikiki skyline and the Pacific Ocean.”
All the touting he’s done about his community organizing? Obama has never lived in a black neighborhood. He chose to commute 90 miles each way daily to the housing project where he worked.
Time magazine gushed in 2008 about Barack Obama’s 12-year tenure as a law lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School, saying, “Within a few years, he had become a rock-star professor with hordes of devoted students.”
Time magazine put lipstick on a pig. Described by some faculty members as “disengaged” and “doing only what was minimally required”, Obama was the third-lowest ranked lecturer at the law school in 1999. Only 23 percent of his students recommended his classes.
The pattern of minimal performance at the Chicago campus was not an exception to the rule for Obama. In the state Senate during the same years he was lecturing, Obama voted “present” nearly 130 times, the most of any legislator in the chamber.
And during his lone term as a U.S. senator, according to Gov Track.us: “From Jan 2005 to Oct 2008, Obama missed 314 of 1300 recorded or roll call votes, which is 24.0%. This is worse than the median of 2.4%.”
Anyone familiar with Obama knows his 2004 Democratic National Convention speech caused liberals’ hearts to flutter about presidential possibilities. But, on Valentine’s Day of 1997, Obama gave a speech to Chicago’s most powerful political and business movers and shakers that would begin to solidify the personal, professional, and political connections that would open doors for him all the way to the White House.
But people interviewed by the Examiner who heard him speak say Obama laid out a powerful vision for a political strategy that ultimately reshaped housing activism on the Left, first in Chicago and then nationwide, even as it paved the way for an accommodation between the corrupt political machine of Mayor Richard M. Daley and its long-standing nemesis, the city’s coalition of white liberal reformers and black community organizers.
Obama’s innovation was to expand the concept beyond simply building affordable apartments and high-rises. It encompassed a cradle-to-grave vision of providing for the material needs of the low-income families residing in the new housing, including their schools, child care, job training, medical coverage, clothing and food.
In turn, the residents would campaign and vote for the officials advocating the partnerships, adding significantly to their political power.
Left unstated was the underlying reality that politically connected developers who built the housing would profit handsomely and could be expected to gratefully give millions of dollars in campaign contributions to politicians like Obama who made it all possible.
No authenticated text of this speech can be found. It’s gone.
Writing in his 1995 autobiography, “Dreams from My Father,” Obama said he became “a civil rights lawyer” because “to lend meaning to a community’s suffering and take part in its healing — that required something more.”
Obama was indeed busy at law firm Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Galland, where he worked for ten years, but it was doing the opposite of promoting community healing.
A year before Obama’s book hit bookshelves, he was defending Woodlawn Preservation & Investment Corp (WPIC) which was controlled by slumlord Bishop Arthur Brazier (Brazier was closely connected to Obama and his legal firm.) WPIC was charged with many offenses against down-‘n-outs living in the crumbling apartments managed by Brazier. Brazier was also a disciple of radical activist Saul Alinsky and was allied with Chicago mayor Richard Daley – “one of the key movers and shakers among the city’s progressive political elite who in the years ahead would advance Obama at every turn.”
Obama helped heartless Brazier and WPIC beat the rap on failing to supply heat and running water for the complex’s 15 decrepit apartments in the winter of 1994. Residents were without heat on January 18, 1994, the day Chicago’s official high temperature for was 11 BELOW zero; the day after temperatures plummeted to 19 below. Piling on the misery, apartment dwellers were evicted in the freezing temps without due process.
Obama defended his political connection so well, the court issued a fine of only $50 against WPIC. Obama a champion of the poor? No.
Read this chapter to learn more about the Tony Rezko connection and the farcical statement Obama issued in 2010 when cold-hearted Bishop Brazier died.
Not everybody in Chicago bought Obama’s carefully honed images as the civil rights lawyer whose purpose in life was to heal the black community.
Robert Stark, director of the liberal Harold Washington Institute for Research and Policy Studies, told the Examiner that the demolition effort required to clear the way for the new affordable-housing projects advocated by Obama was disastrous for low-income blacks on Chicago’s South Side.
“Obviously, when you’re talking about the demolition of housing, there has been a great deal of controversy because poor people were not given an opportunity to come back to the housing that replaced the demolished housing,” said Stark, whose institute is based at Northeastern Illinois University.
Wardell Lavender is a tenant activist who has lived in the Woodlawn section of Chicago since 1951. “We don’t know what happened to those people,” Lavender told the Examiner. “What we didn’t do was keep track of them because a lot of them ended up homeless.”
The late Robert Fitch, a radical leftist and freelance journalist who specialized in urban politics and economics, exposed Obama and his coalition as opportunists who moved up by moving poor blacks out of the community. Under the ‘Plan for Transformation’ at least 25,000 low-income apartments in Chicago were demolished, many in Obama’s state Senate district.
Michael Hudson, a real estate economist at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, was Fitch’s editor at the Village Voice. He said Fitch despised Chicago political insiders like Obama, who, he argued, became wealthy while cloaking themselves as reformers.
“Bob Fitch’s basic premise,” Hudson told the Examiner, “was to show that the reform Democrats always have been the pro-financial real estate interests to do insider dealings. They are people who wear halos when in fact they are predators.”
Hudson said Fitch thought the Plan for Transformation was a con game. “The essence of a con game is to pose as you’re doing a public service. That’s the cover story for getting the public money both to redevelop buildings or to get rid of all the tenants.”
Has Obama made a difference for African-American communities on Chicago’s South Side?
With Chicago’s unemployment in 2011 at 19%, Obama’s standing among African-Americans in his hometown is eroding.
Here’s one example:
Dr. Conrad Worrill is an African-American educator, activist and former radio talk show host on Chicago’s African-American-oriented station WVON. He told the Examiner that Obama was an inspirational speaker who moved people. But in the end, he became just another Chicago politician.
“His rise in politics, his trajectory in politics has led him to make adjustments in his political decision-making. And that’s the case with many politicians. So he’s no different from many others in that regard. He’s a politician,” Worrill said.
“Obama came through Chicago through Saul Alinsky organizing,” he said.
Does Obama have a record as a reformer?
It was into such an environment that Obama stepped when he was first elected in 1996 as an Illinois state senator.
Former Illinois Sen. Peter Fitzgerald, a maverick Republican and reformer, told The Washington Examiner that Obama never fought corruption, even when it was being done by Republicans.
“I’ve never seen him fight corruption. He never wanted to upset the apple cart with the Chicago machine,” Fitzgerald said.
Read about the Fab Five, Republicans elected to office in Illinois in 1992 who formed a caucus of reform-minded state legislators and their experience with Obama:
An Examiner review of Fab Five initiatives from 1995 to 2000 identified 22 proposals, including sweeping government procurement reforms like requiring open, competitive bidding for state contracts. Obama missed votes on several of the proposals, and those he supported were approved unanimously.
“He was nowhere to be found on reform,” Fab Fiver Chris Lauzen told theExaminer. “I reached out to Barack. My wife and I took Barack and Michelle to dinner.”
Lauzen said Obama “was not on the playing field. In my opinion, Barack Obama was a product and beneficiary of how politics are practiced in Illinois. It would be impossible to call him a reformer.”
Also revealed are Obama’s ties to Illinois’ top gambling lobbyist, Alfred G. Ronan. And, David Axelrod enters the picture…
Paul Green, director of the Institute for Politics at Chicago’s Roosevelt University and a popular WGN radio host, noted David Axelrod, Obama’s campaign strategist, originated from Mayor Richard M. Daley’s camp.
“You see his main adviser, David Axelrod, who also was Daley’s chief adviser and ran his campaigns. So it was very much that Obama’s people were in the Daley camp.”
A month after Daley’s patronage chief was indicted for rigging city jobs and promotions, Axelrod defended patronage in a 2005 Chicago Tribune op-ed. He argued that to satisfy constituent needs, politicians are often forced to “use the influence they have to meet those needs, including sometimes the exchange of favors — consideration for jobs being just one.”
Fitzgerald said Obama never confronted Daley. “He never took on Mayor Daley, even when clearly city hall was out of bounds. He never fought corruption in Cook County government.”
This chapter reveals how then-State Senator Barack Obama and members of an Illinois lobbying group engaged in Rev. Jesse Jackson style shake-down tactics to pressure state officials to direct pension funds to minority-owned businesses. John Rogers, one of the leaders of Obama’s group Alliance of Business Leaders & Entrepreneurs (ABLE), was especially close to Obama. He played basketball with Michelle Obama’s brother at Princeton and shot hoops with Barack. (An interesting sidenote and another connection: Michelle Obama went to school with Jesse Jackson’s daughter, Santita.)
Rogers recalled the state pension scheme in a 2007 interview in which he prudently cast it as an effort “to force other industries to have their ‘Jackie Robinson’ moment,” just as Jackson had done with many Fortune 500 companies.
Obama not only met regularly with the ABLE leaders to plot strategy, he enlisted powerful Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan to accompany him in meetings with officials of the targeted pension funds.
Just as important, Senate President Emil Jones, the cagey Springfield veteran who was Obama’s legislative mentor, gave him additional leverage by assigning him to a committee that oversaw public pension funds, according to the New York Times.
William Atwood, executive director of the giant Illinois State Board of Investment, or ISBI, told The Washington Examiner that Obama was relentless in applying pressure.
More on Rogers…
Rogers also wasn’t helped when U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald revealed in federal court proceedings that Rogers had given $22,500 to bundler Tony Rezko, who was later convicted of influence peddling.
Rogers’ money was destined for the campaign of Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who, like Rezko, is now serving a federal prison sentence for public corruption. No charges were ever filed against Rogers in connection with the $22,500.
Rogers remains an Obama confidant. He has visited the White House at least 37 times since Obama’s 2009 inauguration for both business and social meetings with the president, senior aides in the White House and the first lady.
Did you know Tony Rezko is Syrian?
In the late 1970’s, the Obama mentor migrated to the U.S. and built a political and financial empire in Chicago and Springfield, the Illinois capital. Following his convictions on federal fraud and bribery charges related to disgraced Gov. Rod Blagojevich and state contracting, Rezko is now locked up in federal prison doing time for a 10-year sentence.
This chapter shows how Obama, as Chairman of the State Senate Health Committee, helped key Rezko cronies fast-track appointments to the Illinois state board that controlled health facility contracting for building expansions.
Once his associates were appointed, Rezko sought kickbacks from contractors favored by his friends in a process that became the heart of the federal case against him.
Rezko then used his connections with Blagojevich to stack the restructured board with his political cronies. Their appointments were confirmed by Obama’s committee, then sent to the Senate floor.
Soon thereafter, contributions from Rezko and his health board allies began pouring into Obama’s campaign coffers, according to federal and state campaign finance data.
Obama’s roots and political mentoring and experience before coming to the White House are centered in a city where, in spite of its residents making up only about 21 percent of Illinois population, has 84 percent of the state’s public corruption convictions in federal courts since 1976.
Obama’s gangster government roots are undeniable. Here are just a couple of examples:
Michael Barone, a Washington Examiner columnist and longtime co-editor of “The Almanac of American Politics,” coined the term “gangster government” in May 2009 in reporting how Obama used the General Motors and Chrysler bankruptcies to aid the struggling United Auto Workers union.
Barone defined gangster government as using the powers of public office “to transfer the property of one group of people to another group that is politically favored.”
The GM and Chrysler bailouts favored the UAW, an unsecured creditor, over secured creditors in the financial community by putting the union ahead of the financiers in the bankruptcy line for reimbursement of losses under the Obama-sanctioned March 2009 bailout.
And, as Barone predicted in 2009, taking care of his friends was Obama’s characteristic approach when dealing with domestic issues.
Remember back during the 2010 mid-term elections when Obama let a little gansterism slip? “We’re gonna punish our enemies and we’re gonna reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us.”
[I]t has been in Obama’s “clean energy” loan program that gangster government has been repeatedly on display, most famously in the $573 million Solyndra bankruptcy debacle.
Solyndra’s main investor was Oklahoma billionaire and Obama campaign bundler George Kaiser. Solyndra was the first but no means the most egregious energy loan deal that benefited Obama’s friends.
While researching his blockbuster 2011 book “Throw Them All Out,” Hoover Institution fellow and Stanford University professor Peter Schweizer and his researchers found 31 Obama bundlers and big donors whose firms received more than $16 billion in clean energy loans and grants.
The list of recipients unearthed by Schweizer includes such luminaries as former Vice President Gore, Silicon Valley venture capital king John Doerr, Sergey Brin, Dan Reicher and Larry Page of Google, Jim Rogers of Duke Energy, Tesla Motors’ Elon Musk and CNN founder Ted Turner.
Chapter 10 also points out the connections of Cathy Zoi, a senior White House environmental adviser during the Clinton administration and then-CEO of Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection, to George Soros. Zoi came in handy while Soros was conducting “regular private consultations and meetings with White House senior advisers while he was making investment decisions related to the stimulus program.”
The mainstream media didn’t vet Obama in 2008. America is in such serious trouble and the Obamedia is employing many of the same manipulative techniques their love object employs. We’re witnessing an egregious, destructive journalistic sham. I’m fed up with the layers of lies coming from Obama, his administration, and his lapdog media. I could say many things in this concluding paragraph, but you’ve already done enough reading. Let me just say…
America, you were duped!
Duped by a manipulating man who continues employing his “knack” while we languish.
Get off your backsides and get to work! We’re going to have to go AROUND the Obamedia!
Stop this fraudulent trickster!
Support Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.
Follow Jayde Wyatt on Twitter @YayforSummer