When a man of so little verifiable background and experience presents himself as a candidate for what is unarguably the most powerful political position in the entire world, every scrap of detail regarding his life, beliefs, associations, and accomplishments is of extreme importance. They are all we have, especially in light of Barack Obama’s refusal to release and make public the following:
- A certified, authenticated birth certificate
- College transcripts from Occidental, Columbia, and Harvard
- Senior thesis written at Columbia
- Writings from Harvard
- Full medical records
In light of these gaping holes in his resume — holes that could be easily filled in by Barack Obama, but have not been — it becomes the duty of every voter to examine the peripheral areas of Obama’s life with utmost care, giving special attention to patterns of association that point to matters of judgment, character, and true intent.
“When you know who his friend is, you know who he is.”
— African proverb
The most problematic quality of Barack Obama’s run for the presidency at this time is that we do not really know him. Obama has repeatedly deflected curiosity about his associations with glib responses from “This is not the man I knew,” to “Can I just eat my waffle?” When Obama was still on the campaign trail without his teleprompter, he regularly created relatives and events out of whole cloth, only to later issue campaign statements declaring he “misspoke,” “spoke inartfully,” or was “mistaken.”
From these actions, what are voters to conclude? One might conclude that this not-even-through-his-first-term senator does not want Americans to know who he really is. He has not been forthcoming. We have been forced to dig for information and draw our own conclusions as the African proverb above suggests. If we see who Obama’s friends are, we will see who he is.
Friend #1: Jeremiah Wright
Obama clearly lied about his relationship with Jeremiah Wright at his last April press conference. When Obama declared that this Jeremiah Wright, revealed by widely circulated videos, was not the man he knew and declared that they had never been close, he was not telling the truth.
David Mendell wrote a favorable-to-Obama book, From Promise to Power, for which he had wide access to Obama, his family members, Jeremiah Wright, and a number of other close associates of the candidate. Throughout this book, Jeremiah Wright plays a prominent role as mentor and counselor. At every decisive juncture of Obama’s rise from Trinity congregation member to the United States Senate, Jeremiah Wright provides counsel and mentorship to the rising Barack.
In a recent Newsweek article, “Finding His Faith,” Obama answers questions regarding his attendance at Trinity. He now says he and Michelle really didn’t attend Trinity very often at all. “At the beginning, we went fairly frequently . . . probably went two or three times a month. When we had Malia, our first child, we went less frequently, and that probably continued for a couple of years, just because — I don’t know if you’ve had the experience of taking young, squirming children to church, but it’s not easy . . . As they got older, we would go back a little more frequently, probably twice a month.”
Unfortunately, Senator Obama gave a vastly different answer to the same question when he was running for his U.S. Senate seat. Here’s what he told Cathleen Falsani, in a face-to-face interview for the Chicago Sun-Times. In March 2004, Obama said this about his church attendance:
FALSANI: Do you still attend Trinity?
OBAMA: Yep. Every week. 11 o’clock service. Ever been there? Good service. I actually wrote a book called Dreams from My Father; it’s kind of a meditation on race. There’s a whole chapter on the church in that, and my first visits to Trinity.
Friend #2: Tony Rezko
Consider this telling fragment from the Obama timeline, offered by David Freddoso in his new book, The Case Against Barack Obama:
July 31, 1995 — Tony Rezko makes his first political donation to Obama.
January 14, 1997 — Tony Rezko, while claiming he cannot afford to turn on the heat in one of his slums, writes a $1,000 check to Barack Obama’s campaign.
February 1997 — Obama co-sponsors a bill that creates affordable local housing funds in order to subsidize private developers.
August 23, 2001 — A bill is co-sponsored by Obama, giving special tax credits to donors to private developers of “affordable housing.”
May 21, 2003 — Obama votes for the Affordable Housing Planning and Appeal Act, creating demand for at least 7,000 new “affordable housing” units and letting private developers circumvent local ordinances.
August 14, 2003 — Stuart Levine and Tony Rezko steer $50 million in teachers’ retirement money to an investment firm and receive a $250,000 kickback from the “finder.”
March 4, 2004 — Obama co-sponsors a bill to move forward deadlines of a developer-friendly housing bill.
June 15, 2005 — Obama and Tony Rezko close on adjacent properties in Hyde Park.
May 26, 2005 — The Chicago Tribune profiles Tony Rezko, noting that he has been subpoenaed in a criminal investigation.
January 2006 — Obama purchases part of neighbor Tony Rezko’s lot.
Those quality, affordable housing units for the poor residents of Chicago? They are now mostly condemned as uninhabitable by human beings. A really super terrific use of taxpayer money.
Syrian-born Tony Rezko is now in prison, after having been convicted by a federal jury on 16 of 24 counts of corruption charges. Last week, Rezko reportedly made a deal with prosecutors to talk about others steeped in Chicago and greater Illinois political corruption. His “talking” may or may not lead to an indictment against Barack Obama.
As for me, what I already know is enough. This one association alone tells us voters that Barack Obama has neither the character nor judgment to be president.
Friend #3: Bill Ayers
Obama’s relationship with Bill Ayers was first raised in the presidential primary debates between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Obama employed his habitual deflection technique, saying only that “Bill Ayers is a guy who lives in my neighborhood,” and everything he did against America was when “I was eight years old.”
Since then, Obama has been forced to admit a little more here and a little more there about the real relationship he has had with him over at least 15 years. Thanks to the steadfast, persistent efforts of Stanley Kurtz at National Review, we now have more of the Annenberg Challenge records that show clearly Ayers is not just some unknown guy who lives down the street from Obama, but is in fact someone much, much closer.
As Kurtz detailed for the Wall Street Journal in September, Obama’s only executive experience — period — has been working with Bill Ayers on the Annenberg Challenge and its radical education/indoctrination programs:
Despite having authored two autobiographies, Barack Obama has never written about his most important executive experience. From 1995 to 1999, he led an education foundation called the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC), and remained on the board until 2001. The group poured more than $100 million into the hands of community organizers and radical education activists.
The CAC was the brainchild of Bill Ayers, a founder of the Weather Underground in the 1960s. Among other feats, Mr. Ayers and his cohorts bombed the Pentagon, and he has never expressed regret for his actions. Barack Obama’s first run for the Illinois State Senate was launched at a 1995 gathering at Mr. Ayers’ home.
Of course, to those on the far political left, from the 1960s onward, Bill Ayers and his radical wife, Bernardine Dohrn, have been heroes, not despicable domestic terrorists. It isn’t hard for me to understand why Obama’s alliance with this pair isn’t problematic for any of the blame-America-first crowd. But for those of us who still love America and believe in our Constitution, a working relationship with domestic terrorist Bill Ayers is enough to disqualify Obama from our votes.
Since Barack Obama has played a game of dodge-ball rhetoric concerning these associations of his — and since they are really all we know about him, his judgment, his character, and his patriotism — he has left us little choice but to vote against him in November.
Early in the year, I wrote that this election would break on the lines of those who still love America and those who clearly don’t. I still believe I’m right and that McCain will win — by a sizable percentage.