Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Cut the crap, Barack Obama

Politics: Via Mickey Kaus who links to this hilarious piece by Barack Obama who wants to change his life story.

""In Lincoln's rise from poverty, his ultimate mastery of language and law, his capacity to overcome personal loss and remain determined in the face of repeated defeat - in all this, he reminded me not just of my own struggles. "
Via the BBC:
"Barack Obama, the Democratic Party's candidate for Illinois, is the son of Barack Obama Sr, a senior economist in the Kenyan government, who died in a car accident in 1982. His father herded goats before winning a scholarship to study in the US and grew up in the rural village of Nyangoma Kogalo in Western Kenya, near the shores of Lake Victoria. Arriving in the village, people pointed out the direction of the Obamas' household. "Yes that is the home of the Obamas whose son is contesting a seat in the big American parliament," someone told us. The compound has three houses built from red bricks and corrugated iron - a sign of the middle class in rural areas. The first person we bumped into was Mr Obama Jr's uncle, Said Hussein Obama. He shows us the grave of his late brother, Mr Obama Sr, the decorated slabs of which are already peeling. Said Obama remembers his brother with nostalgia. "The late Dr Barack Obama was well educated. He was social. He always reached out to us wherever we needed him. He even assisted some of us, his brothers, to go to school," he says. "
Via New Yorker:
"Obama was actually born in Hawaii. His father, also named Barack Obama, was a foreign student there. His mother, Ann, was white, and only eighteen when she married his father. She and her parents, originally from Kansas, had moved to Honolulu. When her husband left for Harvard, she and their toddler stayed behind—there was no money in his scholarship for them to go East—and the father ultimately returned alone to Kenya, where he worked as a government economist. Barack’s mother’s second marriage, to an Indonesian oil manager, occasioned a move to Jakarta, when Barack was six. He lived there for four years, and in his book he writes about his time in Indonesia as simultaneously lush and a harrowing exposure to tropical poverty—more harrowing, perhaps, for his mother than for the little boy who barely remembered any other life. Then Barack returned to Hawaii, where he was brought up largely by his grandparents. The family lived in a small apartment—Barack’s grandfather was a furniture salesman and, later, an unsuccessful insurance agent; his grandmother worked in a bank—but Barack managed to get into Punahou School, Hawaii’s top prep academy. His mother always said that he got his brains from his father, and he was raised on tales of his father’s brilliance. The great man wrote to them regularly, but, though he travelled around the world on official business for Kenya, he visited only once, when Barack was ten.
By the time he runs for President, he will be a poor boy from the fields of Africa who barely survived farming. The bigger you try to make yourself, the easier it will be to knock you on your ass.

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