Skip to comments.Obama covers his tracks (covers up his past, won't release records)
Posted on 09/11/2008 2:24:27 PM PDT by dennisw
Barack Obama apparently wishes his two autobiographies to be the definitive record of his past. He has blocked efforts by others who wish to independently examine his past.
The Columbia years are a hole in the sprawling Obama hagiography. In his two published memoirs, the 47-year-old Democratic nominee barely mentions his experience there. He refuses to answer questions about Columbia and New York -- which, in this media age, serves only to raise more of them. Why not release his Columbia transcript? Why has his senior essay gone missing? [....]
Voters and the media are now exercising due diligence before Election Day, and they are meeting resistance from Mr. Obama in checking his past. Earlier this year, the AP tracked down Mr. Obama's New York-era roommate, "Sadik," in Seattle after the campaign refused to reveal his name. Sohale Siddiqi, his real name, confirmed Mr. Obama's account that he turned serious in New York and "stopped getting high." "We were both very lost," Mr. Siddiqi said. "We were both alienated, although he might not put it that way. He arrived disheveled and without a place to stay." For some reason the Obama camp wanted this to stay out of public view.
What can be said with some certainty is that Mr. Obama lived off campus while at Columbia in 1981-83 and made few friends. Fox News contacted some 400 of his classmates and found no one who remembered him.
As a nation hiring a President and Vice-President, we should be able to see the educational transcripts and medical records of all the people running for those offices.
And no SAT / LSAT to show how much ‘help’ he got getting in to college & law school.
c’mon Barry, you’re such a genius, whatcha hidin there bud?
No way. Not Ever. NObama
He's publishing a third book this month too. What a guy! Besides "running" his campaign (into the ground), he's written three books. Legislation? Ptoooey! That's not a requirement for President, is it?
I’d bet a years pay he never earned a degree.
Fill out an app at Procter and Gamble.
Tell them you have a masters but cannot provide grades or thesis.
guess what they do with your app?
A good summary of the Obamanation.
In a few years there will be tens of millions who can't remember him.
How can that be, when his Indonesian school mates, teachers, and neighbors all have no trouble remembering "Barry"?
One nitpick on an otherwise pretty impressive post. Why do you call Bowman “Iranian American”? From her parents’ names and her ethnicity, she sounds to me more like an African American who happened to be born in Iran. Am I missing something?
It all makes one feel almost proprietary about Bill Clinton. (He’s a sociopath, but he’s OUR sociopath.) Nobody really knows, to whom or what Obama belongs.
They spent a lot of time in prayers together. I think five times a day so they would more likely remember him.
AIDE BRINGS OWN VISION TO CITY POST
Chicago Tribune - December 8, 1991
Author: Wilma Randle.
Valerie Jarrett `s temporary stint at Chicago`s City Hall is turning into
quite a long affair.
Jarrett , 35, was recently named by Mayor Richard Daley to head the city`s soon-to-be-merged offices of planning and economic development. In that role
she will have a wide influence overdowntown development projects, neighborhood urban-renewal projects and the city`s numerous business-development programs. Her appointment comes only a few months after she moved from her job in
the city`s legal department to serve as Daley`s deputy chief of staff. Those
two moves, coupled with the apparent meteoric rise of her star within the
mayor`s inner circle, have set tongues wagging at City Hall.
It also has triggered talk in the city`s development circles. ``Just who
is Valerie Jarrett and why did she get this job?`` people are asking.
In this newly merged post, Jarrett replaces Joseph James, the city`s
economic development commissioner who is resigning effective Jan. 1, and
former planning commissioner David Mosena, who has been promoted to mayoral
chief of staff.
The merger is part of what Daley called ``sweeping changes`` at City
Hall aimed at making government more efficient and cutting costs. It is hoped that merging the economic development and planning departments will help lure new business and retain existing ones.
Some developers regard Jarrett as a ``deal buster,`` said Ted Wysocki,
executive director of CANDO, the Chicago Association of Neighborhood
Development Organizations. That image, he said, stems from Jarrett `s days in
the corporation counsel`s office, where she was the person who often gave the final OK on city real estate deals. ``Some of my colleagues who have dealt
with her said there were some deals that ran into problems when the
corporation counsel got involved,`` Wysocki said.
Personally, Wysocki said, he thinks Jarrett could be good for
``I was pleased, too, that somebody with access to the mayor was going to be given the job. I was never sure that Commissioner James had been given the authority to do what he thought needed to be done,`` Wysocki said.
Many people are taking a wait-and-see stance on Jarrett `s appointment,
said Wim Wiewel, director of the Center for Urban Economic Development at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
``People are encouraged by her orientation toward neighborhood-based
planning. But there`s also skepticism among many manufacturers and
neighborhood groups about how much of this will really be reflected in
concrete programs and policies,`` Wiewel said.
Jarrett said she is not surprised by her selection to the new post, and
she`s confident in her ability to do the job. ``And I believe I`ve got the
mayor`s confidence,`` Jarrett said. She got to know the mayor through her
association with David Mosena, she added.
What seems to surprise Jarrett more is that she`s working at City Hall at all.
That wasn`t the path Jarrett set for herself when she returned to Chicago in 1981, having just graduated from the University of Michigan Law School.
Her objective then was private practice. She worked at Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal for six years. She specialized in real estate law, working with
commercial lenders on a variety of construction projects, ranging from
shopping centers and hotels to office buildings. She also worked on a number
of land-acquisition deals.
She came to City Hall in 1987 at the behest of Judson Miner, then
corporation counsel to Mayor Harold Washington.
``Miner had this program called Lend-A-Lawyer, which was aimed at getting attorneys from the private sector to come and work with the city`s legal staff on a temporary basis, maybe for as long as six months,`` Jarrett said.
The request came as she was rethinking her life and her career, said
Jarrett , who had recently gone through a divorce.
Jarrett , who has a daughter, Laura, 6, continues to use her former
married name. She is the ex-daughter-in-law of Vernon Jarrett , the Chicago
She also had recently taken part in a leadership seminar sponsored by
Chicago United, a business-leadership group in which participants spent many
hours talking about the city`s future.
The seminar, she said, got her to thinking about her future.
``After having gone through that program, I realized that at the end of
the day I wanted to feel a little bit better about how I had spent the day.
... I wanted to know that I was doing something worthwhile.``
Jarrett said City Hall work was more interesting and challenging than
``I found I was having the time of my life. First of all, if you grow up
in the city you know the neighborhoods, and so it`s something to feel like
you`ve made a difference.``
Her expertise in real estate law prepared her for the projects she
encountered while working in the corporation counsel`s office. She cites the
Chinatown redevelopment deal-a mix of townhouses and stores on what was
railroad land north of Cermak Road-as one of the most complicated financing
packages she`s worked on.
That Jarrett should feel this need to ``make a difference`` is
She was born into a family for which ``making a difference`` was not
just creed, it was an expectation.
Her father is Dr. James R. Bowman , an internationally known specialist
in hematology and pathology who has served on the faculty of the University of Chicago Medical School. Her mother, Barbara, an expert in early childhood
development, is director of graduate studies at the Erikson Institute for
Her father`s research took the family around the world. She was born in
Shirazz, Iran, in 1955.
Dr. Bowman was one of a number of American professionals who answered the call of the then Shah of Iran to assist in modernizing his country. Her
parents went to Iran so her father could direct the building of a village
hospital. Jarrett was 5 years old when her family returned to Chicago and
their Hyde Park home.
Jarrett attended the University of Chicago Lab School. She finished high
school at a coed prep school in New England, later enrolling at Stanford
The person who seems to have influenced Jarrett the most is someone she didn`t know: her grandfather, Robert R. Taylor- for whom the South Side
public-housing complex is named. He died in 1957 at age 56 of a heart attact. He was Jarrett `s mother`s father.
``That`s where I get my inspiration,`` said Jarrett .
At first hearing, especially for someone familiar with this particular
housing complex, the statement seems rather odd.
In many circles the words ``Robert Taylor Homes`` and ``public housing`` carry a stigma representing what many consider the worst of urban life:
poverty, crime and related despair.
Jarrett is not inspired by what the Robert Taylor housing complex has
come to symbolize, but what her grandfather envisioned it to be.
Taylor was not pleased with the design of the high-rise housing complex
that would later bear his name.
In the obituary that appeared in the Chicago Tribune on March 1, 1957,
Taylor was described as the ``Negro civic leader and nationally known advocate of better housing in Negro communities.``
As was his father before him, Taylor was an architect. His father was the first black person in America to receive a degree from the Massachussetts
Institute of Technology. He later served as vice president of Tuskegee
In 1929, philanthropist Julius Rosenwald hired Taylor to design the
Michigan Avenue Garden Apartments. Located at 47th and Michigan and commonly
known as the Rosenwald Building, it was Chicago`s first large-scale housing
project for black tenants. It was also one of the nation`s first housing
projects aimed at middle-income families.
Taylor`s expertise on moderate-income housing was sought by Presidents
Hoover and Roosevelt. He also served as chairman of the Chicago Housing
Authority from 1939 to 1950. He was an officer of the black-owned Illinois
Federal Savings and Loan Association, still operating on the South Side.
Taylor is said to have helped provide housing for as many as 50,000 of
the city`s black families and helping more than 7,000 others buy their own
Jarrett has her own vision for the city.
``My objective is to go out, city-wide, and establish concrete plans in
all our neighborhoods. It sounds simple but it takes cooperation. I`m
interested in building bridges, to raise sensitivity in other units of
government about how their plans affect one another.`` And, she added, she`d
like to see her office improve its communication and work with neighborhood
The city is committed to attracting new business, but Jarrett said it`s
also clear it needs to work harder at keeping businesses.
``I hear two concerns both from business and neighborhood groups,`` she
said. ``People want to know that they`re going to be a part of the process
that shapes the city`s future. People are saying they want to be a part of the forum.``
Just how much authority will Jarrett have to carry out her vision?
``It depends ... `` she said, not quite finishing that response. Instead, she said, ``The mayor cares a lot about planning. And he`s given me the
mandate to `Go get some things done.` I think he has confidence in my
To fulfill that charge, she added, means, ``We`re going to have to take
some risks, we`re going to have to experiment.``
Chicago Sun-Times - October 15, 1992
Author: Michael Sneed
Tipsville . . .
Dateline: City Hall - Watch for City Planning Commissioner Valerie Jarrett to hire Michelle Robinson- Obama , an assistant to Mayor Daley’s former chief of staff, Dave Mosena, as her new point person responsible for monitoring the city’s major business expansion and retention efforts.
Fundraising has set record, Obama says - $4 million raked in in the last quarter
Chicago Tribune (IL) - July 7, 2004
Author: David Mendell, Tribune staff reporter. Tribune staff reporter Liam Ford contributed to this report.
Obama ‘s financial success is due in large part to his image as a rising star among national Democrats. He has been profiled in national magazines, and his candidacy has been buoyed by liberal newspaper columnists, who have broadly praised Obama ‘s credentials, oratorical skills and personal charm.
That glowing media coverage has created a buzz around Obama ‘s candidacy among big-name donors and Democratic politicians. Rushing to back Obama have been billionaire investor George Soros and U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.). Both hosted Obama fund-raisers in their homes.
Obama riding momentum
Chicago Sun-Times (IL) - October 19, 2006
Author: Lynn Sweet, The Chicago Sun-Times
Monday night, on the eve of his book tour, Sen. Barack Obama was feted by some of his closest friends and supporters.
Just a few blocks from his own house, the reception was at the Kenwood home of Barbara and Jim Bowman , the parents of Valerie Jarrett , who until recently was the treasurer of HOPEFUND, Obama’s national political action committee.
The guests — people who were there at the beginning of his 2004 Senate bid and some of his best donors, even comedian Bernie Mack — were given copies of The Audacity of Hope that Obama already autographed.
The invitation was sent out on behalf of Obama 2010, the war chest for Obama’s Senate re-election campaign — presuming, that is, if he is not elected president or vice president in 2008, a prospect that was the buzz at the party and increasingly in political circles.
The torrent of publicity surrounding the publication of Obama’s second book has triggered even more speculation about Obama’s White House ambitions. A smart salesman, Obama has no reason in the world to dampen the book-selling hype.
A friend in Seattle called me Tuesday to report that the line was two blocks long for tickets for Obama’s book tour visit there next week. There are no tickets left for Obama’s Friday appearance at the Kennedy Library in Boston, where he will be interviewed by New York Times columnist Bob Herbert.
Obama, after a workout at the East Bank Club on Tuesday, filled the pews for a book chat at the Methodist church in the Loop, the last of three public stops on Day One of the book launch.
Oprah on Wednesday. Larry King tonight. Tim Russert on Sunday.
After the November election, Obama will become more serious about looking at 2008.
After 2000 Loss, Obama Built Donor Network From Roots Up
New York Times, The (NY) - April 3, 2007
Author: CHRISTOPHER DREW and MIKE McINTIRE
Major contributors to Barack Obama ‘s 2004 Senate primary campaign included black professionals, friends from Harvard and wealthy Chicago families.
Black business community
John W. Rogers Jr. — Ariel Capital Management: $11,000
Quintin E. Primo III and wife — Capri Capital partners: $18,000
Louis A. Holland, wife and partners — Holland Capital Management: $35,000
Chicago’s top business families
Members of the Crown family Holds a major stake in General Dynamics: $112,500
Members of the Pritzker family Founded Hyatt Hotel chain: $40,000
Major Democratic donors
George Soros and family New York financier: $60,000
Executives at Tejas Inc. Texas-based securities firm: $56,000
Oprah ‘s Obama bash ‘magical’ - 2 ultra-elite parties follow the main fund-raising event
Chicago Sun-Times (IL) - September 10, 2007
Author: Lynn Sweet, The Chicago Sun-Times
If the opulent Oprah Winfrey reception and concert fund-raiser for White House hopeful Barack Obama weren’t enough, for a chosen few hundred elite donors there were two die-to-go-to after-parties.
A masseuse in a Zen garden. A big pool. Fantastic desserts. P.I.N.K. Vodka.
That’s the report from one Obama donor who, after attending the extravagant fest at Winfrey’s estate in Montecito, drove over to 936 Hot Springs Road in the same community just south of this coastal city for a party co-hosted by actor Hill Harper.
Most of the VIPs from the entertainment industry and Obama’s best donors and bundlers — about 200 — remained at Winfrey’s estate for a long night of eating under a huge tent with chandeliers.
“It was a magical night that I will never forget,” said Habitat Co. honcho Valerie Jarrett , a charter member of Obama’s kitchen Cabinet. “ Oprah created a spirit and enthusiasm and pure unfettered support for Barack’s candidacy that connected with everyone. Everyone felt they were a part of this campaign.”
The guests were served at two long tables. Winfrey beau Stedman Graham headed one table, Michelle Obama another, with Obama somewhere in the middle. Among those present from Chicago, besides Jarrett , were Johnson Publishing president and CEO Linda Johnson Rice and her husband, Mel Farr; Penny Pritzker, Obama’s national finance chairman, and Obama friend and campaign treasurer Marty Nesbitt and wife Anita Blanchard.
Oprah backs Obama, but will she vote for him? - Talk show queen hasn’t voted in a presidential primary since at least 1988, but Illinois senator would love to see her make political ads for the first time
Chicago Sun-Times (IL) - September 7, 2007
Author: Lynn Sweet, The Chicago Sun-Times
There is a large contingent from Chicago coming out, led by Penny Pritzker, the real estate mogul who is Obama’s national finance chief. Habitat Co. honcho Valerie Jarrett , a charter member of Obama’s kitchen Cabinet and a close friend, will be there, as well as Obama pal Marty Nesbitt and his wife, Anita Blanchard, who traveled to Kenya with Obama last year. Mayor Daley’s daughter Nora Daley Conroy and her husband, Sean, will be strolling on the Winfrey acreage, as well as former Illinois Lottery chief Desiree Rogers; Ariel Capital Management founder and Illinois Obama finance co-chairman John Rogers and Mellody Hobson, Ariel’s president, who moonlights as an ABC News contributing editor, and Johnathan Rodgers, the president of TV One, and his wife, Royal.
great info... I’ve come across Valerie Jenrette before