A new biography released called Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama exposes much of the former president’s history that many in the public did not know about.
Written by Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David J. Garrow, the daring biography ventures into areas of Barack Obama’s private life and personal beliefs that some would be surprised to find out about. Most notably, his apparent refusal to condemn anti-Semitism in Chicago allegedly led to his then-girlfriend, Sheila Miyoshi Jager, breaking off the relationship for his lack of moral courage. (via Politico)
Obama’s public image has been one that was largely built upon constant tweaking by allies in the media. Even in the last year of his presidency, the media showed much of the same gentle-handed portrayal toward him that was so characteristic of the 2008 campaign. We are told that somehow there was something different about Obama, with many of Obama’s admirers hoping to see a restoration of the shining vision of him as an almost quasi-messianic figure of the political world.
Unfortunately for them, this biography does not reinforce any of that narrative. “The public image of who he is is not who he actually is,” stated Garrow.
One does have to wonder if there’s something to the claim of anti-Semitism, considering Obama’s more recent actions as president, not to mention his past connections.
As reported by The Washington Examiner, Obama’s former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, is notorious for saying bigoted things about Jews, as much as he’s tried to backpedal at times. Wright even endorsed the March to Jerusalem, an event seeking to end the “Judaization” of “occupied Jerusalem”.
Rev. Wright married Obama his wife, Michelle, and baptized their two daughters. Back during the 2008 campaign, attempting to distance himself from Wright for comments blaming the United States for 9/11, Obama’s spokesperson said that while Obama “deeply disagrees” with Wright on some things, he still holds “affection for Rev. Wright and appreciation for the good works he has done” (via ABC News).
When Obama became president of the United States, we witnessed a seismic shift in foreign policy from the Bush years. Whereas President Bush was an adamant supporter of Israel and aggressive about confronting radical Islamic terrorism and the threat posed by a nuclear Iran, Obama appeared to signal that he didn’t believe such an approach was worthwhile.
Obama’s notorious deal with Iran stands out the strongest. It was widely panned by pro-Israel politicians, such as U.S. Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR). “It [is] bad precedent to allow a nuclear arms control agreement with a sworn enemy to go into effect without even a bare majority of support,” remarked Sen. Cotton, who postulated that Obama’s support for the deal was “hubris” and about upholding some kind of “legacy” — not about national security.
Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu panned the Iran deal as well, saying that Israel’s concern was that “the militant, Islamic state of Iran, is going to receive a sure path to nuclear weapons. Many of the restrictions that were supposed to prevent it from getting there will be lifted, and in addition, Iran will get a jackpot — a cash bonanza — of hundreds of billions of dollars, which will enable it to continue to pursue its aggression and terror in the region and in the world. This is a bad mistake of historic proportions” (via The New York Times).
While this doesn’t come close to addressing every issue, it would seem that Sheila Miyoshi Jager’s claim may not be so far-fetched after all. She was put off by Obama’s sense of “realism” — his willingness to apparently set aside his stated ideals — in order to further his political career within the system. This begs the question: Were his values for sale or did he ever really believe in anything?
In fact, Garrow’s research led him to his own conclusion about Obama: “… the vessel was hollow at its core.”
Obama has yet to comment on Garrow’s book.