Did baby Barack Obama live with Ann Dunham in Seattle?
Only "mere scraps of data documented" Barack Obama's mother's "days in Seattle," writes Obama biographer David Maraniss in his 2012 Barack Obama: The Story. Incidentally, Maraniss was telling the truth: Ann's "days in Seattle" weren't mentioned in Dreams from my Father and were only vaguely implied in Maraniss's lengthy 2008 article. And it appears that the only "scraps" of evidence of Obama's mother's time in Seattle during 1961-1962 was a listing in a Seattle Polk directory and a University of Washington (UW) transcript. And it appears that the only "mere scraps" of evidence of baby Barack's time in Seattle are a few recollections from some of Ann's high school classmates and a lone babysitter.
In any event, according to the oft-massaged Obama nativity story, we are required to believe that sometime in August 1961, Ann packed up and left Hawaii for Seattle – requiring a six-hour flight with a newborn baby and luggage in tow. While neither "Ann Dunham" nor "Anna Obama" appeared in UW's 1961 or 1962 Tyee yearbooks, the 1961-1962 Seattle Polk directory does show Ann apparently changing her name from "Ann S Obama" in the 1961-1962 Honolulu Polk directory to "Mrs Anna Obama" and residing at 516 13th Ave. E on Seattle's Capitol Hill.
While it is unclear when Ann specifically moved into the 13th Ave. address, by extrapolating from library date stamps of earlier Seattle Polk directories, it is estimated that names for the 1961-1962 Seattle Polk directory were collected in late 1961 or early in 1962. Therefore, despite the noteworthy overlap in the 1961-1962 Honolulu and Seattle Polk directories, it does appear that Ann was at least in Seattle in late 1961.
But was baby Barack living with Ann at this time? As mentioned, one of the "mere scraps" of evidence of baby Barack being in Seattle with his mother during her apparent first year at UW appears to be "recollections" from a few of Ann's high school "friends." For instance, in Janny Scott's A Singular Woman, John Hunt vaguely recalls having "seen" Ann "once" in the "spring" of 1962 "with her baby," and in Maraniss's 2012 book, Maxine Hanson recalls that sometime shortly after Ann's 1961 Seattle return, Maxine was "invited" by Ann "to come over" to an anonymous "family friend's house," where the two "sat in the sunshine and talked for an hour, mostly about the baby, her hapa boy."
Yet confusion abounds among Obama's biographers over what should be an innocuous visit of Ann's to high school classmate Susan Botkin's "mother's house" – shortly after Ann's apparent 1961 Seattle return.
1. Two Obama biography articles from 2008 specifically state that Ann's visit took place in 1961 and imply that Ann was only visiting Seattle. First, in a Jonathan Martin article, Susan recalls a "brief visit in 1961," where "Dunham was excited about her husband's plans to return to Kenya." Second, in a Rick Montgomery article, Susan recalls that Ann "passed through Mercer Island, in 1961, with her month-old son" with Susan claiming she "changed Barry's diaper" and remembered Ann "was so proud of her baby, so relaxed, so self-possessed – excited about the future."
Similarly, Maraniss's 2008 article claims that three of Ann's aforementioned high school classmates (Susan Botkin, Maxine Box, and John W. Hunt) "all remember Ann showing up in Seattle late that summer" in 1961 "with little Barry." In Susan's case, she specifically remembered Ann stopping by her mother's house one "afternoon," where Ann sat in her "mother's living room, drinking iced tea and eating sugar cookies." Susan notably added that Ann and baby Barack were "leaving the next day to fly on to Boston" to join Obama Sr. (Curiously, in Sally Jacobs's The Other Barack, Susan instead remembered "sitting with Dunham and her three-week-old baby on her mother's porch in the hot August sun sipping lemonade.")
But since, by all accounts, Obama Sr. began graduate school in Boston in 1962, the "brief visit" could have occurred only in 1962. Hence, the recollections of Susan and her high school classmates contain a paradox – namely Ann's Seattle visit was "in 1961," when Ann's visit could have been only in 1962.
2. Obama biographer David Remnick's 2010 book The Bridge haphazardly implies that Ann and her "baby" went to "Cambridge briefly to visit her husband" in 1962 and that "the trip was a failure and she returned to Hawaii." Then, a couple of paragraphs later, blissfully unaware of what he just wrote, Remnick states that Ann "registered for an extension course [at UW] in the winter of 1961 and enrolled as a regular student in the spring of 1962."
Hence, unless Ann visited Cambridge in 1962 after her first year at UW and before she re-enrolled at the University of Hawaii (UH) sometime in 1963, then Remnick's version similarly contains a paradox – namely, Ann's visit to Cambridge took place in 1962, and yet the Seattle/Cambridge visit was before she enrolled at UW in Seattle in 1961.
3. In Maraniss's 2012 book, for no apparent reason, the narrative is massaged to where Ann was not passing through Seattle in 1961 on her way to Boston with baby Barack; rather, she only "made it sound" as if she was "just passing through town," and that Susan's memory of Ann "following her husband to Harvard" "may have" been from the spring of 1962.
Anyhow, whenever and however Ann's mysterious visit to Susan's mother's house took place, Maraniss's 2012 book claims that "Ann had neither a car nor a driver's license" and that she "would never learn to drive in her life." However, since Ann's Seattle apartment on 13th Ave. E was over three miles from the UW campus, how did she make the six-mile round trip to and from UW? While Remnick's The Bridge claims that Ann "pushed Barack around the streets of Seattle in a stroller," it is safe to assume that she made the six-mile round trip (which contains a grueling one-mile uphill/downhill stretch) pushing baby Barack in a "stroller" exactly zero times.
So did Ann take a bus to UW with her hapa-Kenyan baby and drop him off in the school's daycare? Does anyone from UW's daycare recall changing baby Barack's diaper?
However Ann made her way to UW, apparently, sometime in the spring of 1962, while taking a full schedule, receiving good grades, and taking a bus (or "strolling") with baby Barack six miles to and from UW during Seattle's wet winter months, Ann (now "Mrs. Anna Obama") decided to seek daycare help from a neighbor, Mary Toutonghi.
Toutonghi, baby Barack's apparent lone babysitter, claimed that she babysat the little hapa-Kenyan "a few times a week, for about three hours at a time" for a period of "two months," while Ann was "attending night classes a few days a week" at UW. And in 2009, Mary recalled (emphases added): “My daughter was 18 months old and she just had her 50th birthday this year...So, that would make the [babysitting] time around February and March 1962...Ann Dunham and the baby moved in while we were there...I can’t remember when she moved in, but the baby was seven months old.”
Since Mary's statement was in 2009, her fifty-year-old daughter was born in 1959 (July 1959 has been confirmed). Then, since Mary's daughter was born in July 1959, and Mary's daughter was "18 months old" when Mary babysat Barack, Mary's babysitting would have had to occur in early 1961. Yet since Mary specifically states that baby Barack was "seven months old," and baby Barack was "seven months old" in early 1962, Mary's statement contains a paradox.
The sole purpose of Susan's, Mary's, and others' recollections was to give credence to the fact that baby Barack was in Seattle with Ann during her first year at UW, and those recollections contain paradoxes. Therefore, until proven otherwise, it must be concluded that baby Barack did not, in fact, return with Ann to Seattle in August 1961.
And if baby Barack didn't return with Ann Dunham to Seattle in August 1961, then it can be reasonably concluded that Ann is not baby Barack Obama's mother. But thanks to Obama's "biographers" and Obama's sycophantic media, whether or not baby Barack truly lived with his mother Ann Dunham in Seattle will likely never be known.