No "mystery" in how the Times OnLine found Obama's aunt

Ethel C. Fenig
In a bit of self puffery--justified in this instance--the British media, the Times Online, uncovered the story of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's aunt illegally still living in the US despite being served a deportation order several years ago, collecting welfare in Boston but somehow managing to contribute, illegally, $260 to her nephew's campaign. 
How did the Brits do this when their American media counterparts, not to mention American government officials, couldn't find the lady?  What exotic methods were available to them and not the Americans?  Common sense it seems. 

In fact, the story came from a book that has been read by millions, including just about everyone connected to the Obama campaign.

Dreams From My Father
was first published in 1995, and the story of how Mr Obama returned to Kenya in 1988 to trace his roots has become the cornerstone of his political biography. Yet the US media appears to have overlooked the passage indicating that at least one relative of Mr Obama’s had moved to America and might still be there. 

Two thirds of the way through the book Mr Obama’s half-sister talked about Africans who had emigrated to the West and were never heard of again, “like our Uncle Omar, in Boston . . . They’ve been lost, you see”.


Elementary my dear Watson, my dear American government, my dear American media.  After reading a few passages in the book--a legal search of public records, some phone calls and a visit to Obama's aunt's public housing project and there she was--hiding in plain sight.  But she wasn't exactly hiding when she applied for--and received--welfare and interacted with her neighbors.


 As the reporters sum up:


Whatever the Democrat campaign may imply, there is nothing suspicious about the story or its timing. The only mystery, perhaps, is how so many people read Mr Obama’s book in the US without wondering what might have happened to the mysterious relative, lost in America.


No mystery.  For many, Senator Obama's perfection was a given, the default position; to wonder about any flaws in Senator Obama's carefully crafted story seemed to indicate major defects with the wonderer; racism they hinted.  So it took some strangers from a strange land to uncover the relatively minor truth.  What else will they find?  And will it be too late to matter?

In a bit of self puffery--justified in this instance--the British media, the Times Online, uncovered the story of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's aunt illegally still living in the US despite being served a deportation order several years ago, collecting welfare in Boston but somehow managing to contribute, illegally, $260 to her nephew's campaign. 
How did the Brits do this when their American media counterparts, not to mention American government officials, couldn't find the lady?  What exotic methods were available to them and not the Americans?  Common sense it seems. 

In fact, the story came from a book that has been read by millions, including just about everyone connected to the Obama campaign.

Dreams From My Father
was first published in 1995, and the story of how Mr Obama returned to Kenya in 1988 to trace his roots has become the cornerstone of his political biography. Yet the US media appears to have overlooked the passage indicating that at least one relative of Mr Obama’s had moved to America and might still be there. 

Two thirds of the way through the book Mr Obama’s half-sister talked about Africans who had emigrated to the West and were never heard of again, “like our Uncle Omar, in Boston . . . They’ve been lost, you see”.


Elementary my dear Watson, my dear American government, my dear American media.  After reading a few passages in the book--a legal search of public records, some phone calls and a visit to Obama's aunt's public housing project and there she was--hiding in plain sight.  But she wasn't exactly hiding when she applied for--and received--welfare and interacted with her neighbors.


 As the reporters sum up:


Whatever the Democrat campaign may imply, there is nothing suspicious about the story or its timing. The only mystery, perhaps, is how so many people read Mr Obama’s book in the US without wondering what might have happened to the mysterious relative, lost in America.


No mystery.  For many, Senator Obama's perfection was a given, the default position; to wonder about any flaws in Senator Obama's carefully crafted story seemed to indicate major defects with the wonderer; racism they hinted.  So it took some strangers from a strange land to uncover the relatively minor truth.  What else will they find?  And will it be too late to matter?