Dreams from Governor Abercrombie

Ben Smith of Buzzfeed, when reviewing David Maraniss' new book Barack Obama: The Story, "counted 38 instances in which the biographer convincingly disputes significant elements of Obama's own story of his life and his family history."

The corrected factual record includes the following:

  1. Ann Dunham, her child, and Obama Sr. never lived together as a family.
  2. Ann and child left Obama Sr. in late August 1961 for Seattle, almost a year before Obama Sr. left for Harvard in June of 1962.
  3. Obama Sr. didn't get his scholarship until May of 1962.
  4. Ann and the baby returned to Hawaii only after Obama Sr. left Hawaii for good.
  5. There was never a scholarship choice for Obama Sr. between the New School in New York and Harvard in Massachusetts.

This is bad news for Neil Abercrombie, governor of Hawaii.

He has said too many things on the record that don't jibe with the facts as we now know them.  Yet in The Story, Maraniss relies heavily on this totally unreliable witness.  As Jack Cashill so insightfully noted, "[w]ithout Abercrombie, there is no contemporary witness to any kind of relationship [between Ann and Obama Sr.]"

Below are some of the whoppers Governor Abercrombie has told:

I knew Senator Obama's mother and father; I went to school with them. I was best friends in Hawaii with his dad.  I've known him since he was a little boy and I know how he was raised.

Abercrombie claims to have been Obama Sr.'s "best friend" in Hawaii.  Being a "best friend," Abercrombie would have had more than a passing familiarity with Obama Sr.'s life and friends.  This is not the case.  There is no evidence, for example, that he knew any of the East-West Center students who have photographic evidence that Obama Sr. was at their gatherings.

Abercrombie privately feared that the relationship would be short lived.  Obama was one of the most ambitious, self-focused men he had ever met.  After Obama was accepted to study at Harvard, Stanley Ann disappeared from the University of Hawaii student gatherings, but she did not accompany her husband to Harvard.  Abercrombie said he rarely saw her after that.

We now know that Obama Sr. was accepted at Harvard in May of 1962 through the help of Elizabeth Mooney Kirk.  We also know that Ann and child left Hawaii in late August of 1961.  Abercrombie is telling us that he saw Ann at student gatherings (dubbed by Maraniss the "snack bar crowd") until May of 1962.  How could a "best friend" not know that Ann was in Seattle, let alone see her at gatherings it was impossible for her to attend?

I know he loved Ann...but I think he didn't want the impediment of being responsible for a family.  He expected great things of himself and he was going off to achieve them.

The "impediment of being responsible for a family" appears to have been resolved when Ann emerged in Seattle, three weeks after supposedly giving birth.  However, according to Abercrombie, the source of the account that follows, grandfather Stan Dunham had no idea Ann had gone to Seattle.

Stanley was disappointed that Barack had left his daughter, but not too disappointed. ... He figured that the marriage was going to fail sooner or later and so it might as well not go on so long that it would hurt Little Barry, as he always called him.  If he was going to play the father figure in the boy's life, he felt, he might as well start. (The Bridge, David Remnick, pg. 56)

Abercrombie describes Stanley as being disappointed that Obama left his daughter, when the truth is that Ann left Obama Sr.  Also, Abercrombie said Stanley was ready, willing, and able "to play the father figure" to a boy who at the time was 2500 miles away.

Maybe I'm the only one in the country that could look you right in the eye right now and tell you, "I was here when that baby was born."

TUCHMAN: You saw him when he was an infant?

ABERCROMBIE: Oh sure, of course.

Mike Evans: Do you remember him growing up?

Abercrombie: No, I remember him as a little boy, with his grandfather.

That Abercrombie lied is beyond any shadow of a doubt, but unless he's totally addled, he had to know that he was lying.

The question then arises: why was he lying?

The most logical answer is that Abercrombie has known a secret for a very long time -- long before any of us did.  The secret that Abercrombie knows is that the official Obama nativity story is bunk, and he lied to protect it.  The story of the improbable love between a goat-herder from Kenya and girl from Kansas was a large part of what got Obama elected in 2008.  At that time, Abercrombie was a congressional representative from Hawaii.  Was the governorship a reward for a job well done?

As Ricky Ricardo might say; "Governor, you've got some 'splainin' to do."

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