Obama's childhood of privilege, not hardship

For one, he never lived in an African-American neighborhood, impoverished or not.

First Lady Michelle Obama told the Democratic National Convention said that she and Barack didn't have much in the "way of money or material possessions."

It's a narrative that the president has pressed during his re-election campaign, asserting that he, rather than Republican challenger Mitt Romney, is connected to the common man, regular guy and the middle class.

It is a claim the president has repeated in his books, on the speech-making circuit and in countless media interviews. By his account, he grew up in a broken home with a single mom, struggled for years as a child in an impoverished Third World country and then was raised by his grandparents in difficult circumstances.

Read here about his childhood, gleaned from friends and others who knew him then, and you get a different idea. Obama apparently is one who doesn't mind exaggerating. Thankfully, he never claimed that he learned to read by candlelight while huddling close to the log cabin fireplace for warmth.

But he did have a chance to live in an impoverished black neighborhood during his famous stint as a community organizer (as many organizers did) but he chose not to. As the Washington Examiner reported:

Tellingly, Obama has never lived in a black neighborhood. Maraniss reported in his book that when leftist activist Jerry Kellman interviewed Obama for a community organizing job in Chicago, he asked Obama how he felt about living and working in the black community for the first time in his life.

Obama accepted the job but chose not to live among those he would be organizing. Instead, he commuted 90 minutes each way daily from his apartment in Chicago's famous Hyde Park to the Altgeld Gardens housing project where he worked.

It was an early instance of Obama presenting himself one way while acting in quite a different way.

And not the last.




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  • Didn't Jane Byrne live in Cabrini Green for a month once?

  • I think she and her husband Jay McMullen were in it for almost a year. A lot of people thought they were showboating, but for a year, the residents of Cabrini Green had a better life. Far be it from Obama to have live with the people that he was trying to organize.

  • Mr. Bryne,

    The confusion you are arousing in comparing Obama's childhood with his story of success is a great injustice to your readers.

    More to the point, your 'blog' lends credence to the belief that blogs are the step-child of yellow journalism.

  • You are a sham. Any fool can Google Hyde Park to Altgeld Gardens. It's 12 minutes not 90 as you state in your piece. What else is suspect about your "Facts"?

  • Excuse me. It's more like 25 minutes, but that's a far cry from 90 so my point stands. What else is wrong in your hit piece?

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