Yes, Barack Obama’s dad was a polygamist. Haven’t ever heard that? Me either. EFM reader James just pointed me to this article which says his father married three women (without divorcing) and sired eight children from four different women.
In other words, Dreams from My Father does not tell the true story, according to family members. Here’s the sad tale:
Barack Obama Sr. married Kezia when he was 18 years old, but left her pregnant with their baby son four years later to go to Hawaii. Once he was enrolled in school there, he married an 18-year-old white student named Ann, to whome Barack Obama Jr. was born in August, 1961. Two years later, Barack Sr. left Ann and the baby when he was accepted to Harvard. While he claims the marriage was broken up by racism, it actually dissolved when Ann discovered the inconvenient little fact that he already had another wife. Barack Sr. returned to Kenya where he fathered two more children by Kezia, then married American-born teacher Ruth. (He met her at Harvard while still legally married to his first two wives.)
Confused yet? This wouldn’t even fit into a typical Jerry Springer episode–he still fathered two more children with Kezia during his marriage to Ruth.
Tragically, his alcoholism caused him to lose both his legs during a drunk driving accident. But he still managed to sire another son–his eighth, if you’ve lost count–by another woman, whom he planned to marry. However, he never had a chance to walk down the aisle again, because he died in another drunken crash when Obama was 21.
Barack’s cousin had this to say about his dad:
“You have to remember that his father was an African and in Africa, polygamy is part of life.
Do AP writers Glen Johnson and Jennifer Dobner even know that Barack Obama’s dad was a polygamist? Their 34-paragraph newspaper article (subtly titled “Polygamy A Prominent Feature In Romney’s Family Tree“) reported on Gov. Romney’s great-great grandfather’s polygamy, which didn’t even mention that any other candidates might have issues with polygamy. Of course, the media hopes evangelicals are easily scared, easily manipulated, and easily confused–the article was a thinly-veiled attempted to sow doubt among social conservatives about Gov. Romney’s character and his religion.
I should say I don’t hold Barack morally responsible for the polygamy of his father. However, I do hold the AP responsible for its selective reporting and obvious bias.
UPDATE: I’ve tried to verify this story, and it seems to check out. Here is a story on the ACLU website.
Interestingly, if you enter “Mitt Romney” and “polygamy,” into Google News, you get 222 news articles. “Barack Obama” and “polygamy” yields fourteen.