Jacqueline Kennedy, so far as I know, never made a controversial public statement while she was First Lady, or while JFK was campaigning for the office. If JFK had been a stealth candidate, there would have been no way to estimate his true views by his wife's comments.
Barack Obama's core beliefs are, by comparison to JFK's, secret. His message bodyguards are attempting to make his true views off-limits even to speculation. Themes of unity and change are to supplant any untidy specifics of agenda and implementation.
Recalcitrant analysts are therefore left to extrapolate Obama's views from the views of those with whom he has chosen to keep company: Jeremiah Wright Jr., Al Sharpton, Bernie Sanders, Paul Simon and, of course, Michelle Robinson Obama.
Here is Ronald Kessler's recent effort at doing so.
The Real Barack Obama
by Ronald Kessler
Michelle Obama’s comment that, for the first time in her adult life, she feels proud of America helps crystallize who Barack Obama is.
To be sure, the wife of a candidate is perfectly free to have views that are distinct from her husband’s. But on a matter that is so fundamental to one’s being as love of country, it is difficult to imagine that Michelle Obama would publicly twice make such a statement suggesting disdain for America unless she felt it comported with her husband’s views.
Equally important, her statement aligns perfectly with the hate-America views of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Barack Obama’s minister, friend, and sounding board for more than two decades. On the Sunday following 9/11, Wright characterized the terrorist attacks as a consequence of violent American policies. Four years later, Wright suggested that the attacks were retribution for America’s racism.
“In the 21st century, white America got a wake-up call after 9/11/01,” Wright wrote in his church magazine Trumpet. “White America and the Western world came to realize that people of color had not gone away, faded into the woodwork or just ‘disappeared’ as the Great White West kept on its merry way of ignoring black concerns.”
Wright has been a key supporter of Louis Farrakhan, and in December, honored the Nation of Islam leader for lifetime achievement, saying he “truly epitomize[s] greatness.” Farrakhan has repeatedly made hate-filled statements targeting Jews, whites, America, and homosexuals.
Those who think two of the closest people to Obama could publicly make anti-America statements unless Obama himself felt that way, are fooling themselves. To date, Obama has proven himself to be nothing more than a great orator, rendering the statements of those around him even more important in illuminating his true character and agenda.
During his Senate career, he skipped 17 percent of the votes and sponsored only one bill that became law. That bill was to promote “relief, security, and democracy in the Democratic Republic of Congo.”
Bereft of official accomplishments, Obama has distinguished himself mainly by being against measures that protect American security, such as finishing the mission in Iraq. If we were to leave Iraq quickly, as Obama vows he would do, it would become a launch pad for al-Qaida attacks on the U.S.
Obama avoided voting on extending the Protect America Act, thus putting America at risk when immediate interception of terrorist communications is required. Last August, Obama voted against a measure that would have allowed the U.S. to continue to monitor overseas conversations of terrorists like Osama bin Laden without first obtaining a warrant. If his radical vote had prevailed, bin Laden would have been given the same rights as Americans.
To this day, Obama has not distanced himself from most of Rev. Wright’s comments.
In a statement supposedly issued to address the matter, Obama ignored the point that his minister and friend had spoken adoringly of Farrakhan and that Wright’s church was behind the award to the Nation of Islam leader. Instead, as outlined in a Jan. 17 Newsmax article, he disingenuously claimed he thought the magazine bestowed the award on Farrakhan for his efforts to rehabilitate ex-prisoners.
Neither Wright’s encomiums about Farrakhan nor the Trumpet article mentions ex-prisoners.
Similarly, after John McCain’s wife Cindy responded to Michelle Obama’s remarks by telling a Wisconsin rally, “I have, and always will be, proud of my country,” Barack Obama told a radio interviewer that his wife did not say what people think she said. He then proceeded to rewrite her comments, claiming that she had meant she was encouraged by the “large numbers of people” who have gotten involved in the political process. Michelle Obama then made a similar revision of her remarks.
In her speech in Milwaukee, Michelle Obama said flatly, “For the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country, and not just because Barack has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change.”
And what has been wrong with America up to now? That it gave Michelle the opportunity to attend Princeton and Harvard Law School? That it gave Barack Obama the chance to attend Harvard and Harvard Law School and become a U.S. senator making more than $1 million a year from book royalties?
Was it that America stopped Nazi Germany from continuing to murder millions of Jews? That America has provided Africa and other countries with $15 billion to combat the spread of AIDS/HIV and that another $30 billion is on the way? That 46 percent of all Americans classified by the Census Bureau as poor own their own homes, 76 percent of them have air conditioning, and 75 percent of them have at least one car? Or that America allows us to express our views freely without fear of being put in jail, as is the case in Russia?
A lawyer, Michelle Obama is perfectly capable of expressing herself precisely. In fact, she spoke from a written speech.
Those who do not want to believe she meant what she said — and that Barack Obama could not be so close to Rev. Wright if he did not himself believe in much of what he has said — are in denial.
The real Barack Obama is starting to emerge, and for those of us who are grateful to America for everything it represents, it is not a pretty sight.
Ronald Kessler is chief Washington correspondent of Newsmax.com.