The Young Barack Obama Story: High School & College Years
You will like the new, in-depth biography written by David Maraniss, even if you hate the man now. Maraniss was not at all satisfied with the two books Obama had penned himself. Being a reporter and published author he investigated and questioned those who knew him back when. He had no real agenda except to tell Obama's story objectively has he had done with Clinton. The book is over 600 pages and filled with things that may or may not bother you. In a sentence, Obama comes across like many teens and college kids do, he really did not know what to do with his life. He was searching. He seldom played the race card, but he play it as to why things did not go his way. For instance, in his book, Obama claims that he did not start on his high school basketball team because he was black. When Maraniss asked this of the coach, the coach said that had nothing to do with it. Obama did not start on the team because he could not jump well enough to dunk the ball like some players. Also, Obama claims that because he was black, he could not date white girls. The truth was, he and other Asians had no problem dating white chics and did, according to former high school buddies.
Obama was a pot smoker, as in marijuana. He was part of the "Choom" gang. He was a frequent pot smoker back in high school days. According to former buddies, they smoked it all over the place in Oahu. They drover around in a VW bus they affectionately called, "the Choom Wagon" (Choom is a verb meaning to smoke pot). They would race cars up Honolulu's Mount Tantalus. Obama drove a Toyota on one occasion, high on pot, and drove off the road and rolled it. When his buddies came back down, they saw Obama standing along side the road just cracking up in laughter (weed does this). The Choom gang had a steady stash of weed supplied by a hippie named, Ray. In one of his yearbooks, Obama wrote, " Thanks Ray for all the good times". Indeed.
His college years at Occidental in L.A. or Columbia are basically any student's first time from home. Filled with excitement, hope and searching for their purpose in life and career. It seems all the pot smoking ended in college and be got serious on some political subjects. He missed his Choom buddies, yet, knew those days were long gone. He was headed in a different direction but uncertain. He was trying to find himself and fit in some sort of career road.
His first job upon finishing at Columbia was at the Business International Corp in downtown Manhattan for $18,000 a year. He was actually stuck in a single, small office buried from the execs to help write and edit a newsletter for companies doing business overseas. Obama stayed one year and left and performed the job okay. His boss indicated that , "Obama just seemed like he didn't know what to do with his life". He would eventually go to Harvard Law School in 1988.
The author confirms that Barack was born in Hawaii and that his orator skills seem to come from his father who was well known at Harvard. His grandfather has five wives (two were sisters!) He was also a child abuser. Obama's father arrived in Hawaii in 1959 and had left a wife and daughter behind. He then married an 18 yr. old white girl, Obama's mom because she was pregnant. Obama's father claimed to be divorced from his Kenyan wife, which was not true. He never told her he was married again. It was only one month after Barack was born that his mom and him left the father because he was abusive to her. Barack's dad fled Hawaii and went to Harvard, where he married and abused a woman again-this time using a knife to his new wife's throat.
One could not a better screenplay than Obama's life. The back story to President Obama's life sends a message that he never considered being president, he was just a normal guy in High School, after college, he still was searching for a goal to pursue. He had oratory and charisma that had yet been not tested or sharpened. He was not sure enough of himself. It was at Harvard that things became clearer to him in what direction he wanted to go. By this time, he was around 25 yrs. or so. Pretty much a norm for many then and now.
Of all the presidents, Obama is one of the most unlikely to become it. Clinton had decided he wanted to be president at age 9. I am sure Obama does not regret the high school memories he has and the Choom gang, even if they give embarrassment now.
Does any of this make you vote or not vote for Obama this year? For myself, not at all. He is a normal guy with some baggage and always was "working class".