DOES IT “MATTER” NOW?
by Sharon Rondeau
[Editor’s Note: The referenced university-published article contains profanity not normally found in mainstream news pieces.]
The student’s column in Columbia’s newspaper, “Columbia Daily Spectator” on page 4 is titled “Barack the Magic What?” and begins with the question, “Who the h*** knew who Barack Obama was before July 27, 2004?” referring to Obama’s keynote speech at the Democrat National Convention while he was a state senator representing the Hyde Park/South Side section of Chicago.
In his piece, author Chris Morris-Lent invoked what he saw as Americans’ expectations and perceptions of Obama while he was a presidential candidate, including excitement over his “hope and change” mantra.
In the third paragraph, Morris-Lent stated that Columbia students were often known to complain that Obama did not “plug his alma mater,” reportedly Columbia University, which comprises various colleges of specialty. Obama reportedly transferred from Occidental College in Los Angeles in 1981 after completing his freshman and sophomore years there, and his life narrative states that he completed his undergraduate studies at Columbia in the spring of 1983.
But did Obama actually attend Columbia?
In May 2010, Rev. James David Manning of ATLAH Ministries held a protest near the Columbia campus and a “trial” wherein Obama was found guilty by a citizens’ grand jury of treason and sedition for allegedly deceiving the American electorate about his background. Specifically, Manning believes that Obama “was recruited by the CIA in 1980” while attending Occidental because of his alleged fluency in Arabic. Manning further speculates that the intelligence agency played a major role in Obama’s association with Columbia.
“Obama’s cover was flawless,” Manning said in a video from February 2010. He stated that Obama was working for the CIA in Afghanistan on behalf of the Taliban against the Soviet invasion during the early 1980s, not attending Columbia University.
The video depicts Manning asking how Obama obtained acceptance into Columbia without having earned outstanding grades during his time at Occidental which are normally required of the Ivy League school.
During the “trial” held by Manning in his church in Harlem, located close to Columbia, Manning recounted that volunteers had scoured Columbia for evidence that Obama had been a student there and found none. The university appears to have made no formal statement acknowledging that Obama is an alumnus.
In May 2012, Obama gave the commencement speech at Barnard College, the women’s college at Columbia University, during which he stated, “I am a Columbia graduate,” much to the chagrin of students whose campus organizations had invited Obama to speak and received no response.
Manning theorized that Obama went to Chicago to begin his career as a “community organizer” because “no background check was needed.” Manning believes that Obama’s subsequent acquaintance with Michelle Robinson, who he later married, launched the building of a past in order for Obama to pursue politics.
Manning recounted a Fox News report which stated that approximately 400 people interviewed who attended Columbia during the years Obama reportedly was there did not remember him.
Obama’s former attorney general, Eric H. Holder, Jr., is a 1973 graduate of Columbia College who is mentioned in various issues of Columbia Daily Spectator between 1970 and 1972 as having scored points for the college’s football team. However, there is no mention of Obama in the newspaper’s archives dating back to his alleged years at the school.
Various articles published in the school’s daily since Obama sought the presidency in 2008 indicate that Obama is an 1983 alumnus of Columbia College but contain virtually no details as to his studies, activities and interests while allegedly there. However, one student, Michael Ackerman, reportedly recalled Obama’s attendance in a “Modern Political Movements” class and several meetings of the Black Students Organization (BSO), in which Holder actively participated.
A version of the September 12, 2008 story by the same Columbia Daily Spectator author was published at CBS News on November 6, 2008 but reported that “Classmates remember him arriving to class early and wearing a red backpack.”
Columbia graduate in Political Science Wayne Allyn Root has questioned Obama’s claim of having graduated from the school, writing during the 2012 election cycle:
It’s time to call Obama’s bluff. Romney should call a press conference and issue a challenge in front of the nation. He should agree to release more of his tax returns, only if Obama unseals his college records. Simple and straight-forward. Mitt should ask “What could possibly be so embarrassing in your college records from 29 years ago, that you are afraid to let America’s voters see it? If it’s THAT bad, maybe it’s something the voters ought to see.”…
But why are the college records, of a 51 year old President of the United States, so important to keep secret? I think I know the answer.
If anyone should have questions about Obama’s record at Columbia University, it’s me. We both graduated (according to Obama) Columbia University, Class of ’83. We were both (according to Obama) Pre-Law and Political Science majors. And I thought I knew most everyone at Columbia. I certainly thought I’d heard of all of my fellow Political Science majors. But not Obama (or as he was known then- Barry Soetoro). I never met him. Never saw him. Never even heard of him. And none of the classmates that I knew at Columbia has ever met him, saw him, or heard of him.
But don’t take my word for it. The Wall Street Journal reported in 2008 that Fox News randomly called 400 of our Columbia classmates and never found one who had ever met Obama.
Updated on September 11, 2008, The Wall Street Journal article to which Root referred was titled “Obama’s Lost Years” and reported:
Barack Obama makes his first campaign visit today to his alma mater, Columbia University. Just don’t ask the prolific self-diarist to talk about his undergraduate days in Morningside Heights.
The Columbia years are a hole in the sprawling Obama hagiography. In his two published memoirs, the 47-year-old Democratic nominee barely mentions his experience there. He refuses to answer questions about Columbia and New York — which, in this media age, serves only to raise more of them. Why not release his Columbia transcript? Why has his senior essay gone missing?
Of Obama’s first national appearance at the convention, Morris-Lent wrote, “…what was presented before the American public in 2004 was someone with charm, good looks and good elocution…Beyond that, who the h*** knew who he was?”
Morris-Lent appeared unmoved by the inevitable “oratory” which had accompanied Obama’s campaign while acknowledging that the “genius” of his 2004 keynote speech was that it prompted Americans’ “imaginations [to] run wild.” “Obama had no past and no personality, such a divisive thing in politics,” he wrote.
Amid questions surrounding his constitutional eligibility which arose in 2007, in June 2008, an image appeared at The Daily KOS and several other websites purported to be Obama’s birth certificate stating that he was born in Hawaii. The image was released, according to Politifact, to answer such questions and assure the public that Obama was a “natural born Citizen,” as is required by Article II, Section 1, clause 5 of the Constitution for the presidency.
Several analysts, however, declared the image a forgery, noting that it appeared to lack a raised seal from the state registrar’s office, among other anomalies.
On April 27, 2011, after public pressure from businessman Donald Trump, now a 2016 presidential candidate, the White House released what it said was a scan of a certified copy of Obama’s “long-form,” or more detailed birth certificate, reportedly obtained from the Hawaii Department of Health by special exception. Within days, that image, too, was declared a forgery by professionals on the record.
A six-month criminal investigation into the authenticity of the long-form image found that it could not have emanated from a paper document. On March 1, 2012, Maricopa County Cold Case Posse lead investigator Mike Zullo and Maricopa County Sheriff Joseph M. Arpaio, who commissioned the probe, declared that the long-form birth certificate and Obama’s purported Selective Service registration form are “computer-generated forgeries.”
At a second press conference on July 17, 2012, Zullo stated that the standard of probable cause had been surpassed concerning the long-form birth certificate and that Obama’s claimed parents may not be his parents at all.
Information gleaned from a second investigation launched by Arpaio is said by Zullo to be “gut-wrenching.”
Inconsistencies in Obama’s life narrative were not explored by the media during the 2008 and 2012 campaigns. In his January 2009 commentary, then-college junior Morris-Lent described the aura cast around Obama as “shoddy journalism.”
Acknowledging the supporters who projected onto Obama the ability to bring people together in perhaps a “magic” way because of his perceived uniqueness, the Columbia student concluded his piece with, “Nobody—not even the masses shouting ‘Obama!’ to the same lame speech on Tuesday—knows who the h*** Barack Obama is, but maybe it doesn’t matter.”
Story updated 8:52 a.m. on January 6, 2016.