Fact Checker Finds Obama Overstated Kennedys’ Role in Helping His Father

Will wonders never cease… The WaPo has a piece today that outlines how Barack Obama overstated the Kennedy’s role in helping his father come to the United States. Michael Dobbs reports:

Addressing civil rights activists in Selma, Ala., a year ago, Sen. Barack Obama traced his “very existence” to the generosity of the Kennedy family, which he said paid for his Kenyan father to travel to America on a student scholarship and thus meet his Kansan mother.

The Camelot connection has become part of the mythology surrounding Obama’s bid for the Democratic presidential nomination. After Caroline Kennedy endorsed his candidacy in January, Newsweek commentator Jonathan Alter reported that she had been struck by the extraordinary way in which “history replays itself” and by how “two generations of two families — separated by distance, culture and wealth — can intersect in strange and wonderful ways.”

It is a touching story — but the key details are either untrue or grossly oversimplified.

Well… Imagine that… Barack Obama has played politics as usual and he’s embellished his bio and managed to net himself some key Kennedy endorsements in the wake of it. Now months later the truth comes out:

Contrary to Obama’s claims in speeches in January at American University and in Selma last year, the Kennedy family did not provide the funding for a September 1959 airlift of 81 Kenyan students to the United States that included Obama’s father. According to historical records and interviews with participants, the Kennedys were first approached for support for the program nearly a year later, in July 1960. The family responded with a $100,000 donation, most of which went to pay for a second airlift in September 1960.

And Obama’s campaign has fessed up but, nary a word has been said about the piece by the progressive bloggers supporting Obama:

Obama spokesman Bill Burton acknowledged yesterday that the senator from Illinois had erred in crediting the Kennedy family with a role in his father’s arrival in the United States. He said the Kennedy involvement in the Kenya student program apparently “started 48 years ago, not 49 years ago as Obama has mistakenly suggested in the past.”

This really does go all the way back to Obama’s claims on who he is in the world, in my opinion:

In his speech commemorating the 42nd anniversary of the Selma civil rights march, Sen. Obama linked his father’s arrival in the United States with the turmoil of the civil rights movement. Although the airlift occurred before John F. Kennedy became president, Obama said that “folks in the White House” around President Kennedy were looking for ways to counter charges of hypocrisy and “win hearts and minds all across the world” at a time when America was “battling communism.”

“So the Kennedys decided ‘we’re going to do an airlift,’ ” Obama continued. ” ‘We’re going to go to Africa and start bringing young Africans over to this country and give them scholarships to study so they can learn what a wonderful country America is.’ This young man named Barack Obama got one of those tickets and came over to this country. He met this woman whose great-great-great-great-grandfather had owned slaves. . . . So they got together and Barack Obama Jr. was born.”

So much for the Kennedy connection… Now that Obama’s claims have been proven to be myth not fact. I can’t help wonder what will be revealed next?

UPDATE: See — Obama’s Other Nine Exaggerations.

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About Pamela Leavey

Pamela Leavey is the Editor in Chief, Owner/Publisher of The Democratic Daily as well as a freelance writer and photographer. Pamela holds a certificate in Contemporary Communications from UMass Lowell, a Journalism Certificate from UMass Amherst and a B.A. in Creative Writing and Digital Age Communications from UMass Amherst UWW.
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19 Responses to Fact Checker Finds Obama Overstated Kennedys’ Role in Helping His Father

  1. Gilbert Martinez says:

    It only counts as the Biggest Lie In The History Of the World (TM) if it’s an exaggeration by Hillary.

  2. coldH2Owi says:

    Obama won TX 99-94. I suppose Sen. Clinton feels a bit like Al Gore these days. The rules are the rules, whether we like them or not. Time to think hard, people.

  3. Pingback: Fact Checker Finds Obama Overstated Kennedys’ Role in Helping His Father | Barack Obama Chronicles

  4. coldH2Owi

    Considering Obama himself said yesterday she should stay in the race and it looks very clear that neither will have a lock on the nomination before the convention I’m not sure what there is to think about. Voters want to be able to vote this out.

  5. Janis says:

    coldH2Owi , it’s business and politics as usual from you people all the time, isn’t it? She’s strong and looks to be on a path to winning big in the upcoming primaries, and ANY calculation of the votes and delegates comes down squarely on the fact that it’s going to be decided at the convention. You’re all so much more educated than the Clinton supporters; surely you can add.

    But when confronted with actual facts, you bluster, brag, and bamboozle.

    We’re not buying it. This is going to the convention floor.

  6. coldH2Owi says:

    I was only suggesting what others have calmly suggested. But Janis apparently just can’t help it when her “women’s intuition” tells her to make outrageous & stupid statements about somebody’s comment. How in the hell do you know that I am an Obama supporter? What have I ever done to indicate that I am an Obama supporter? I suppose you have made an assumption that I am a male. Is that right, Janis? Remember, Ms. Leavey, Janis is the one who claimed magical powers with her intuition. Go ahead, fight to the convention, do what you will to win. Frankly, it really doesn’t matter does it? Obama won’t turn down Wal-Mart money any more that Sen. Clinton will. I will say one thing however, for all of us who went to the wall for President Clinton during his impeachment, including sending some hellacious letter, emails, & phone calls to my Senator Feingold, seeing Sen. Clinton sitting down with that sonofabitch Scaife was very disheartening. It probably was a Photoshopped pic, however, since no one in these parts is talking about. Are you proud of Sen. Clinton for that?

  7. If daddy hadn’t already been on the first plane he might have been on the second one. Close counts in horseshoes, handgernades, and politics.

  8. coldH2Owi

    Seemingly the mode of thinking on Clinton dropping out has changed abruptly and even Obama thinks she should stay in. That said, here at the Dem Daily we’re supporting her to stay in – at least I am as editor of the Dem Daily and a good portion of the writers here are too.

    That said, Janis would do well to scroll up and read the comment policy here — particularly this segment:

    Name-calling, bashing or attacking members of The Democratic Daily, Democratic leaders in office or candidates will not be tolerated.

    I’ve been lax in enforcing it, but I am getting quite tired of the tone here and will have no problem with making sure that the only folks who can comment here are registered members and they adhere to the policy.

  9. Darrell

    Invoking a connection to the Kennedy’s doesn’t count like horseshoes in my book. 🙂

  10. Peace Out For Unity says:

    Maybe it’s the Obama not experienced card on a national level in communications? He gets in trouble and digs himself a deeper hole making up stories to figure out how to get out of the situation. He’s proved false and then he tries to talk his way out of it.or gives a speech! I like the way Clinton just says,”I made a mistake and I’m human.” Okay,that’s honest and let’s move along! Off topic,what will Obama and Clinton say about UFO’s and the Gov. is having per CNN a press conference on Monday.To much factual data to laugh about and to many sightings?.Project Blue Book may re-open? What will Clinton and Obama say? Doesn’t exist? Top US officials disclose concerning and CNN is getting the public ready or what? On top of everything else going on in this campaign and now ET is going to phone Clinton and Obama to find out what their position is on .Project Paper Clip ?

  11. Peace Out For Unity

    Which Gov is having a press conference on Monday about what?

  12. OK, now let me try to understand this. When Obama “embellishes” is bio regarding assistance from the Kennedys it’s called playing politics. However when Hillarys sniper fire embellishment was delivered it was appropriate because she only, “misspoke.” Please, give me a break!!! No “Peace Out For Unity” she did not say, “I made a mistake and I’m human.” I could misspeak if I errored by saying, “to get to my house turn right at the stop sign” when I should have said “turn left” However, I sincerely don’t think anyone would misspeak (more accurately invent) bogus sniper fire. If she and her daughter had to evade sniper fire in Bosnia, it would have been clearly remembered. Senator Clinton simply got caught red handed in a fabrication. Didn’t she realize that her arrival was filmed and that her “misspeak” would quickly be proved false? Both she and President Clinton have made major gaffs in the course of this campaign. So, let’s not go on too much about playing politics. Buzz

  13. Buzz

    Apparently Obama has been caught red handed too here. The fact is that ALL politicians play political games. Obama claims to be above that however – Clinton has never made such claims to my knowledge. If Obama wants to show he’s above that he needs to be more careful about things that can get fact checked in this fact checking day and age.

  14. coldH2Owi says:

    Ms. Leavey:
    Thank you. I have never claimed I would never exceed the speed limit, that did not help me in 1985 when I got a speeding ticket between Madison & Milwaukee. Also, how do you explain the Scaife pic? Again, I want a Democratic president this fall, or more precisely, next January.

  15. Peace Out For Unity says:

    Larry KIng on CNN tonight interviewing our US Gov.. and a few were retired. No,they were not selling books! The skeptic didn’t do a good job and Larry King ended by saying,.”why would our military not be telling the truth concerning sightings and accounts”. A member of the Brittish Gov. was also interviewed off sight and says they have proof. What will Clinton say and not sure that’s a question asked a lot .The US Gov.does not recognize UFO’s and that’s the policy. If you see a UFO call the police department.These guys were not laughing being interviewed at all ,but I have a sense of humor. Don’t you remember the old Twilight Zone by Rod Sterling ? These US retired military men were not clowning around.It was on Larry King tonight to make your own decision. Fact or Fiction ? Hope they hold the UFO press conference until after this election is over! Bill Clinton just said,chill out !

  16. coldH2Owi

    Simply put, Hillary Clinton is not afraid to sit downand give an interview to members of the right wing media, which is more than we can say about Barack Obama who refuses to be interviewed on Fox. Even John Kerry went on O’Reilly during the ’04 election cycle. I have no problem with that.

  17. coldH2Owi says:

    Ms. Leavey:
    It’s not about courage, it’s about principle. These people ought not to be ever forgiven. IMO, it shows a weakness, just like Obama frolicking with Sen. Casey, a man who will deny my granddaughters the right to control their own health. I also think Sen. Kerry, a man I respect, made an error. The right only sees these episodes in terms of the left unable to not only get even, but unable to hold a righteous grudge.. The public wonders how anyone can sit with these character assassins, & then go home & sleep. I find it all too sad. & to top it off, we’re supposed to get 8 inches of snow today. Crap.

  18. coldH2Owi

    Sometimes you need to meet with the enemy in order to work through issues. Barack Obama claims to be willing to sit down with our enemies in foreign countries with out “pre-conditions” and yet he won’t talk to the right wing press. That’s absurd in my opinion and just another form of hypocrisy.

    Kerry understood that it’s important to go into the lion’s den sometimes and discuss your views with right wing press. Good gracious the so called liberal media and the progressive netroots treated him just as badly in the past — and Clinton is subject to the same treatment from our own that Kerry has received.

    Sciafe has it appears changed his view about Clinton – so if sitting down with him facilitated that more power to her.

  19. Peace Out For Unity says:

    Never under estimate the intuitive ability of a woman in discussions with the enemy for peace,security and protection.She’s going to make a great commander and cheif ! Her communications are clear and think she’ll be great at eliminating confusion because of that.Our national security is critical and so are communications and our innovation toward the nation’s progress toward energy independence.