On Hannity & Colmes, author Jerome Corsi claimed that in his upcoming book, The Obama Nation, "I do a great deal of analysis of [Sen. Barack Obama's] autobiography." Corsi then asserted, "Obama first presents his father as a great hero, and the truth was, his father was a polygamist and a alcoholic." However, contrary to Corsi's suggestion that Obama did not address these issues in his memoir Dreams From My Father, he discusses his father's alcoholism and polygamy in multiple passages in the book.
On the July 31 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, author Jerome Corsi claimed that in his upcoming book, The Obama Nation: Leftist Politics and the Cult of Personality (Threshold Editions), "I do a great deal of analysis of [Sen. Barack Obama's] autobiography." Corsi then asserted, "Obama first presents his father as a great hero, and the truth was, his father was a polygamist and a alcoholic. He had abandoned the family in Africa when he met Obama's mother in Hawaii. He married Obama's mother without disclosing that he had not divorced this African woman," falsely suggesting that Obama did not address these issues in his memoir Dreams From My Father (Crown, 1995). After making his false suggestion, Corsi asserted, "I'm first criticizing that Obama was not straightforward in how he presented, really, a deception about his father as a goatherd who got his chance to go to, come and study in the United States because of John Kennedy."
Contrary to Corsi's suggestion, on Pages 125-126 (paperback) of Dreams From My Father, Obama recounts a conversation with his mother that addressed his father's polygamy:
She stuck her head out of the kitchen. "I hope you don't feel resentful towards him."
"Why would I?"
"I don't know." She returned to the living room and we sat there for a while, listening to the sounds of traffic below. The teapot whistled, and I stamped my envelope. Then, without any prompting, my mother began to retell an old story, in a distant voice, as if she were telling it to herself.
"It wasn't your father's fault that he left, you know. I divorced him. When the two of us got married, your grandparents weren't happy with the idea. But they said okay -- they probably couldn't have stopped us anyway, and they eventually came around to the idea that it was the right thing to do. Then Barack's father -- your grandfather Hussein -- wrote Gramps this long, nasty letter saying that he didn't approve of the marriage. He didn't want the Obama blood sullied by a white woman, he said. Well, you can imagine how Gramps reacted to that. And then there was a problem with your father's first wife ... he had told me they were separated, but it was a village wedding, so there was no legal document that could show a divorce ..."
Moreover, on Pages 212-217, Obama recounts a discussion with his half sister Auma about their father's alcoholism:
"The Old Man began to drink heavily, and many of the people he knew stopped coming to visit because now it was dangerous to be seen with him. They told him that maybe if he apologized, changed his attitude, he would be all right. But he refused and continued to say whatever was on his mind.
"I understood most of this only when I was older. At the time, I just saw that life at home became very difficult. The Old Man never spoke to Roy or myself except to scold us. He would come home very late, drunk, and I could hear him shouting at Ruth, telling her to cook him food. Ruth became very bitter at how the Old Man had changed. Sometimes, when he wasn't home, she would tell Roy and myself that our father was crazy and that she pitied us for having such a father. I didn't blame her for this -- I probably agreed. But I noticed that, even more than before, she treated us differently from her own two sons. She would say that we were not her children and there was only so much she could do to help us. Roy and I began to feel like we had no one. And when Ruth left the Old Man, that feeling was not so far from the truth.
"She left when I was twelve or thirteen, after the Old Man had had a serious car accident. He had been drinking, I think, and the driver of the other car, a white farmer, was killed. For a long time the Old Man was in the hospital, almost a year, and Roy and I lived basically on our own. When the Old Man finally got out of the hospital, that's when he went to visit you and your mum in Hawaii. He told us that the two of you would be coming back with him and that then we would have a proper family. But you weren't with him when he returned, and Roy and I were left to deal with him by ourselves.
"Because of the accident, the Old Man had now lost his job at the Water Department, and we had no place to live. For a while, we bounced around from relative to relative, but eventually they would put us out because they had their own troubles. Then we found a run-down house in a rough section of town, and we stayed there for several years. That was a terrible time. The Old Man had so little money, he would have to borrow from relatives just for food. This made him more ashamed, I think, and his temper got worse. Despite all our troubles, he would never admit to Roy or myself that anything was wrong. I think that's what hurt the most -- the way he still put on airs about how we were the children of Dr. Obama. We would have empty cupboards, and he would make donations to charities just to keep up appearances! I would argue with him sometimes, but he would just say that I was a foolish young girl and didn't understand.
"It was worse between him and Roy. They would have terrific fights. Finally Roy just left. He just stopped coming home and started living with different people. So I was left alone with the Old Man. Sometimes I would stay up half the night, waiting to hear him come through the door, worrying that something terrible had happened. Then he would stagger in drunk and come into my room and wake me because he wanted company or something to eat."
Further, on Pages 343-344, Obama recounts a discussion in which his half brother Mark called their father "a drunk":
The following week, I called Mark and suggested that we go out to lunch. He seemed a bit hesitant, but eventually agreed to meet me at an Indian restaurant downtown. He was more relaxed than he had been during our first meeting, making a few self-deprecatory jokes, offering his observations about California and academic infighting. As the meal wore on, I asked him how it felt being back for the summer.
"Fine," he said. "It's nice to see my mom and dad, of course. And Joey -- he's really a great kid." Mark cut off a bite of his samosa and put it into his mouth. "As for the rest of Kenya, I don't feel much of an attachment. Just another poor African country."
"You don't ever think about settling here?"
Mark took a sip from his Coke. "No," he said. "I mean, there's not much work for a physicist, is there, in a country where the average person doesn't have a telephone."
I should have stopped then, but something -- the certainty in this brother's voice, maybe, or our rough resemblance, like looking into a foggy mirror -- made me want to push harder. I asked, "Don't you ever feel like you might be losing something?"
Mark put down his knife and fork, and for the first time that afternoon his eyes looked straight into mine.
"I understand what you're getting at," he said flatly. "You think that somehow I'm cut off from my roots, that sort of thing." He wiped his mouth and dropped the napkin onto his plate. "Well, you're right. At a certain point, I made a decision not to think about who my real father was. He was dead to me even when he was still alive. I knew that he was a drunk and showed no concern for his wife or children. That was enough."
From the July 31 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes:
HANNITY: Walk us through those three phases, from his family, to his radical associations, to his views today.
CORSI: Well, even in his family, I do a great deal of analysis of the autobiography.
HANNITY: That's his father, right there.
CORSI: That's his father, and his father -- you know, Obama first presents his father as a great hero, and the truth was, his father was a polygamist and a alcoholic. He had abandoned the family in Africa when he met Obama's mother in Hawaii. He married Obama's mother without disclosing he had not divorced this African woman.
HANNITY: And by the way, in fairness, you don't, I would never hold it against him --
CORSI: I don't either.
HANNITY: -- the actions of his father, but you are giving it historical perspective.
CORSI: Well, first of all, Obama put the issue on the table in analyzing it and making it the core of his autobiography. And I'm first criticizing that Obama was not straightforward in how he presented, really, a deception about his father as this goatherd who got this chance to go to -- come to study in the United States because of John Kennedy. John Kennedy had nothing to do with his father coming to Hawaii. It was Tom Mboya.