New Obama Biography Is Going to Hurt Obama’s Carefully Manufactured Reputation


A new 1,400-page biography depicts a half-white Obama as a coke head who dumped his half-white girlfriend because it would hamper his political ambitions in Chicago. He wanted to ride to the presidency on his black half.

Sheila Jäger

The biography, Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama by David Garrow shows Obama’s pragmatic side or is it conniving side?

The relationship fell apart because of his concerns over his political future with a half-white woman on his arm (she is half-Asian).

Sheila Miyoshi Jager, now a professor at Oberlin College, lived with Obama in Chicago and they were in love. He asked her to marry him. They both realized his rise in politics would be better served with a black wife to complement his black half.

In early 1987, when Obama was 25, [Jager] sensed a change. “He became. . . so very ambitious” very suddenly,” Jager told Garrow. “I remember very clearly when this transformation happened, and I remember very specifically that by 1987, about a year into our relationship, he already had his sights on becoming president.”…

He made his decisions, even then, on political grounds. Everything with him is political.

A close mutual friend of the couple recalls Obama explaining that “the lines are very clearly drawn. . . . If I am going out with a white woman, I have no standing here.” And friends remember an awkward gathering at a summer house, where Obama and Jager engaged in a loud, messy fight on the subject for an entire afternoon. (“That’s wrong! That’s wrong! That’s not a reason,” they heard Sheila yell from their guest room, their arguments punctuated by bouts of makeup sex.) Obama cared for her, Garrow writes, “yet he felt trapped between the woman he loved and the destiny he knew was his.”

Obama dated Jager into the early 1990s while he dated Michelle Robinson. Jager told Garrow she “felt bad about it”. They were likely still having “bouts of makeup sex”.

Garrow goes into Obama’s cocaine use that continued after college.  Garrow writes: “While the crucible of self-creation had produced an ironclad will, the vessel was hollow at its core,” Harsh!

In Obama’s autobiographical memoir, he writes about composite friends, composite girlfriends, pretend situations and, in particular,  he describes a white girlfriend. In it he realizes they are not destined for one another no matter how hard he tries.

While Obama paints a self-portrait of a man who is the victim of a racist society, Garrow, a Pulitzer-Prize winning author, portrays an ambitious, calculating man who manipulates society’s perceptions for political expediency.

If they make this into a movie unedited, it will be devastating to Barack Obama. Meanwhile, the New York Times critic has come to the rescue, insisting it is “not worthy of a serious historian”. The media is also out tainting Jager’s reputation as an angry jilted ex-lover.

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