Barack Obama, the myth and the reality

The Washington Examiner has produced a lengthy report titled The Obama you don’t know. The reality of Obama is different from the myth, even the myth that First Lady Michelle Obama promoted at the recent Democratic National Convention.

In the introduction to the series, editor Mark Tapscott writes:

In an effort to get a clearer picture of Obama — his shaping influences, his core beliefs, his political ambitions and his accomplishments — The Washington Examiner conducted a four-month inquiry, interviewing dozens of his supporters and detractors in Chicago and elsewhere, and studying countless court transcripts, government reports and other official documents.

Over the years and in two autobiographies, Obama has presented himself to the world as many things, including radical community organizer, idealistic civil rights lawyer, dynamic reformer in the Illinois and U.S. senates, and, finally, the cool presidential voice of postpartisan hope and change.

With his air of reasonableness and moderation, he has projected a remarkably likable persona. Even in the midst of a historically dirty campaign for re-election, his likability numbers remain impressive, as seen in a recent AP-GFK Poll that found 53 percent of adults have a favorable view of him.

But beyond the spin and the polls, a starkly different picture emerges. It is a portrait of a man quite unlike his image, not a visionary reformer but rather a classic Chicago machine pol who thrives on rewarding himself and his friends with the spoils of public office, and who uses his position to punish his enemies.

Summarizing, Tapscott wrote “To paraphrase Tammany Hall’s George Washington Plunkitt, Obama has seen his opportunities and taken them, over and over.”

The series is available at the newspaper’s website at The Obama you don’t know. A report on the series from Fox News is available at 10-part report raises questions about narrative of Obama’s early life. Video is below.

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