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Examining a Mother's Work

Amanda Ripley of Time magazine looks at Sen. Barack Obama's late mother, S. Ann Soetoro, in a cover story released today digging into and illuminating the story of her life:

Each of us lives a life of contradictory truths. We are not one thing or another. Barack Obama's mother was at least a dozen things. S. Ann Soetoro was a teen mother who later got a Ph.D. in anthropology; a white woman from the Midwest who was more comfortable in Indonesia; a natural-born mother obsessed with her work; a romantic pragmatist, if such a thing is possible.

The whole thing can be read here.

By Web Politics Editor  |  April 10, 2008; 12:57 PM ET
Categories:  Politics News From Around the Web  
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A very inspiring person Obama's mother. I will be very proud if I had her as my mother and at every important event in my life will pay a rich homage both in words and in action. Pity that Obama was so busy campaining for his state senate seat that he cannot even be at her side when she lay dying in hospital. It tells a lot. She did not mind that he never spoke about her in his first book and that it was entirely about his absent (already dead) father. You prize and pine for something that is never there while ignoring what is there. Goes with his campaign rhetoric.

Posted by: anamika | April 18, 2008 5:20 PM | Report abuse

OK all yoy swiftboaters, get ready with your deepest venom.

Join Bourke,Rush,Ann coulter and all the others sickos.

The time is right to strike.

Tell em that Iran is about to strike our allie Israel.

Tell em we dont want Medicare or Social Security

Posted by: voltare | April 12, 2008 8:10 PM | Report abuse

This is a well-researched and moving profile of Sen. Obama's mother. As a mother of two sons myself, I am impressed and touched to be able to see the impact of such a unique woman upon her son.

Stanley Ann Dunham was a strong, independent thinker, whose empathy and deep concern for people who don't usually have a voice is clearly well expressed through her only son.

How interesting it is that Sen. Obama is surrounded by remarkable women: his spiritually gifted mother and hard-working grandmother; his candid, energetic wife; his articulate and funny sister; his sweet and promising daughters.

To know something of the women who inspire him is to know quite a bit about the man himself. The balanced and insightful character who has resulted from these influential women will make a great president.

Posted by: dee | April 11, 2008 1:29 PM | Report abuse

It's amazing how easy it is to spot the trolls. Please direct your comments to the content of the post. I've become inured to your tired screeds. Really!!

As for the post, I think the Time profile of S. Ann Dunham will help Obama. It will humanize and contextualize him for a lot of the folks who don't know his story. How 'bout some commentary on the story, eh?

Posted by: BBaptiste | April 11, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Why is it that Obama supporters become rabid at the mere vetting of the candidate? All political candidates have their private histories exposed. Yet, Obama supporters suggest that we vote for him from a position of ignorance.

Let me mention another figure (in addition to Anton Rezko, Rev. Wright, Bill Ayers, Rashid Khalidi, Ali Abuminah, and Nadhmi Auchi) that perhaps the MSM will be talking before November: Aiham Alsammarae. And this one is serious.

Iraqi-born, Alsammarae is also an American citizen living in Chicago, and he is currently wanted by Interpol and the government of Iraq, both of whom have issued warrants for his arrest. He was convicted by a Baghdad court in October 2006 of helping to plunder his ministry (of electricity I believe) of $650 million. He is currently in Chicago, where he has been working as a consultant.

Nouri al-Maliki, asked the FBI last year for help in bringing this convict back to Iraq, but he was told to contact Interpol. In Chicago in January 2007, he was questioned by U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald (who is prosecuting Rezko).

Alsammarae, who was the Minister of Electricity in Iraq at the time, put out a purchase request to build the Chamchamal power plant. Then, he and Rezko put together a couple of phony bids for the Iraqi contract, each of them through corporate entities they created in the US. A third phony bid was also put in by another corporation, created by an ex-Chicago police officer and a few friends (they are still investigating who that might be). Alsammarae awarded all three companies the contracts. All three got paid, including Alsammarae and Rezko, but they never performed the contract. And Alsammarai fled Iraq and is living a cushy life in Chicago.

Auchi, if you all every knew, stole money from the Iraqi oil for food program. Now you have a couple of other Obama friends stealing from Iraq again.

Posted by: Aisha | April 11, 2008 10:37 AM | Report abuse

"Ann's most lasting professional legacy was to help build the microfinance program in Indonesia, which she did from 1988 to '92--before the practice of granting tiny loans to credit-poor entrepreneurs was an established success story. Her anthropological research into how real people worked helped inform the policies set by the Bank Rakyat Indonesia, says Patten, an economist who worked there. "I would say her work had a lot to do with the success of the program," he says. Today Indonesia's microfinance program is No. 1 in the world in terms of savers, with 31 million members, according to Microfinance Information eXchange Inc., a microfinance-tracking outfit."
Wow! And she shaped the character of the man who will be one of the greatest Presidents in history. Thank you S. Ann Soetoro.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 11, 2008 7:38 AM | Report abuse

Go Hillary! :-)

Posted by: Janet | April 10, 2008 10:34 PM | Report abuse

We will probably find out the details behind
Obama's relationship with Rezko-Blagoiavich-and Obama's dealings with
the corrupt men involved in robbing the State of Illinois via the State Teachers' Pension
Fund. We already know that Rezko had his
hands in the pockets of Illinois public funds
while he was making deals with the richest
man in Iraq and filling Obama's State election funds. These criminal people, along
with Obama's association with Wright must!
must! must! fly red flags for thinking people. Senator Clinton, in all her fund
raising affiliations has never rubbed
shoulders with the likes of these characters, nor has she developed relationships with people who in the past
have blown up university and government
buildings as Obama's Weatherman friend.
Please! Listening to the miysogeny pour out
of these so-called journalists about Hillary Clinton is sickening and shameful.
The media has tried to ruin a truly great
candidate for President who happens to have
a husband with a doctoral degree in economics from the London School of Economics--by the way a Rhodes Scholar!
Hillary grew up in the Chicago area and
has always loved politics. She never messed
up in high school like Obama did. She didn't have a lot of money either. She just wants to dedicate her life to serving
this country, and has all her life. That's why I'm voting for her; and she's a strong,
highly intelligent woman and would be a great President.

Posted by: gallax | April 10, 2008 10:28 PM | Report abuse

A house divided cannot stand. Democrats keep tearing themselves apart and John 'hundred years' McCain gets a pass. I wish some smart democrats will get up and say enough is enough and encourgage everyone to turn on the repubicans. Please, lets stop these attacks. They are discouraging! We all love Hilary and we also love Barack. Go democrats!

Posted by: Kweku | April 10, 2008 7:14 PM | Report abuse

I find it very disturbing all these attacks and counter attacks between democrates. I am an Obama fan, but I will vote for Hilary if she wins. After all, she is a democrate and one hundred times better than John McCain. For those who are attacking Barack because of what other people said, I have only one thing to say to you;what will you do or say, if someone commits a crime and you are dragged before the law court simply because you are a friend of that person? How will you feel when, despite all your protestations, you are told be guilty not because of the fact that you are the one who committed the crime but because according to the judge,YOU ARE GUILTY 'BECAUSE YOU ARE THE FRIEND OF THE CRIMINAL'. Democrates who are crucifying Obama in the press and the blogosphere should think deeply of what they are doing, because it will come back to haunt us. I love them all; Barack and Hillary, and God bless them. Amen

Posted by: Siam | April 10, 2008 7:04 PM | Report abuse

The Democratic Party would be wise to remember that for decades white women have been the majority voting block of the party and WE WANT HILLARY! We will NOT have Barack Obama shoved down our throats. Hillary is our American girl! What part of the 1990's didn't you like, the peace or the prosperity? We loved both. We love the Clintons, they are the greatest political success story of the Democratic Party since FDR and Eleanor Roosevelt. We are personally offended that Obama has the audacity to attempt to denigrate a former President of his OWN party. Therefore, we could NEVER vote for Obama, he's simply too risky to trust with the Presidency of the United States of America.

No Hillary and it's President John McCain.

When women vote, Democrats win.

Country first, party second. Patriotism matters.

Why do you think the corporate owned media is relentlessly and shamelessly promoting Obama 24/7 and attacking Hillary 24/7? They know Obama is unelectable. They'll see to it if the Dems foolishly nominate Obama.


Posted by: Katherine | April 10, 2008 5:27 PM | Report abuse

i don't get it... somehow since HRC is known and has KNOWN negatives and Barack is lesser known so his negative are just coming out... i don't understand why people can't just think for themselves instead of getting caught up in the moment and be appauled. "oh i can never vote for him!" jeeeeeeeeezus, are you aware the amount of baggage hillary has? and the amount of negative stores/hitjobs that are just waiting for her to get the nomination? barack isn't universally reviled and he is younger (in age and political years) so he has inherently fewer negatives and few skeletons in his closet. i can think for myself and take him for what he says and does and i will not demonize him because of loose associations, esp as it pertains to religion because i believe in the separation of church and state and all beliefs therein

Posted by: christian | April 10, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse


are you aware of the amount of shady dealings/relationships the Clintons have? are you aware of current litigation involving them (i.e. receiving illegal campaign contributions). have you heard the name Norman Hsu? are you aware of the controversies that occurred when the clintons were in office?

or have you just been putting your hands over your ears and yelling when news outlets talk about Hillary or the clintons?

Posted by: christian | April 10, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

where did HRC graduate from? get her law degree from? how many times did it take her to pass the bar? was she the head of the harvard law review?

same questions for Barack. go find out those answers (i already know them) and THEN back up your statement:

"Hillary is a typical pol, also, though one with brains. But she does not pretend to be anything else."

Posted by: christian | April 10, 2008 4:17 PM | Report abuse

I highly recommend RezkoWatch for another look at Obama. Some of the contributions there contain real reporting. Here's their latest post:

Posted by: PM | April 10, 2008 4:16 PM | Report abuse

The collection of people with fishy reputations Obama has collected around him is alarming. Unless someone with a real good sense of smell and balance, e.g., Jim Webb, says he's satisfied, I'd never vote for him based on what I know now.

Also, nothing about Obama I've see so far suggests he is anything other than a typical pol. See, e.g., the pork he has bestowed upon political allies.,0,7803217.story

Hillary is a typical pol, also, though one with brains. But she does not pretend to be anything else.

Six months ago I thought Obama might be a once in a lifetime political leader. But he's fallen, in my estimation.

Boy, the Post's adulation of Obama is something, isn't it?

Posted by: PM | April 10, 2008 4:10 PM | Report abuse

I'm increasingly troubled and frankly, appalled by frenzied responses created by reasonable examinations of a candidate running for the President of the United States. Even Obama supporters should want the senator to answer these legitimate questions speaking to character, judgment and the very qualities of "change" they so eagerly chant.

What sort of change are we talking about? What would Obamaworld look like? Who is this man? He's been running for upteen months and still stands behind of veil of vague musings and dreamy pronouncements, pretending that inexperience, a thin legislative record, and a dubious choice of friends and financiers are "no big deal."

Senator Obama's supporters have compared his inexperience to Abraham Lincoln. Well, I'll give you a quote that is often misapplied to P.T. Barnum:

"You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time."

Abe was a wise man.

BTW, Barnum's quote was: "There's a sucker born every second."

Let the overdue vetting begin!

Posted by: Peggy Sue | April 10, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

hillary's laundry list can reach from here to the moon so instead of grasping at straws and trying to tarnish Barack's image why don't you try to build UP the image of your own candidate because she is in SERIOUS need of it. Tell us why Hillary is best without baseless attacks and vague inuendos

Posted by: chris | April 10, 2008 3:54 PM | Report abuse

umm... maybe because THEY HAVE BEEN DEBUNKED and HRC supporters bring them up because they don't have any other stances to take agains Barack except for vagaries ("he's all talk" "he has no experience" - none of which are true). REZKO = nothing there, research it on your own, tell me what you find that implicates Obama in anything illegal. WEATHER MEN = nothing there. He has a loose association with Ayers on a board of a non-profit, big deal! REV WRIGHT = he disavowed the statements he made that were offensive. but the reverand was in the marines for 6-years and him and his church do marvelous things in their community. i am not going to demonize the man over a few soundbytes. i have the sense to not jump to conclusions AND to empathize with those who are not the same color as me. I will hold Barack accountable for WHAT HE SAYS and I have and will do the same for hillary who has a SERIOUS aversion to truth.

Posted by: christian | April 10, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse

christian...Why is it when anyone brings up Rezko,wright,the weather man Obama fans jump in with omg your a racist your with the kkk?What are you people (meaning Obama fans) afraid of.I bet if Obama brought out some kool aid at any of his rallys ya'll would drink up with no questions asked.We are sick of the way Obama supporters are constantly calling upon the race card when they dont have answers to honest questions..GET OVER IT!The man (Obama) is a con he will never beat Mcain face it.Vote Hillary

Posted by: Vote Hillary | April 10, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

This is the truth: I am a lifelong Democrat who cannot vote for Barack Obama. Even though I am white, my opposition to Sen. Obama has nothing to do with his race. (There are other African-American politicians I would be happy to vote for.) My opposition to Sen. Obama results from his (1) empty rhetoric of "unit, hope and change" combined with (2) his associations with Rev. Wright, Bill Ayers of the Weather Undergound, etc. I smell an ultraleftist who is trying very hard to disguise his ideological beliefs so that he can get elected. Hillary or McCain? That's the real choice.

Posted by: Richard | April 10, 2008 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Listen to all the Obama-haters. Fearful of the truth?

Thomas sound like (the uneducated) Sean Hannity on FOX News! Jeremiah Wright is a former Marine, so to say he hates America is wrong. I have yet to see any main stream news blog post Rev. Wright's full-sermon (probably 20 to 30 minutes long). Why is that?

As to William Ayers, Hannity tries to push a guilt by association. Ayers is 63 years old. When Ayers was committing these acts of violence, Obama was 8 years old. The only factual connection that Hannity has offered was that Obama and Ayers served in the Woods Foundation, a non-profit group that helps the poor and underprivileged. The other crap that Hannity (& Colmes) repeated was that Obama kids plays with Ayers kids. That statement doesn't make sense. Obama's kids (girls) are 6 and 9 years of age. Ayers kids (boys) are 28 and 30 years of age.

Posted by: AJ | April 10, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse

I read the article this morning and must say it was well-written and researched. I started tearing towards the end. Obama understands well the struggles of common people in the U.S. He gets my vote in the general!

Foks, let's start working on ways to come together on the issues instead of advancing hatred and cynicism through charater attacks. Nobody is perfect. Let's increase the love and tear down the walls of hate!

Obama 08!

Posted by: Susan | April 10, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Great read

Posted by: nol | April 10, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Why are so many Obama supporters rabid and vicious? People have a right to ask questions regarding any of the candidates. Apparently, the public must limit any questions regarding Obama to the weather.

Posted by: FlaLady | April 10, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse


Pretend that you're a Democrat (Hillary supporter), pretend that you're a patriotic American.

Smear Obama with any of the following:

1. He's a Muslim
2. He's not Black enough
3. He's not White enough
4. He's not patriotic
5. He's a racist

note: never address any "issues", instead smear him with any association: his pastor, someone who endorses him, his wife, his father,etc. always make subtle racist commments (i.e. compare him to Jim Jones), imply that he's a Muslim: put his middle name in capital letters...and MOST IMPORTANT repeat it over and over (check FoxNews for latest smear)

remember: AMERICANS ARE STUPID! (look how we got them in the Iraq war!)

if you repeat anything enough, they'll believe it.



* note: this is true, but if Hillary is nominated, it doesn't matter who gets can vote for whomever you want....McCain is slightly better, but both are in our lobby's pocket, i.e. both Clinton and McCain will put America in our WARS


but not Obama


Posted by: X | April 10, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

obama haters are scared of something, something i don't think they quite understand yet. maybe they will, maybe they won't. they're in the vast minority regardless.

Posted by: ross | April 10, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

As more and more information comes out about Senator Obama's links to various people and organizations that are arguably a danger to American security, I think it's time to ask some questions - and it's time the Senator provide some answers. Why does Senator Obama surround himself with sworn enemies of the state, from William Ayers, the former Weather Underground member, to Jeremiah Wright, to others who have collaborated with Saddam Hussein? Why does he choose such people? And how does that jibe with his wife's lack of pride in the USA? More important - what does it tell us about his judgment - that "judgment" he touts as his greatest quality, the reason he should be given the office of the presidency - and entrusted not just with America's safety and security, but with its integrity and standing in the world?
By Abigail R. Esman
World Defense Review columnist

Posted by: Thomas Williams | April 10, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse


Please keep your forked-tongue in your mouth. and while you're at it you should probably take the sheet off your head and put out the cross you left burning on your front lawn....

Posted by: christian | April 10, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

What a fluff piece for Obama.

A "natural born mother"? Laugh out loud. This woman dumped her son in the lap of her parents apartment in Hawaii for years while she went back to Indonesia.

Obama's mother married polygomists. Obama apparently has at least eight OTHER half siblings from various mothers. Ick. Given the news stories of the day on polygomy, double ick.

Time magazine and the Wash Post should be investigating the real Obama story, his Odinga (cousin?) Kenya, Africa ties and those ties to the under criminal indictment Antoin Rezko and the under criminal indictment Auchi. Ask Obama campaign manager David Axelrod about his realtionship with Rezko and Auchi and Obama. Ask Obama supporter David Wilhelm who is named in Rezko criminal trial about his ties to Rezko, Auchi and Obama. Ask Obama himself about Odinga!

The voters deserve to know all about Barack Hussein Obama (it is his name).

Ask Obama about Rezko, Auchi, Crown, Exelon, Ayers & Dorhn, Odinga and let's not forget the "pastors" trio of Wright, Moss and Meeks and Obama mentor Emil Jones.

Any one of these scandals is enough to sink Obama, combined they are lethal to his candidacy, now and in the future.

Why do you think the corporate owned media is relentlessly and shamelessly promoting Obama 24/7 and attacking Hillary 24/7? They know he's unelectable.


Posted by: Katherine | April 10, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

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