The biographer for former President Barack Obama made explosive statements during a lengthy interview published this week by Tablet Magazine.
Historian David Garrow — who wrote Obama’s 2017 biography “Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama” — talked about various aspects of who the former president was both politically and personally.
Journalist David Samuels asked Garrow about how he got some of Obama’s former girlfriends to give him letters that Obama wrote to them while in college and law school, and what was “the most surprising thing” that he found from the letters.
“With Alex [McNear, Obama’s girlfriend at Occidental College], I think she wanted to have her role known,” said Garrow. “So when Alex showed me the letters from Barack, she redacted one paragraph in one of them and just said, ‘It’s about homosexuality.’”
Garrow said that the letters ended up at Emory after Alex sold them and that the school did not mention the paragraph in its press release announcing its possession of the letters.
He said that he emailed his friend Harvey Klehr and told him to “go to the Emory archives” to see the letters.
“He’s spent his whole life at Emory, but they won’t let him take pictures,” Garrow said. “So Harvey has to sit there with a pencil and copy out the graph where Barack writes to Alex about how he repeatedly fantasizes about making love to men.”
While talking about some of the other girlfriends that Obama had, Garrow began discussing Obama’s book, “Dreams from My Father.”
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“When I start reading about Barack in early ’08, I read Dreams and thought, ‘This is a crock.’ It’s not history,” he said. “It’s all make-believe. Who knows what the real story is?”
Garrow said that the first time he met Obama at the White House in the Oval Office, Obama had with him “this big pile of all his journals over the years.”
“And he’s arranged it this way on purpose—to show me that he has them, and so he can tell me that I can’t see them,” he said. “He’s got this big sack, I want to call it a cloth sack or a canvas sack, in the bottom of which are the journals. And then on the top of it is the typescript printout of my manuscript. So he’s carrying them around together.”
Garrow said that the materials Obama had included were his letters to and from one of his girlfriends and that they would likely never be made public. “I wouldn’t be astonished if he burns them,” he said.
When asked why Obama did not want anyone to see his journals and letters, Garrow said, “He wants people to believe his story. For me to conclude that Dreams from My Father was historical fiction—oh God, did that infuriate him.”
Garrow discussed various failures of Obama’s presidency, including foreign policy and Obamacare, and that he was not really an ideological president, he just wanted to be seen as successful.
“I’ve sometimes said to people that I think Barack is actually just as insecure as Trump, but in ways that are not readily perceived by the vast majority of people,” Garrow said. “I think that’s probably my most basic takeaway.”
When later asked if he could see Obama on the Supreme Court, Garrow said: “He’d be terrible because he’s too lazy. This is in the book. It goes back to him being Hawaiian. At one point, he says, ‘I’m fundamentally lazy and it’s because I’m from Hawaii.’ That’s close to the actual quote.”
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