Ann Dunham and Barack Obama Jr.
In little noticed remarks, Michelle Obama stated at a public event that her husband’s mother, Ann Dunham, was “very young and very single” when she gave birth to the future U.S. president.
Her comments further undermine the official story as told by Barack Obama – that Dunham was married to his father, Barack Obama Sr., at the time of birth.
The remarks were made by Michelle Obama during a July 2008 round table at the University of Missouri. Obama was responding to criticism of her husband’s presidential campaign speeches about fatherhood and faith-based initiatives.
Michelle Obama explained her husband understands the struggles of low-income families.
“He understands them because he was raised by strong women. He is the product of two great women in his life. His mother and his grandmother,” she said.
“Barack saw his mother, who was very young and very single when she had him, and he saw her work hard to complete her education and try to raise he and his sister,” Michelle Obama said.
Her remarks about Dunham being “very single” when she gave birth to Barack Obama were also quoted last year on a blog posted at MSNBC.com. The remarks, however, contradicted previous claims President Obama made about the circumstances of his birth.
Later in her roundtable comments, Michelle Obama stated her candidness might get her into trouble:
“So in my famous Michelle Obama honesty that sometimes gets me in trouble, I have to say that when Barack approached me, when he was seriously considering this run for president, I said, ‘No way. Absolutely not. Please don’t.’”
According to Hawaiian documentation, Obama was born Aug. 4, 1961, to Stanley Ann Dunham and Barack Obama Sr.
Dunham, a white American of predominantly English descent from Wichita, Kan., was 18 years old at Obama’s birth. Obama Sr. was a foreign student from Kenya, which at the time was under British jurisdiction.
The official story claims Dunham and Obama Sr. were married Feb. 2, 1961. The pair separated two years later and they divorced in 1964. Obama’s father returned to Kenya and saw his son only once more before dying in an automobile accident in 1982.
In actuality, it isn’t clear Obama’s parents were married, since official records have never been produced showing a legal ceremony took place. No wedding certificate or photograph of a ceremony for Dunham and Obama Sr. has ever been found or published.
In his book “Barack and Michelle: Portrait of an American Marriage,” former Time magazine contributing editor Christopher Andersen elaborates: “There were certainly no witnesses (to the alleged civil marriage ceremony) – no family members were present, and none of their friends at the university had the slightest inkling that they were even engaged.”
Andersen further quoted Rep. Neil Abercrombie, D-Hawaii, a self-described friend of Barack Obama Sr. and Ann Dunham in 1961, as saying that “nobody” was invited to the wedding ceremony.
Obama himself, on page 22 of his autobiography “Dreams from My Father,” wrote of his parents’ wedding:
In fact, how and when the marriage occurred remains a bit murky, a bill of particulars that I’ve never quite had the courage to explore. There’s no record of a real wedding, a cake, a ring, a giving away of the bride. No families were in attendance; it’s not even clear that people back in Kansas were fully informed. Just a small civil ceremony, a justice of the peace. The whole thing seems so fragile in retrospect, so haphazard.”
Obama’s birth story is further complicated by the fact that when Barack Obama Sr. arrived in Hawaii at 23 years old in September 1959, he already had been married, since age 18, to a Kenyan woman named Kezia Aoko, who was allegedly pregnant with Obama Sr.’s first child when he abandoned her in Africa in 1957.
Obama Sr. ultimately had four children with Aoko. WND staff writer Jerome Corsi concluded there is no evidence to suggest Obama Sr. was divorced from Aoko either in Kenya before he left for Hawaii or in Hawaii prior to the alleged marriage with Dunham.
On page 126 of “Dreams from My Father,” Barack Obama Jr. described his father’s marriage with Aoko in a quotation in which Dunham says, “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 documentation that could show a divorce.”
Dunham apparently was suggesting bigamy was not involved in her alleged marriage since Barack Obama Sr.’s marriage to Aoko was a “village wedding” that possibly would not have been recognized as legitimate by Hawaii civil law. Barack Obama Sr. was reportedly a polygamist who had at least four wives, including Ruth Nidesand, who Obama Sr. met at Harvard and became his wife after she followed him back to Kenya.
Evidence challenges claim over birth address
In addition to questions about Dunham’s marital status, WND previously uncovered documents strongly suggesting Barack Obama Sr. and Dunham did not live at the address listed in birth announcements in two local papers – 6085 Kalanianaole Highway in Honolulu.
But WND has confirmed the house at that address was owned and occupied in 1961 by another longtime resident Hawaiian couple. Moreover, throughout the time he was in Hawaii, Barack Obama Sr. maintained his own separate apartment at 625 11th Ave., within walking distance of the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where he was enrolled for studies in the fall term 1959.
Raising further questions, WND also reported Dunham was registered for college classes in Seattle only 15 days after reportedly delivering her first-born child in Honolulu, according to school records.
With additional research by Brenda J. Elliott