Is Obama hiding something from his college days?

By Aaron Klein

Columbia undergraduate Barack Obama, with his grandparents

JERUSALEM – “Senator Barack Obama is hiding mediocre grades.”

“He’s covering up his acceptance into Harvard Law School utilizing a boost from an affirmative action program.”

“The presidential candidate is disguising his involvement in radical black organizations or that he first met Weathermen terrorist Bill Ayers much earlier than he’s publicly admitted.”

These are just a few of the explanations from newspaper editorials, pundits and bloggers as to why Obama refuses to release his undergraduate records and has disclosed almost nothing about his days at Columbia University.

Obama attended Occidental College in Los Angeles for two years before transferring to Columbia in 1981. It has been confirmed Obama graduated from Columbia in 1983 with a major in political science and that he did not receive honors, but further information, including transcripts, are sealed by the university.

In his 1995 memoir, “Dreams from My Father,” Obama goes into detail about certain periods of his life, including his early education and his days at Harvard Law School, from which he graduated magna cum laude and led the Harvard Law Review.

But the Illinois senator just barely touches upon his Columbia days.

Obama wrote he “spent a lot of time in the library. I didn’t socialize that much. I was like a monk.”

He then immediately moved on to a general philosophical discussion about race in New York, but didn’t return to his Columbia experience nor mention any associations with friends or professors at the university.

It is known Obama lived off-campus with a roommate identified as “Sadik,” who was not a Columbia student. Obama describes Sadik as “a short, well-built Pakistani” who smoked marijuana and snorted cocaine.

The AP tracked down “Sadik,” whose real name turned out to be Sahole Saddiqi. Obama first met him when the two attended Occidental and Obama was living with a group of Pakistani students.

“We were both very lost,” Siddiqi told the AP of his days in New York with Obama. “We were both alienated, although he might not put it that way. He arrived disheveled and without a place to stay.”

Obama had earlier traveled to Pakistan with his college friends, staying there for three weeks in 1981 at a time Pakistan was under military rule and it was difficult for U.S. citizens to travel to the country.

His Columbia days are particularly mysterious because there is almost no trace of him among students who attended the same year and studied the same major.

Fox News contacted some 400 of his classmates and found no one who remembered him.

Wayne Allyn Root, the Libertarian Party’s vice president, told WND he graduated from Columbia the same day as Obama with the same major, yet he never spoke to a single former Columbia student or faculty member who remembered Obama.

Root speculates Obama is keeping his Columbia transcript under wraps so as not to reveal a less-than-stellar record, which would raise questions as to how he was accepted to Harvard.

Root said at Columbia he personally achieved a B+ average with a good score on the Law School Admittance Test, but he says he was told he would not get accepted to any Ivy League graduate school.

“Yet, Barack was accepted to Harvard Law School. Was it because of his grades, test scores and college record? Or, was it because of the color of his skin?” asked Root.

WND reported last week Northwestern University professor John L. McKnight – a renowned disciple of the late socialist agitator Saul “The Red” Alinksy – wrote a letter of recommendation for Obama when he applied to Harvard Law School.

A Wall Street Journal op-ed earlier this month noted that “Some think his transcript, if released, would reveal Mr. Obama as a mediocre student who benefited from racial preference.”

But the Journal pointed out Obama’s later graduating magna cum laude from Harvard proved “he knows how to get good grades,” leading to other speculation, such as ties to the Black Students Organization, although students active then have stated they don’t remember him.

Some blogs speculate Obama may be covering up associations with controversial figures who were at Columbia at the time, such as former Carter national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, who taught at Columbia until 1990. Brzezinski is known for his extreme liberal positions, particularly regarding the war on terror. For example, he favors dialogue with the Hamas terror organization.

Asked whether he knew Obama from Columbia, Brzezinski told the Journal he doesn’t remember meeting him.

In a posting that was referenced on multiple other blogs, Andy Martin, executive editor of, asked whether Obama met Ayers at Columbia.

“Obama spent two years at Columbia University yet left virtually no fingerprints of his presence there. Could that be because Columbia was where Mr. Obama first met ‘mad bomber’ William Ayers?” asked Martin.

Ayers was at the time just resurfacing in New York after living underground following his Weathermen days. He has well-established connections to Columbia, which was the scene of the famed 1968 Columbia University strikes in which hundreds of students seized several university buildings. The strikes were led by the Columbia chapter of Ayers’ Students for a Democratic Society, from which the Weathermen later splintered. Multiple Weathermen leaders were Columbia students.

Currently, the earliest confirmed Ayers-Obama association was in Chicago in 1995, when Obama was appointed chairman of the multimillion-dollar Chicago Annenberg Challenge, which was founded by Ayers. The former Weathermen leader that year also hosted the first organizing meeting for Obama’s state senatorial campaign. Many believe it is doubtful Ayers would have helped Obama to that extent without a longer relationship.

An Obama spokesman did not return a WND request for comment asking why the candidate and his campaign have refused to release the Columbia transcripts.

Sen. John McCain, too, has not released his transcripts from the United States Naval Academy, but more is known about his time there. He has admitted to graduating at the bottom 1% of his class and has described himself as a troublemaker in his college days.

But the Journal surmised McCain is different in that he has a long public track record and voters do not need more specific information about his college years , whereas, the Journal states, Obama is a “case apart.”

“He doesn’t have a long track record in government. We mainly have him in his own words. As any autobiographer, Obama played up certain chapters in his life and ignored others,” the Journal opined.


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