Monday, April 19, 2010

Barack Obama's Missing Girlfriends

Questions about the absence of any girlfriends coming forward and indications that Bill Ayers may have penned "Dreams" for Obama are explored in this piece.

In Dreams, in fact, the only lover Obama talks about is the mystery woman in New York. Although he speaks of her only briefly and in retrospect, he does so vividly and lovingly. "She was white," he tells Auma. "She had dark hair, and specks of green in her eyes. Her voice sounded like a wind chime." This is no casual relationship. "We saw each other for almost a year. On the weekends, mostly. Sometimes in her apartment, sometimes in mine."

One weekend, the woman invites Obama to her family's country home, which had been her grandfather's, and "he had inherited it from his grandfather." The library is filled with old books and photos of the grandfather with presidents, diplomats, industrialists. "It was autumn," Obama recalls, "beautiful, with woods all around us, and we paddled a canoe across this round, icy lake full of small gold leaves that collected along the shore."

It is during this memorable weekend that Obama experiences something of a racial epiphany. "I realized that our two worlds, my friend's and mine, were as distant from each other as Kenya is from Germany. And I knew that if we stayed together I'd eventually live in hers." This realization inspires Obama to break off this relationship despite a gracious reception by the girl's parents.

If Obama's friend nicely fills the Circe role, then she is almost surely grounded in the real-life person of Diana Oughton, Ayers' lover who was killed in a 1970 Greenwich Village bomb factory blast. Ayers was obsessed with Oughton. In Fugitive Days, he fixes on her in ways that had to discomfit the woman that he eventually married, their fellow traveler in the Weather Underground, Bernardine Dohrn.

Physically, the woman of Obama's memory, with her "dark hair, and specks of green in her eyes," evokes images of Oughton. As her FBI files attest, Oughton had brown hair and green eyes. The two women share similar family backgrounds as well. In fact, they seem to have grown up on the very same estate.

According to a Time Magazine article written soon after her death, Oughton "brought Bill Ayers and other radicals" to the family homestead in Dwight, Illinois. There, "she would talk politics with her father, defending the revolutionary's approach to social ills."

The main house on the Oughton estate, a twenty-room Victorian mansion, was built by Oughton's father's grandfather. Formally known as the John R. Oughton House, it was placed on the national historic register in 1980. Despite forty years of encroaching development since Oughton's death, aerial photos show the Oughton estate (103 South Street) with a small lake in the middle and a thick ring of trees around it, very much like the estate in Dreams.

The carriage house, in which Diana lived as a child, now serves as a public library. It may have already seemed like one when Ayers visited, an impression that finds its way into Dreams as a library "filled with old books and pictures of the famous people [the grandfather] had known."

Read full American Thinker article here.

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