By Jack Cashill
February 7, 2010
The murky circumstances of Obama's birth invite attempts to make the known facts fit together. This article was prompted by two e-mails. The first asked me why I had never weighed in on the birth certificate controversy surrounding President Barack Obama.
I responded that although I was troubled by the lack of documentation regarding all phases of Obama's history -- I'd be content with his SAT scores -- I could not understand why any pregnant American woman would go anywhere near Kenya.
The second e-mail was more interesting. It came from a Michigan entrepreneur named Don Wilkie, with whom I had not previously communicated. Knowing my interest in the authorship questions surrounding Obama's writing, he presumed that I was intrigued as he was by a cryptic poem the nineteen-year old Obama wrote called "Pop," the best thing that Obama himself has actually written. He was right.
"Pop" relates an encounter between Obama and a man most reviewers presume to be Obama's maternal grandfather, Stanley Dunham. Dunham would have been in his early sixties at the time. In the poem, Obama has "Pop" wondering drunkenly about the boy, "What to do with me, a green young man."
The Obama of the poem is cynical, even a little bitter. He makes several allusions to the fact that he and the old man look and even smell alike, a fact that strikes Obama as more ironic than reassuring. The poem ends, however, with reconciliation when Pop stands and asks for a hug. Writes Obama:
Pop's black-framed glasses
And know he's laughing too.
Wilkie offers a novel interpretation of "Pop." Says Wilkie, "I think the poem zeros in on that poignant moment when Obama was told that his grandfather was in reality his father."
Wilkie concedes his theory is "off-the-wall," but he also offers photographic evidence to show that Obama much more closely resembles Dunham -- especially by the telltale ears -- than he does Barack Obama, Sr.
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