Tuesday, January 29, 2008

A Kennedy / Obama Connection




JFK and Obama have a connection that goes beyond smoking cigarettes* and political endorsements by relatives of JFK. This article explains more. The link is here.

The bond began with Kenyan labour leader Tom Mboya, an advocate for African nationalism who helped his country gain independence in 1963. In the late 1950s, Mboya was seeking support for a scholarship program that would send Kenyan students to US colleges - similar to other exchanges the US backed in developing nations during the Cold War with the Soviet Union. Mboya appealed to the state department. When that trail went cold, he turned to then-senator Kennedy. Kennedy, who chaired the senate subcommittee on Africa, arranged a $100,000 grant through his family's foundation to help Mboya keep the program running.
One of the first students airlifted to America was Barack Obama Sr, who married a white Kansas native named Ann Dunham during his US studies.
The bitterly fought presidential campaign of 1960 pitted Kennedy against Richard Nixon, then the vice president, who tried to steal his opponent's thunder by winning state department money for the airlift before the Kennedy family's grant could go through. A thoroughly modern political scuffle erupted over who would claim credit for supporting Obama's father and the other Kenyan students. Kennedy ultimately prevailed.

*Photos of Barak Obama smoking cigarettes are relatively rare. This is the only one that I found and I found it on only three sites. I can not verify that it is not photoshopped, there is no smoke coming off of the cigarette. I have read various news articles and background stories that mentioned Obama's smoking habit. His brand of choice: Marlboro Reds. ABC News had a story about Obama's smoking. The link is here.

5 comments:

SNIDERMAN said...

'It's a small world after all... it's a small world after all... it's a small world after all, it's a small, small world!.

Sandy thinks I'm nuts for my part in this Mulder-vision moment.

Sandy said...

Yes, you're nuts if you think Obama wants to walk and talk like JFK. Otherwise I don't see the similarities. Connections, yes. Similarities, no.

Sniderman's post is only pointing out the similarities between two pictures as opposed to Busplunges post, which also shows similarities between two pictures, yet also links to an article about the small yet insignificant connection between Obama Sr. and JFK. What is the big deal?

About the article, I don't see what Obama's father being one of the chosen ones to come over to the US to study have to do with anything. What is the point people are trying to make with all this? I don't see it. A few pictures with similar poses don't mean anything. At least not to me. I've posed like Marilyn Monroe before but that certainly doesn't mean I want to be her. I could search all day and come up with a multitude of pictures of two different people doing similar things, posing in similar poses. It doesn't mean anything.....really it doesn't.

The most poignant thing I found interesting in that article was made by Cora Weiss, the lady who organized the airlift: "Airlift students became the nation builders of the new Kenya and a handful of other countries in Africa," Weiss said, adding: "It was all because of Tom Mboya's vision. If it helped to produce the next president of the US, hooray."

I gotta agree with her. A coincidence is a coincidence.

Busplunge said...

If Obama's father had not been chosen to come over to the US to study, whether Nixon or JFK gets the credit, he would have never met Obama's mother and there would never have been a little Obama. And Hillary would have been a dang lot happier.

Sandy said...

I gotta say, at this point, I am about 75% happier Obama Sr was chosen as well.

In any case, I bet they can all be connected to Kevin Bacon.
What does it all mean??

alotyn said...

I have heard of more people dying of smoking cigarettes than of being 72 yrs old....everyone is "afraid" of sara palin becoming president...what about of joe biden?...much more concerned about that and he is one lung caner diagnosis away