In The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama by David Remnick, a college friend says of Barack Obama:
“He stepped from an international world and a Hawaiian world replete with ethnicities, very much the cosmopolitan, and then he comes here, steps on the continent, and gets with a crowd of African-Americans who have a keener sense of what that means and a deeper understanding of a slave history and the American experience. And so he was interested in what that meant personally… a person who is the quintessential cosmopolitan in this process of self-discovery, grappling with this question of ‘Who am I?’”
That was Caroline Grauman-Boss, who John Drew says was his girlfriend, mostly long-distance, from the spring of 1979 to the spring of 1981. Boss was a classmate and friend of the young Barack Obama’s at Occidental College, where she introduced to him John Drew, who was visiting from New York in December of 1980. Boss has yet to publicly claim her past romance with John Drew, as she has done her friendship with Obama, not as far as I have seen, but it would be interesting to hear from her on this story he is telling.
We do know that when John Drew Tweets something like this:
#FollowSaturday @augustine25 < Attended college with the "original" (Non-media hyped) Barry Soetoro Obama (via @ffhelper) about 4 hours ago via #FollowFriday Helper Retweeted by 1 person VRWCTexan Tom T.
John Drew is
lying exaggerating. (I don’t like being rude.) On February 17, 2010, Dr. Drew wrote on ResistNet:
The larger issue is my relationship with Obama. In truth, I only met him twice.
John Drew graduated Occidental College in the spring of 1979. Barack Obama entered Occidental the following semester, after Drew had gone off to graduate school on the other side of the country. Drew did not attend college with the “original” or any other Obama.
Drew traveled back to Occidental from Cornell in New York to visit Caroline Boss, he said, and on two social occasions met Obama. That’s what Drew said last year happened, when he first started attaching himself to the President’s life story. Two social meetings through a mutual friend was the sum total of John Drew’s “relationship” with Obama.
According to a transcript of an interview by Rev. David Manning, shortly before the Birther Trial of the Century, last May, John Drew said a party he attended that Obama attended had few African-American guests. Obama’s friends, it seemed to Drew, were white or foreign. How would somebody who met somebody twice know a person’s various circles of friends?
Caroline Boss, who surely knew Obama better than Drew ever did, says, when Obama arrived at Occidental, he “gets with a crowd of African-Americans.” Eric B. Moore, an African-American college friend of Obama’s, gainsays another observation Drew made much of in his interview with Manning, that Obama dressed like a millionaire:
“We were going to a concert or an art festival. We were culture and music hounds,” says Eric B. Moore, who photographed then-college freshman Barack Obama, looking inarguably cool in an aloha shirt as he stared down the distance. “That might have been one of his better shirts.”
Maybe Obama looked like a million bucks when he went to a party, but so do a lot of people. On ordinary occasions, according to his college friend Eric Moore, he dressed like a Hawaiian version of a college kid:
He was always in T-shirts, shorts and thongs. I don’t think he had a pair of closed-toe shoes.
Jon K. Mitchell, who later played bass for country-swing band Asleep at the Wheel (Mitchell remembers that Obama wore puka shell necklaces all the time, though they were not in style, and that “we let it slide because he spent a lot of time growing up in Hawaii.”)
Here is an interview Huell Howser had with Eric Moore, from 2008:
Eric Moore says in that video there were about 75 African-Americans in a student body of 1500 at Occidental, so that John Drew saw “few” at a party is likely. However, to deduce from that Obama had only white or foreign friends is plain silly.
Eric B. Moore could probably write a book about Barack Obama, so maybe could Caroline Boss, I don’t know; John Drew, not so much.
In the interview with Rev. Manning, Drew said he is co-authoring a whole book about his slender connection to Barack Obama. He also tells Rev. Manning, who was working overtime to pin down Obama’s sexuality, that he never saw Obama with a woman at Occidental–as if it matters who John Drew saw with Barack Obama on the very few times he saw him at all.
Jack appreciated Obama when she ran into him that summer in a Honolulu nightclub — he a local, she a visiting summer student. “He was sitting there with a woman on each lap. They were babes, and I’m not a babe.”
This doesn’t say Obama was or is straight or gay and who cares? I don’t. Having had a male college roommate, if that’s the test, would put many a heterosexual man on the hot seat. But Jack’s is a different picture than that insinuated by Manning, to an extent assisted by Drew.
Obama, of course, wrote about dating both black and white women, one for a year while he was at Columbia. Jerry Kellman, who was Obama’s boss on his community organizing job in Chicago, confirmed to Remnick that Obama dated various women. That Obama doesn’t kiss and tell in great detail, apparently, means he is gay.
One of Obama’s male roommates while he was at Columbia, whom he’d first met at Occidental, described a young man popular with the ladies:
Siddiqi said his female friends thought Obama was “a hunk.”
“We were always competing,” he said. “You know how it is. You go to a bar and you try hitting on the girls. He had a lot more success. I wouldn’t out-compete him in picking up girls, that’s for sure.”
Caroline Boss, according to Drew, told him back in Palo Alto that Obama was not gay. In the interview, Drew did tell Manning, in a slimy sort of way, that part. After Manning laughs, Drew says: “Well, they looked gay.” When Drew starts to say something about reports of a girlfriend of Obama’s at Occidental, Manning cuts him off.
In a recent article on American Thinker, makes a huge deal over Obama riding in a friend’s BMW, while
Obama’s friend, Paul Carpenter recalls Obama drove “a funky red car, a Fiat.” Drew probably wouldn’t have known that small detail, because Drew was not a friend of Obama’s at Occidental, as he claims.
Reporting a 30-year-old conversation over lunch about Marxism, recalled with remarkable clarity, Drew wrote:
I remember that Obama was friendly to me on at least three other occasions over the next several months. For example, Boss and I visited the apartment he shared with Chandoo. I spoke with him again on campus in the student union. I saw him on campus in The Cooler — the school’s coffee and sandwich shop. I also spoke with him at large party in June 1981.
The large party in June, 1981, was half of the two times Drew said last year that he had met Barack Obama. So now we have a visit to Obama’s apartment and a time they spoke in the student union. I’m not sure what seeing him in a coffee shop means, if it was a get-together or a wave across the room, but Drew has now upped the ante on his contacts with Obama at Occidental, when Obama was a student there and Drew was not.
I certainly considered him a friend, a confidant and a political ally in the larger struggle against poverty and oppressive social systems.
I am sure it would sell more books, but come on. Even if we take John Drew at his word this year, that he met Obama four or five times, as we did last year, when he’d met Obama two times, friend and confidant?