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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. Their son, born in 1961 and named for his father, has only once mentioned his Kennedy connection on the campaign trail.
"[T]he Kennedys decided: 'We're going to do an airlift,'" senator Obama said during a March speech in Selma, Alabama. "We're going to go to Africa and start bringing young Africans over to this country and give them scholarships to study so they can learn what a wonderful country America is. This young man named Barack Obama [Sr] got one of those tickets and came over to this country."
It is a touching story — but the key details are either untrue or grossly oversimplified.
Contrary to Obama’s claims in speeches in January at American University and in Selma last year, the Kennedy family did not provide the funding for a September 1959 airlift of 81 Kenyan students to the United States that included Obama’s father. According to historical records and interviews with participants, the Kennedys were first approached for support for the program nearly a year later, in July 1960. The family responded with a $100,000 donation, most of which went to pay for a second airlift in September 1960.
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.
"It was not a matter in which we sought to be involved," Kennedy said in an August 1960 senate speech. "Nevertheless, Mr Mboya came to see us and asked for help, when none of the other foundations could give it, when the federal government had turned it down quite precisely. We felt something ought to be done."
For Democrats wanting a return to JFK, he ties himself to the Kennedys in a false and strangely sexual manner.
Originally posted by Kryties
America is in a situation right now where Australia was a year ago. We were faced with 2 choices: John Howard, Bush's playboy or the unknown Kevin Rudd, christian conservative. To vote for any other party was useless as they did not have enough supporters so it was a "lesser of two evils" vote.
I believe this is what America is facing now. Whichever way you vote: John McCain or Barack Obama, you are pretty much stuffed.
Originally posted by jsobecky
Well according to Barry O, there is a connection between his family and the renowned Kennedy clan:
Originally posted by Quazga
Funny, I don't recall any Australian candidates making a world tour in which they were treated like the next best thing with crowds of 200k+ people.
I guess this isn't anything like the election in Australia you mentioned.
[edit on 5-8-2008 by Quazga]