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Was Obama’s Mom A PhD ‘Welfare Queen’?

As everyone has surely heard by now, Mr. Obama has just added to his stump speech a claim that his mother was on food stamps. And even his wife Michelle is shouting his latest qualification for the Presidency from the rooftops.

But if Mrs. Obama (who, according to Barack, may or may not have married his father) was on food stamps, when exactly would that have been?

As S&L reader Retire05 noted in a comment posted to another thread:

Now we learn that Obama’s destitute mother was on food stamps. But I would like to know when.

There is a possibility that if she was, she was scamming the system.

[Barack Obama] was born in 1961 but his mother could not get food stamps then because a) she was married and b) they were not available then.

Then [Barack Senior] moved to a foreign country. I don’t think that we were sending food stamps to foreign nations.

When she moved back in 1965, food stamps were not available in Hawaii in 1965.

In 1967, she married the second time and moved to Jakarta. Nope, no food stamps then.

By the time she moved back once again, he was living with his grandparents who had jobs and food stamps were not being handed out like Halloween candy in those years.

It would be interesting if someone did a FOI request to see if his mother ever collected food stamps. Since she is deceased, it should be no problem. But my guess? It is all bull crap.

Going by the history of the food stamp program, Retire05 seems to be correct.

Of course the Food Stamp Act of 1964 (pdf file) was in effect in 1965. But the US Department of Health And Human Resources says only 22 states participated at that time:

After a pilot program that began in 1961, the Food Stamp Act of 1964 established the Food Stamp program with 22 States participating.

So the question is whether Hawaii was among those states.

Any and all further elucidation would be greatly appreciated.


S&L reader JacksonianDemocrat has pointed out in the comments below that during an interview with Joe Klein that appeared in the October 15, 2006 edition of Time Magazine Obama claimed:

I was going to a fancy prep school, and my mother was on food stamps while she was getting her Ph.D.

As JacksonianDemocrat notes, this would be circa 1974-1977, which when the young Barack was attending one of Hawaii’s most elite private schools and in fact living full time with his grandparents.

And, as we have previously noted, his (racist) grandmother was the vice-president of the Bank Of Hawaii.

So, even if this is true, it greatly undercuts Mr. Obama’s claim to know firsthand what it is like to struggle.

For Barack was not living with his mother at the time she was on food stamps, but with his upper middle class, embarrassingly white and well-off grandparents.


And here is this somewhat ironic piece from the archives of the Chicago Tribune:

Obama urges fathers to be responsible

By Mike Dorning
June 16, 2007

SPARTANBURG, S.C. — Two days before Father’s Day, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama presented a plan Friday for lifting up poor families that included searing criticism of fathers who abandon their responsibilities to raise children. …

The Illinois senator, who as a child had little contact with his African father except occasional letters, drew on his own life story as he spoke, describing the difficulties of growing up without a father. He noted that, without support from his father, he and his mother at times turned to food stamps to make ends meet

Note that here Mr. Obama claims “he and his mother turned to food stamps.”

He also says “at times.” So we can safely assume it happened more than once.

So his mother was collecting food stamps and who knows what other government benefits while she was attending college and her parents were raising her child?

It looks like mom was what we used to call a “welfare queen.”

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, April 16th, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

10 Responses to “Was Obama’s Mom A PhD ‘Welfare Queen’?”

  1. seanrobins says:

    My prior comment:

    April 16th, 2008 at 10:46 pm
    >>> Smerconish came out of the closet today for Obama.

    I’m not sure how this relates to the thread, but . . .

    As a Philly talk junkie, let me just say this: I am not thrilled with the directions that Michael’s (Smerconish) political views have taken in the past couple of years, but I have to defend him on this point, at least a bit:

    He is not FOR Obama. The “support” to which you refer has been part of a recent series of discussions he’s been having: Question – If he was voting in the Democrat primary, who would he vote for. It’s as simple as that.

    In the general election, there is no question that he’s voting Republican.


    I stand corrected. About a week and a half ago, Smerconish came out of the closet, and proclaimed that he was voting for BHO.

    He was serious…not joking…….

    Bye, Mike……

  2. uvon123 says:

    After reading all of these harsh remarks about our next President, his wife, his dead mother, father and grandparents. I have made up my mind that people like you are the reason that this man won the election. Non prejudice people that realize one God made us all, different colors shapes and sizes rule this world, not you small minded non educated individuals. As far as his mother getting food stamps while trying to get her PHD, did she not have the right to eat, it is hard to study on an empty stomach.
    But you uneducated people do not know about that you are to busy writing negative remarks and making fun of people that do not know and are not here to defend themselves. In closing for every negative remark that is made I pray for 3 positives. We need to stop hating what is different and open our hearts and minds for change.

  3. sheehanjihad says:

    uvon123…. people like us ARE the reason this man was chosen to run for president. Ironic isnt it, that you come here to chide us for calling Hussein things you dont like, and you chastise us for doing it….lets see now…you called us, small minded non educated people….uneducated people (redundant) and that we make fun of people that arent here to defend themselves. That’s a lot of hatred and name calling right there uvon123….so you foist your opinion upon us as though our opinion about Hussein doesnt count? Wrong pulpit there uvon……you need to go back and read moveon.org…or the huffington post. There is where you will find all the vitriol the hatred, the unbelievable ignorance of those who voted for your hero. Get the hell out of here….go pray for some more positives…you are gonna need em.

  4. Liberals Make Great Speedbumps says:

    “Non prejudice people that realize one God made us all, different colors shapes and sizes rule this world, not you small minded non educated individuals.”

    Yes Ovum123, your grammar simply exudes edumakashun!

  5. GuppyNblue says:

    Nothing is worse than ignorance coupled with self-righteousness. I’m very interested if you can give us a thorough explanation of what it means to be educated.

  6. JohnMG says:

    Uvon calling. “Ding Dong”! And please take another helping of superiority complex before you leave.

    What is it about these mental midgets and their uncontrollable need to troll?

  7. sheehanjihad says:

    We was bein enlightened by one of them thar “change” critters.

  8. pj says:

    I guess by that definition I was a welfare queen too (can you be a welfare queen in the past tense?). However, I don’t think it’s too difficult to discern the chasm of a difference between utilising our country’s social safety net as a short term bridge to leverage ourselves (us queens- what is the derogatory term for the males by the way? Not that I should have to say it- but do you see a little pattern right there?) to a place in life where we can become productive TAX paying (a disproportionately high tax paying group- not able to write things off- I might add) citizens which is profoundly different from one who utilises social welfare not as a safety net- but as a chronic crutch and lifestyle- not good for them or for society. How dreary that one would even have to go over this (the seemingly obvious) for the benefit of the (seemingly) lazy- of thought.
    I’ll never forget my Stanford educated cross country coach telling us about he and his friends who had to use food stamps to get through college- and then he takes a rather low paying job, but boy were we lucky to get someone of his caliber. I myself became a middle school teacher though I could’ve done anything else at all (except music). Am I a hero? Of course not. Life is not black or white. I lived off welfare and now I give back to my community and I love my life. It’s not always about the money ya’ll. have I mentioned I hate Republicans?

    • canary says:

      pj/thank you for enlighting that we allready have free education, and that free food comes with it. You forget that it was Obama disrespected his mother, his grandparents. It was Obama who complained about his dead beat fathers, and we’ve yet to understand as he never explained in his “Dreams of my Father” if it was his violatile (Obama’s description of his Kenyan father) or his muslim father. Racism did not get Obama elected. It was his thick, and dishonest cry baby stories, making Americans believe he had struggled more than anyone. This inspite of his grandparents and America providing him the American dream. The only way race played into his election, was his own pushing the race card, giving his false portrayal as a poor African American, his b.s. of walking in the poor’s shoes, smokescreen. As far as you hating Republicans, that is racism in itself. It’s one thing to disagree, but I ask you to honestly ask yourself, if there have been any democrats in your life who have hurt you, screwed. Haven’t people of all races, religions, politics, at some point in your life done you harm. Ask yourself, have any Republicans ever been nice to you. Are you telling me you ask everyone their political party prior to having a thing to do with them? Can you find one nice republican you’ve ever met. Cause you sound like an ignorant bigot. A hatemonger.

    • proreason says:

      Do you have your free house and your free car yet? Europeans living in their decaying countries get 6 weeks of free vacation you know. Where is your AMBITION!!!!!

      And what gives with the “hate Republicans”. I thought liberals were fore peace and love. Does that only count if we continue to support you? Surely you can give us a little love for paying the taxes that have supported you so far in your life.

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