Thursday, October 9, 2008

Obama’s High School Days: Ran With Bad Crowd

What's good for the goose is good for the gander!
McCain camp need to hit Obama with a new issue/expose every other day, the public's level of doubt will mushroom! "O is TOO risky!"

As the media turns over every rock in the past of vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, there has been shockingly little vetting of Barack Obama’s background.

Although candidates should not be judged solely by their behavior as adolescents, an examination of their overall past is fair and important, especially as we pick our next president. And former schoolmates can help provide character clues, such as the former Obama schoolmate who told Newsmax that she is surprised he is running for president.

“I remember he didn’t hang out with a group I thought was the right group to hang out with,” said the woman who attended Punahou High School in Honolulu with Obama. “It was the group known as the Bingham benches, the druggies’ group.”

Obama has admitted taking drugs in high school, but the fact that he kept company with others who were known to take drugs has not been reported previously. That appears to be part of a pattern of associating with questionable people, raising questions about his character and judgment. Among those people are William Ayers, who has admitted bombing buildings; convicted fundraiser Tony Rezko; and the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., whom Obama considered his mentor and who gave an award for lifetime achievement to Louis Farrakhan.

“I would say Obama didn’t show great character about choosing who he hung out with,” said the former schoolmate, who did not want to be quoted by name. “I think he behaved well and wasn’t getting into trouble, but he didn’t seem to hang out with the right people.”

The “druggie” group was called the Bingham benches because they tended to congregate around benches at a hall at the prep school named for the Rev. Hiram Bingham, the first Christian missionary in Hawaii.

“There were probably 15 or 20 in the group,” she said. “I hung out with theater people. He hung out with the Bingham benches, which were the ones that were more known as smoking dope.”

Obama, who graduated from Punahou in 1979, suggests in his book, “Dreams from My Father,” that he took marijuana and cocaine in part because of questions his race presented.

“I had learned not to care,” he wrote. “I blew a few smoke rings, remembering those years. Pot had helped, and booze; maybe a little blow when you could afford it. Not smack, though.”

But the former schoolmate said that, because Hawaii has a multiethnic population, the whites — not blacks — were the ones who stood out as different at the private school.

Besides hanging out with the crowd who took drugs, Obama associated with athletes at the school, the former schoolmate said.

“He was very active in basketball,” she said. “But I kind of look at (the others) he hung out with.”

In contrast, Steve Case, who founded America Online, also attended the school then and was admired widely. “That was a kid, you’d say that guy could be president of the United States,” she said. “I was shocked to see that Obama would be a person running for president.”

source: October 9, 2008

By: Ronald Kessler

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