Last Updated:November 27 @ 07:08 am

Sowell: Phony in Chief

By Thomas Sowell

When President Barack Obama and others on the left are not busy admonishing the rest of us to be "civil" in our discussions of political issues, they are busy letting loose insults, accusations and smears against those who dare to disagree with them.

Like so many people who have been beaten in a verbal encounter, and who can think of clever things to say the next day, after it is all over, President Obama, after his clear loss in his debate with Mitt Romney, called Governor Romney a "phony."

Innumerable facts, however, show that it is our Commander in Chief who is Phony in Chief. A classic example was his speech to a predominantly black audience at Hampton University on June 5, 2007. That date is important, as we shall see.

In his speech -- delivered in a ghetto-style accent that Obama doesn't use anywhere except when he is addressing a black audience -- he charged the federal government with not showing the same concern for the people of New Orleans after hurricane Katrina hit as they had shown for the people of New York after the 9/11 attacks, or the people of Florida after hurricane Andrew hit.

Departing from his prepared remarks, he mentioned the Stafford Act, which requires communities receiving federal disaster relief to contribute 10 percent as much as the federal government does.

Senator Obama, as he was then, pointed out that this requirement was waived in the case of New York and Florida because the people there were considered to be "part of the American family." But the people in New Orleans -- predominantly black -- "they don't care about as much," according to Barack Obama.

If you want to know what community organizers do, this is it -- rub people's emotions raw to hype their resentments. And this was Barack Obama in his old community organizer role, a role that should have warned those who thought that he was someone who would bring us together, when he was all too well practiced in the arts of polarizing us apart.

Why is the date of this speech important? Because, less than two weeks earlier, on May 24, 2007, the United States Senate had in fact voted 80-14 to waive the Stafford Act requirement for New Orleans, as it had waived that requirement for New York and Florida. More federal money was spent rebuilding New Orleans than was spent in New York after 9/11 and in Florida after hurricane Andrew, combined.

Truth is not a job requirement for a community organizer. Nor can Barack Obama claim that he wasn't present the day of that Senate vote, as he claimed he wasn't there when Jeremiah Wright unleashed his obscene attacks on America from the pulpit of the church that Obama attended for 20 years.

Unlike Jeremiah Wright's church, the U.S. Senate keeps a record of who was there on a given day. The Congressional Record for May 24, 2007 shows Senator Barack Obama present that day and voting on the bill that waived the Stafford Act requirement. Moreover, he was one of just 14 Senators who voted against -- repeat, AGAINST -- the legislation which included the waiver.

When he gave that demagogic speech, in a feigned accent and style, it was world class chutzpah and a rhetorical triumph. He truly deserves the title Phony in Chief.

If you know any true believers in Obama, show them the transcript of his June 5, 2007 speech at Hampton University (available from the Federal News Service) and then show them page S6823 of the Congressional Record for May 24, 2007, which lists which Senators voted which way on the waiver of the Stafford Act requirement for New Orleans.

Some people in the media have tried to dismiss this and other revelations of Barack Obama's real character that have belatedly come to light as "old news." But the truth is one thing that never wears out. The Pythagorean Theorem is 2,000 years old, but it can still tell you the distance from home plate to second base (127 ft.) without measuring it. And what happened five years ago can tell a lot about Barack Obama's character -- or lack of character.

Obama's true believers may not want to know the truth. But there are millions of other people who have simply projected their own desires for a post-racial America onto Barack Obama. These are the ones who need to be confronted with the truth, before they repeat the mistake they made when they voted four years ago.


Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305. His website is


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  1. powertothepeopleComment by powertothepeople
    October 9, 2012 @ 9:05 am

    BHO very much believes in the motto “don’t do as I do, do as I say”. He is in favor of limiting others (the majority) freedom of speech…something he argued in favor of in college while not doing anything to lessen or infringe on minority speech.

    He has no character. He is paper thin while carrying around an elephant size ego. Name calling, lying, twisting the facts….all in the name of “fairness”….translation advantage.

    Wake up America….BHO is no friend of this country. He intends to double down on his agenda to recast the USA into a Marxist state.

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    • fmrusmcrntxComment by fmrusmcrntx
      October 9, 2012 @ 11:22 am

      A great and SPOT ON comment, “powertothepeople”! Your last line hits the target in the “10 ring”—-because Ozero has the same plan as his PAL, Hugo Chavez who was just reelected in Venezuela! And prior to that election (probably rigged and fraudulent BTW), Chavez publicly stated that he would vote for BHO if he were a US citizen and allowed to vote and he expected BHO would also vote for him! In fact, truth be told, it’s likely that Chavez and many FOREIGNERS are contributing huge amounts of campaign donations to this arrogant, radical Marxist-Socialist we have doing his best to retain the POWER that he believes he’s “entitled” to….and for this charlatan, POWER is what it’s all about, as we know all too well having seen his actions since he took office! It’s time for him to GO; we can’t afford another 4 years of this INSANITY while he does everything he can to destroy our country while he divides our people!:( Keep the faith, Semper Fi! :)

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  2. EHeasslerComment by EHeassler
    October 9, 2012 @ 9:32 am

    Once again, Dr. Sowell is right on the money with this article. obam’is a shameless liar whose only intent is to destabilize our nation both abroad and at home. His support of radical groups through surrogates, devaluation of the dollar, and planned dismantling of our armed forces are only the tip of the iceberg. No one in his administration has bothered to provide a plausible answer as to why DHS and other departments not related to security are buying massive quantities of hollow point ammunition. Since that type of ammunition can’t be used for military purposes, one can only conclude that it is for use against our own citizens. If you aren’t frightened, you should be. Vote for Romney on November 6th. You may not like everything he has to say, but it will be our last chance to change course before becoming a full fledged socialist state where government is king and we are all subjects.

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  3. redseaComment by redsea
    October 9, 2012 @ 9:46 am

    I hope Mitt reads this and has Obama’s senate voting record ready in the next debate!

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    • thereverendComment by thereverend
      October 9, 2012 @ 5:24 pm

      Yes, and someone call Bill O-Reilly, Laura Ingraham, Rush and Sean Hannity – this is newsworthy and needs to be broadcast over and over so that everyone in the nation hears it and “gets it.”

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  4. fmrusmcrntxComment by fmrusmcrntx
    October 9, 2012 @ 11:14 am

    Thank you, Dr. Sowell! As we always expect from you, another brilliant & thought provoking narrative of the HYPOCRISY of this “campaigner/community organizer/teleprompter-in-chief”! We’ve had a number of folks compare Obozo to Carter during this campaign cycle. Which is valid in some ways. But the reality is that Carter, while having a good heart, was totally over his head. However, Carter wasn’t a radical Marxist-Socialist ideologue like this current divisive, dishonest, RADICAL in the Oval Office! This guy is the worst we’ve had in our lifetimes, and perhaps the WORST in the history of our nation! :( He has LIED, gone against/around our Constitution, and if reelected will be FAR WORSE than we’ve seen in the last 3 years and now almost 10 months! When he told the Russian Medvedev in a candid “hot mike” moment that he would “have more flexibility in his second term” that was a clear and present danger warning to us all! We must remove this radical, arrogant charlatan from office in the coming election; failure is NOT an option if we want to retain our country! Again, thank you Dr. Sowell; you have my utmost respect and admiration being one of the most brilliant minds in our country! Keep the faith, folks! Semper Fi! God Bless America, Keep Her Free and Strong! :)

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  5. passthewordComment by passtheword
    October 9, 2012 @ 11:47 am

    Obama supporters are suffering from “battered wifes syndrome”. NO how bad it gets they make excuses to stay with their guy. Those type relationships ususally end badly. This one will too if we don’t win.

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    • fmrusmcrntxComment by fmrusmcrntx
      October 9, 2012 @ 11:54 am

      You’re exactly right, “passtheword”. We have NO CHOICE, we MUST WIN! Another 4 years of this arrogant, radical Marxist-Socialist charlatan and we LOSE the country forever! :( And those of us who’ve fought for her will not let that happen if we can possibly avoid it. FYI/FWIW to all, a poll of active duty military by “Military Times” shows that 66% of our brave men & women serving our nation will vote for Gov. Romney! They know that BHO is no LEADER and isn’t FIT to be CINC! Keep the faith, Semper Fi!

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  6. librabobComment by librabob
    October 9, 2012 @ 12:14 pm

    Just one more example of Barack Obama’s lack of integrity and truthfulness with the American people. Lying to achieve a political objective is his way, it’s the Chicago way and it’s really all he knows. Deceitfulness has served him well in his meteoric rise to power, all the way to the White House. Unfortunately, the democratic party has also chosen to follow him down that path of dishonesty, along with the mainstream media. The biggest looser in Obama’s ploy to fundamentally transform this country to something that fits his world vision of fairness, it’s we the people…

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  7. Pingback: President Barack Obama – “Phony in Chief”? |

  8. gad7Comment by gad7
    November 29, 2012 @ 8:16 am

    Who is this man ? How can he hide? where is the law? How can he seal up his life from review by those who have need to know his back ground that would gain him the highest seat in the land? Yet he does day after day. Be frightened, very frightened … he will fall us as a powerful nation if he is not revealed.

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