Barack Obama, father of our country.

Gossip, speculation, and scuttlebutt about politics.
Feb. 7 2007 5:32 PM

Obama, D.C.

The Obama Messiah Watch, part 3.

Barack Obama. Click image to expand.
Barack Obama 

Is Barack Obama the Light of the World? To answer this question, Slate has been gathering gratuitously adoring biographical details from newspaper, television, and magazine profiles of the U.S. senator from Illinois, best-selling author, Harvard Law Review editor, Men's Vogue cover model, Grammy winner, sot-weed addict, and "exploratory" presidential candidate. Today's entry is a Feb. 5 Associated Press story by Karin Stanton on Obama's genealogy. Although Stanton was unable to locate the Lord in Obama's family tree, she did find the father of our country:

Bruce Harrison, founder of the Waikoloa[, Hawaii]-based Family Forest Project, says he found links between the Democratic senator from Illinois and Presidents George Washington, James Madison, Harry Truman and Jimmy Carter.

Advertisement

Apparently the common ancestor is one Lawrence Washington, an English wool merchant born circa 1500. Lawrence is Obama's great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather on his mother's side. Lawrence was George Washington's great-great-great-great-great grandfather on his father's side. In addition to four presidents, Stanton reports, Lawrence Washington's descendants include Gen. George S. Patton, Adlai Stevenson, and Quincy Jones.

Stanton neglects to tell readers that this Obama ancestor built the Washington family estate in Oxfordshire, Sulgrave Manor, on land that King Henry VIII confiscated from the Catholic Church. She also neglects to point out that, according to the same genealogical database, George Washington is President George W. Bush's 11th cousin eight times removed, and that Dubya may be "at least a 79th great-grandson of the famous King Solomon of the Bible, whose name is synonymous with great wisdom." Talk about regression to the mean!

Obama/Messiah Archive:
Jan. 29, 2007: Took very few notes in class!
Feb. 5, 2007: Mastered laws governing universe!

Timothy Noah is a former Slate staffer. His  book about income inequality is The Great Divergence.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore

And schools are getting worried.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

The XX Factor

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

Why a Sketch of Chelsea Manning Is Stirring Up Controversy

How Worried Should Poland, the Baltic States, and Georgia Be About a Russian Invasion?

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM -30-
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
  Life
Quora
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 20 2014 3:21 PM “The More You Know (About Black People)” Uses Very Funny PSAs to Condemn Black Stereotypes
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 20 2014 7:00 AM The Shaggy Sun
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.