Take Chicagoist's Obama Conspiracy Theory Quiz
By Lauri Apple in News on Dec 8, 2008 7:00PM
President-elect Barack Obama used to sit on his front stoop drinking Mr. Pibb with Bill Ayers! He bought clipboards for ACORN! He prays to Mecca five times a day! Thanks to the Internet, people of all styles of loony have concocted conspiracy theories of similar stock about the President-elect. And why shouldn't they? It's not like we, you know, produce any manufactured goods in the U.S. anymore. Gotta flex that Protestant work ethic somehow.
And anyway, developing theories and digging up "facts" to explain the behavior and histories of our presidents -- from Bush's hunchback and pretzel problems to Vince Foster's Death by Clinton to Reagan's astrologers (oh wait, that last one was real) -- is just something Americans do to feel like investigative-reporting mavericks.
Inspired by the recent bout of Obama birth certificate and citizenship theories, we've decided to have some fun. Below are 10 conspiracies about Obama. Some of them are not actual conspiracies but are fabricated fabrications. Guess correctly which items are actual, forwarded and Freeped-out conspiracies, and which are not, and you can win the greatest gift of all: enhanced self-esteem. Answers are after the jump.
1. Kenyan Prime Minister and socialist Raila Odinga received almost $1 million from his cousin, Barack Obama, for campaign purposes.
2. Two of Obama's advisors on economic issues were former Fannie Mae executives Franklin Raines and Tim Howard.
3. Obama was once a member of the New Beginnings Party, an extreme-Left political organization led by former union organizer Larry Blackmon.
4. Palestinian scholar Rashid Khalidi, who is critical of Israel, has served as one of Obama's foreign policy advisors.
5. In July, Obama tried to convince Iraqi officials to delay coming to an agreement with the Bush administration on a policy regarding the status of U.S. troops.
6. While a student at Occidental College in California, Obama traveled through Asia using money given to him by friends named Wahid and Muhammad.
7. While on the campaign trail, Obama failed to pay his $11.67 check for one "all-you-can-eat" buffet at a Charleston, S.C. Shoney's.
8. Obama used his influence as a U.S. Senator to convince the Drug Enforcement Administration not to indict Michelle Obama for forging prescriptions for drugs through a nonprofit she had founded to pass medical supplies onto impoverished countries.
9. Obama won't say the Pledge of Allegiance.
10. In 1986, Obama smuggled artemisia absinthium from Africa into the U.S. in order to make absinthe, to which he briefly became addicted.
OK, so which conspiracies are actual theories and which did we make up?
1. Real. This one was popularized by Swift Boat Jerry.
3. Made-up. There's no New Beginnings Party, and Larry Blackmon was the lead singer of Cameo.
4. Real. WorldNet Daily's description of the Woods Fund as a "the board of a nonprofit organization on which Sen. Barack Obama served as a paid director alongside a confessed domestic terrorist" does not make for a very punchy lede.
6. Real. (As for the Associated Content poster's question about why Obama moved from New York city to Chicago after graduating from Columbia: We've made this move ourselves, and think the answer should be obvious to anyone who has spent time in the two cities.)
7. Made-up. We don't know if Obama ate at Shoney's during the campaign, but there was some talk of a "Shoney's Vote" during the campaign.
8. Made-up. Cindy McCain had the drug problem.
9. Real. This one's tricky, though: Obama responded to the controversy by saying he doesn't place his hand over his heart during the National Anthem, but U.S. Law says you have to.
10. Made-up. We just like the idea of Mr. Calm having something in common with Vincent "RAZR" van Gogh.