Newsweek, July 10, 2011: Early in The Other Barack, a childhood playmate recalls how Obama Sr. would frequently snap at him and shout, “You don’t know what you are talking about.” A few chapters later, the editor of the University of Hawaii literary magazine describes Obama Sr. barreling into his office, unprovoked, to declare that a particular poem wasn’t “worth a damn.” Back in Nairobi, says one government official, Obama Sr. would “slam his fist on the table” and claim that a rival “knows nothing about math or economics”; he would go on to describe other colleagues as “intellectual dwarfs.” As college friend and current Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie tells Jacobs, Obama Sr. could never “contain his irritation with people who were not as facile as he, and he did not hesitate to say so.”
The president, of course, has a healthy ego. But this is something else. Every shred of available evidence—which Jacobs, a veteran reporter, spent two years and 75,000 miles of intercontinental travel ably assembling—suggests that the senior Obama was an unmitigated jerk: a coxcombish souse who forced friends to cover his abundant bar tabs and repeatedly broke his legs in boozy car crashes; an uncooperative contrarian who was promptly fired from, or sidelined at, every job he ever had; a compulsive philanderer who ditched his first wife, Kezia Nyandega, when he moved to America, abandoned the president’s mother, Ann Dunham, when he left Hawaii for Harvard, and lured his third wife, Ruth Baker, to Kenya only to beat, berate, and cheat on her.