An odd thing happened during an Obama campaign rally in California the other day – Barack Obama almost didn’t show up…
For regular readers of the UlstermanReport, this description by New York Times reporter Peter Baker mirrors a description given to us by a longtime political operative that dealt with Barack Obama’s odd behavior just prior to the Democratic National Convention speech in 2008:
Our pool was brought into the Fox Theater, where the audience was being shown the campaign’s 17-minute promotional film. The movie ended with stirring tones, the lights came up and then … nothing. The stage stood empty for long minutes and no one came out, much less Potus. The crowd grew antsy and began chanting, “Obama, Obama!” Finally a woman took it upon herself to keep the audience busy, shouting, “Fired up,” followed by the crowd responding, “Ready to go.” After a few minutes, that died down. Then a man started chanting, “Four more years,” until that died down too. More minutes drained away with no one on the stage, no one addressing the crowd.
Finally when Potus was announced and entered the stage at 9:45 p.m. local (12:45 a.m. DC time), the crowd jumped to its feet enthusiastically. Potus responded to its energy. “It is good to be back in California,” he said. He then launched into roughly the same speech as in Denver. LINK
Now Insider’s telling of a story that centers around Barack Obama’s behavior just before he took the stage in Denver in 2008:
UM: Explain what your friend saw – “behind the scenes” as you put it.
Insider: Oh…what he saw – what he saw…yes indeed. What he saw was sh-t that didn’t feel right. What he saw was…was a guy who came in draggin’ and a guy who left bouncin’ off the f-cking walls. What he saw…what he heard was a godd-mn…dammit…I’m forgettin’ how he told it. The term he used…
UM: The chant?
Insider: Yeah – the chant…but he used a term for it and I can’t…it was a word…ah, dammit to hell…
UM: How about you go back to the coming in dragging part…explain that a bit more.
Insider: Not much to explain…Obama comes in…he’s been there already right. Several practice runs…fired up the teleprompter, going over the stage marks…all the typical sh-t. When he’s out practicing…the family is all there, right? But when he’s in the back area…no family. They are…they are in different areas. My friend – he thought that was a bit odd.
UM: The president – Barack Obama…he appeared fine during the rehearsals?
UM: But then?
Insider: But…then…later in the back area. Like a meet n greet area…and an adjoining room. Private. Closed off. So my friend is back there…some others too – they are hoping to catchthe candidate coming in. You know…everybody wants to shake his hand. All that sh-t.
UM: And Obama comes in.
Insider: Yeah – like I said…draggin’. He’s…he looks wiped. Wiped out. His color is all off. His eyes…he barely…my friend says…my friend SAID…he looked right through them. Like his eyes couldn’t focus enough to see them…and a big fella…Black guy…he was…it looked like he was holding Obama up. Making their way to the-the room…the private area.
UM: Did everyone notice Obama’s condition?
Insider: I don’t know – my friend didn’t say anything about that…but he sure as hell noticed. He thought maybe Obama had gotten sick…it’s not uncommon on the campaign trail. You eat some sh-t food sometimes.
…so Obama is holed up in this room. People are kinda mingling about I guess…maybe ten, fifteen minutes go by. Then a couple folks march on in – that’s how he put it to me…they marched on in…very purposeful. One looked like Secret Service…the other was a woman. Didn’t get too specific. Wish he would have but he didn’t. The woman goes in – the other fella…he stays outside the door. She’s in there for maybe another five minutes…she comes back out and tells ‘em to clear the hall. Clear out. Says they need about ten minutes to prepare.
Insider: That’s what he told me – she said they needed a little time to prepare.
UM: For what?
Insider: Hell if I know.
UM: So did he clear out with the others? Your friend?
Insider: No…he goes up to the guy outside the door…outside the room Obama, the big fella, and the woman are in. He’s just concerned…wants to know if he can help in any way. You know, maybe go get something for a bad stomach?
…But the guy outside the door – he ain’t messin’. It’s all business. Serious. He pushes my friend right on the chest – hard…tells him to step away and to clear the hall. And that’s where…that’s when he hears the chanting. The…he said it sounded like…like a…Gregory chant. That’s the term he used. A Gregory chant.
Insider: Eh? Greg…yeah…Gregorian.
UM: Was your friend Catholic?
Insider: Catholic…I…I don’t know. But that was the term there…Gregorian. It sounded like a Gregorian chant coming from the room…the room Obama was holed up inside.
UM: Could they have been praying? Singing?
Insider: Maybe..but…this group…the Obamas…prayin’ has never seemed like their thing. The team…they had a bunch of religion jokes you know. Even by then it seemed clear to most of us…like I just told you – Obama is an atheist. Now I’ve developed that little line of reason…0f reasoning later – down the road…but we all figured it then too.
UM: And his wife – Michelle…no sign of her?
Insider: I don’t think so…like he told me…they were never together except on that stage. No wife. No kids. Not until it was showtime apparently.
UM: So what then? Your friend is stopped outside the door and he hears…he hears what is described as chanting…is he the only one around at this point?
Insider: Don’t know that – he didn’t say.
He cleared out – like they told him.
UM: Does he mention this to anyone else there?
Insider: Then? I don’t know…he would mention it later though. I do know that. He told it to some others…that’s a big part of this…where this story…where this is headed. It’s where he f-cked up. It’s where…it’s…(trails off)
UM: That’s not it…tell about when he sees Obama come out of the room again.
Insider: Yeah…it’s maybe 20 or 30 minutes later…he makes his way back into the hall…there’s already a bunch of people there. Somehow the message went out to come back in…I don’t know. So they’re all mingling…the mood is great. Nothing being said about Obama being sick, or acting strange…nothing.
UM: But your friend is still wondering…concerned?
Insider: Oh yeah…that seems natural, right? The guy who is gonna accept the nomination on national television…the guy who is probably gonna be the next President of the United States…he is carried into a room not more than an hour ago? Hell yes you would think he would be wondering what the f-ck is up with that.
UM: But nobody else was concerned?
Insider: I told you – I DON”T KNOW THAT.
UM: Right then…go ahead. Keep going…
Insider: So…you got about…there’s a ton a people now waiting to see the…to see Obama make his way out into the hall. The ceremony is firing up…you can hear the enormous crowd in the stadium…whatever worries there might have been…people mighta just forgot them. Easy to do in that kind of environment. It’s a f-cking rock concert you know. A convention…that last night…the build up…an amazing thing. Like a drug those moments. You get a taste of it…you want more.
UM: So Obama comes back out – he leaves that room.
Insider: Michelle Obama comes out first.
UM: She does? But she never went in…
Insider: Obviously she went in at some point…just…my friend didn’t see that. He wasn’t around. Just…just shut up and let me do this…get through this. Keep your mouth shut for a bit…
…Obama’s wife comes out, there’s another woman carrying a bag thing. That would be makeup. Pretty sure of that. She was always…the amount of cover that Obama wears…I told you about that before right? Cakes that sh-t on. 24/7. It’s why his color seems to change so much…different brand, or product…something like that.
So they come out…the First Lady – soon to be…Michelle…she just walks on by. Not a word to anyone. She’s got a secret service guy who is alongside her. Out she goes and not a word. My friend notices somebody puts their hand on her – trying to say high or something…it’s harmless…but the Secret Service fella, he is right there to intervene. Pushes this other woman…she gets pushed back and the…Obama’s wife…she just keeps on walking. No smile – nothin’.
Another five minutes or so and out comes Obama and a few others – the big fella from earlier, the woman who went in after them, and now there appears to be a couple of Secret Service alongside them.
UM: Was that woman Jarrett?
Insider: Told you – don’t know. He…my friend – he didn’t say…
…so out of that room they come. Everybody is excited…including Barack Obama. It’s like…it’s like one man went into that room and another one came out. An entirely different man walked out of that room than went in. That is how…that’s how he told it to me. A different man walked out. The change…that…the transformation was stunning. He seemed taller. His eyes were…there was an energy to him. Powerful. He was smiling and joking, shaking hands, talking real fast…the suit – the one you see on television…every detail was perfect. Everybody was rushing to shake his hand, tell them they loved him…but my friend…he was shaken up. It was too damn weird, right? What the hell happened in that room? How could one man walk in and another man walk out? We’re talking two extremes here…Obama was just about carried into that room…and he comes out…he’s bouncing off the f-cking walls.
UM: Did your friend get close…up close to Obama at that time?
Insider: Oh yeah…got the handshake. Looked right up at him. And Obama…he looked right down…looked right down and through him.
UM: Through him?
Insider: Yeah boy…right the f-ck through him. He didn’t recognize…my friend…he had been introduced to Obama not more than a day before. He was helping organize the whole fu–ing event there in Denver. He spoke to the president…to the nominee…probably for about ten minutes. And there was nothing odd at that time…Obama seemed like what everybody saw in public. Not what my friend saw go into that room…or what he saw come out of that room. And Barack Obama – my friend was very…he made a point of emphasis there – Barack Obama did not recognize him in the hall. Not a clue. He smiled down at him, shook his hand…kept repeating thank you over and over again…and his eyes were always blinking. Fast.
UM: Blinking…his eyes were…blinking?
Insider: Yeah…like f-cking shutters. Blinking. Over and over again. My friend watched him as we he made his way to the side stage…his eyes were blinking over and over again.
UM: Drugs? Amphetamines?
Insider: I told you before what I know on that…the…his depression…or something along those lines…that was leaking out from the White House after he got in there…so maybe. Maybe somethin’ like that.
But that ain’t the meat of this thing…the…that’s not…I don’t give a f-ck if there were drugs or what involved before he gave that speech in Denver. What I care about…what-what…where this gets…where this leads us here is how people start gettin’ messed up who mighta seen whatever happened in that room before that speech…
…My friend…I heard later he had shared what he saw here and there. I’m guessing that sharing…my gut tells me somebody wanted him to shut the f-ck up about it.