The secrecy of the American government is something that fascinates us. It’s the reason House of Cards and Homeland are such successful shows. It’s the reason that there is a cottage industry of 9/11 conspiracy theories. And the government doesn’t even pretend that it’s not secretive. Although they name infringements of civil liberties the “Patriot Act,” they call the Commander in Chief’s guards the Secret Service.
Now, everyone knows that Richard Nixon was a secretive person. In June of 1972, as he ran for reelection, five men were arrested in the middle of the night trying to bug the offices of the Democratic National Committee at the Watergate hotel in Washington D.C. Although the administration tried to cover it up, the truth that Nixon had requested the operation eventually emerged in trial. He resigned in the face of impeachment, becoming the mascot of uncharismatic secretiveness.
Barack Obama, being so charismatic, would seemingly be his open-book opposite. But his administration has many secrets, personal and public, that would intrigue even the staunchest democrat. If you’re curious, click on, and find out the 14 secrets the Obamas would prefer you didn’t know.
14. Michelle Suspects Infidelity
Sources say that Obama has a wandering eye and that the First Lady is well aware of it. Some people even say that Michelle suspects Barack of having an affair with every attractive lady he’s left alone with. She might be right, given his attractiveness and his presumable level of stress. Things got worse when a photo emerged of the president and the American ambassador to Japan, Caroline Kennedy, getting close.
13. Their Looming Divorce Is An Open Secret
Or so says Japanese member of parliament Kazuyuki Hamada. In April of 2014, Obama visited Tokyo without his wife Michelle. The aforementioned MP, something of an expert on the Obamas, says that he believes this is a sign that their marriage is on the rocks. He claims that it is an open secret that they’re already negotiating the divorce in terms of custody and alimony payments, and that the only reason they’re sticking together is because his approval ratings depend on his family unity.
12. He Snapped A Tacky Selfie During A Memorial Service
The American president is supposed to be the image of stately composure. That is why so many people were appalled that he would agree to snap a selfie with David Cameron and Helle Thorning-Schmidt at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service in 2013. To make things worse, Michelle can be seen fuming off to the side.
Granted, firsthand accounts emerged testifying that it was a joyous occasion – fit for selfie snapping – and Michelle wasn’t unhappy at all, but still it seems a tad gauche for the president to exhibit vanity and boredom at a ceremony honoring a man’s death.
11. He Uses The Secret Service To Cover Up Affairs
As Claire Underwood shows, the Secret Service is for there to jog alongside you in the national mall and for having low-key three ways with. It isn’t for hiding your infidelity to the First Lady. But, according to sources, Obama will go off on business trips and have affairs, then demand the Secret Service cover his tracks. Since Michelle presumably has less resources than the government, she can’t get her hands on the evidence. But there is some truth to hearsay and she knows Obama is two-timing her.
10. Obama Ditched Michelle in Hawaii
The official party line is that Obama left Michelle alone in Hawaii, taking their two daughters back to D.C. with him after a vacation, as a birthday gift to Michelle. What overworked mother wouldn’t want some time off to read the Fifty Shades trilogy in a sarong on the beach? But, given his track record, it almost seems like Mr. and Mrs. Preisdent got into a fight in the remote island state and Obama left with his daughters before his marriage could cave in like a Waikiki Beach sandcastle.
9. Their Daughters’ Tuition Fees Are Exorbitant
Obama was elected right as the economic recession hit. His campaign and presidency were destined to be centered around economic growth and job availability. And yet he shows no compunction sending his daughters to a Washington D.C. school, Sidwell Friends, whose cumulative tuition is over seventy-thousand dollars a year. Sure, the girls must need protection and privacy, but spending that much money per year on a private school for them seems a bit excessive.
8. And That Isn’t Even Close To What They Pay On Travel Expenses…
If you thought Sasha and Malia’s tuition fees were over-the-top, just wait until you hear about the Obamas’ family vacation specs. Barack and Michelle have traveled more than any other first couple. One expert’s guess says that as of July 2015, they had spent more than $44.4 million in taxpayer money on travel for 31 international trips lasting 119 days. Many people were offended when Michelle took a trip with friends to the luxurious Costa del Sol in Spain in 2010, at a time when U.S. unemployment was roughly at 9.5%.
7. There Are Drugs and Alcohol at Sidwell Friends
Much like Constance Billard School for Girls from Gossip Girl, Sidwell Friends is a school full of rich kids behaving badly. According to a study published in the school paper, “Horizon,” over 71% of students have been to parties where drugs and alcohol were present. What’s more is that roughly 25% of senior boys admitted to having driven drunk. Since all of these families own remote properties or large houses, there is lots of place for the kids to hide and do bad stuff in secret.
6. Obama Likes His Substances
We won’t say that he’s a substance abuser, because that would be false, but his doctors did say that he should cut back on his drinking and smoking in 2010. Perhaps he did. He told the UN that he quit smoking because he’s scared of his wife. But recently photographs surfaced that made it seem like the President was holding a pack of cigarettes, reigniting rumors that he had picked up the habit again.
5. Obama Demands Equal Pay, But The While House Still Pays Women Less
Equal pay is not as literal as most people think. Much of income inequality comes from women being overrepresented in minimum wage jobs. In 2014, Obama made equal pay a central cause. He demanded the minimum wage be heightened. That said, there is about a thirteen percent gap in salaries inside the White House between men and women. Again, not because men are assigned higher salaries from the get-go, but because there are more men with higher-paying, senior jobs at 1600 Pennsylvania. Maybe it’s time for Obama to practice what he preaches.
4. Income Inequality Is Worse Under Obama Than Under Bush
In other words, during the Obama administration, the rich have gotten richer and the poor have gotten poorer. As an analysis by Emmanuel Saez shows, the rich took home a greater share of America’s income pie between 2009 and 2010 than they did between 2002 and 2007, quintessential Bush years. As seen by his opinion on equal pay, Obama is more lenient on the poor than Bush, but somehow couldn’t control the economy well enough to enfranchise them.
3. Goldman Sachs and Other Wall Street Firms Largely Escaped Punishment For Their Role in the Economic Crash
In 2012, the Justice Department announced that it would not prosecute Goldman Sachs over the allegations regarding the economic crash. The Obama administration took paddling the bad boys of Wall St. very lightly, even offering them a $1 trillion stimulus package to get the economy back on track. And, seeing as the deadline to file cases has passed, now the big banks are inured to any further investigation, meaning these white collars will never get another legal scare about their role in this.
2. First Lady of the United State’s Office A Confining, Frustrating, Even Miserable Place to Work
Michelle Obama’s many appearances on television and movies (on Jimmy Kimmel, in Pitch Perfect 2, in Parks and Recreation…) make her seem likeable and affable. But apparently that’s all a very carefully manufactured image by a section of the White House that does not tolerate mistakes. A former aide says: “There’s no barometer: The first lady having the wrong pencil skirt on Monday is just as big of a f***-up as […] a policy initiative that completely failed.” Yikes.
1. Obama’s Half-Brother Plans To Write A Book About Father’s Domestic Abuse
Mark Obama Ndesandjo, Obama’s half-brother, is self-publishing an autobiography called Cultures: My Odyssey of Self-Discovery. In it, he’s going to set straight some of the stories in Dreams From My Father, Obama’s bestseller. He plans to discuss his alcoholic father’s domestic abuse. He remembers one instance when his drunk father held a knife to his mom’s throat, after which she took out a restraining order against him. He says that he wanted to tell his own story, not have peope tell the story for him.
telegraph.co.uk, reuters.com, huffingtonpost.com