It appears that Granny Dunham has served her purpose during the campaign as the oh-so important “rock of the family” but yet “typical white person” in now President-elect Barack Obama’s life. After a silent, but both respected and disrespected foil in Obama’s campaign, she died election day. Obama made barely the slightest mention of her passing. Today he even skips her funeral.
Recall that the week before the election now-President-elect Obama traveled alone, without his wife and daughters, to make a last brief visit to her. Michelle did not go and pay her respects, nor did she and Barack allow a last visit by their daughter’s to see their great-grandmother. Indeed, last summer when they visited Hawaii, only Barack ventured a visit.
Now, today, we see even more evidence of how little Granny Dunham meant to the family and we see a stark example of President-elect Obama’s ‘family values’. At 5 p.m. today, Hawaiian-time (See Star Bulletin), the memorial service and internment of Madelyn Payne Dunham will be held at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl, where President-elect Obama’s grandfather is already buried. Not attending is President-elect Obama. In fact, none of the Obama family apparently care enough to travel, even for a brief moment, to attend today’s memorial service.
It cannot be said that President-elect Obama, Mrs. Obama, and the two daughters are too busy to travel to Hawaii. The election campaign is over and until January 20, 2009, he has no Constitutional role or responsibility. He is simply President-in-waiting.
There are no affairs of state to yet attend to. A day or two out of his life to show a little respect for his grandmother would not be too much to expect. At the very least Mrs. Michelle Obama could attend on the family’s behalf as she has even less formal responsibilities at the moment. That is, unless measuring the drapes is more important that showing last respects to the President-elect’s grandmother who helped raise him.
This early example of President-elect Obama’s family values is very unsettling to say the least. Especially as one recalls the President-elect’s other family values and his own observation on October 23:
“Most people understand that if you are not caring for your family, then you are probably not the kind of person who is going to be caring for other people.”—Barack Obama, October 23, 2008
Cross-posted at my blog, The Independent View.