Michelle: Bank Sex-Discriminated Against Barack’s Grandmom; Tax Returns: Barack Inherited $480,908 in Bank's Stock from Bank's VP (His Grandmom)

Terence P. Jeffrey | October 3, 2011 | 5:42pm EDT
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First Lady Michelle Obama and President Barack Obama (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

(CNSNews.com) - First Lady Michelle Obama said at a fundraiser in Providence, Rhode Island, on Friday night that a bank where Barack Obama’s grandmother had worked discriminated against her for nearly two decades “because she was a woman.”

However, the Washington Post reported earlier this year that Obama’s grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, had been the first female vice president of the Bank of Hawaii.

Meanwhile, Barack and Michelle Obamas’ 2009 tax return, posted on the White House website, indicates the Obamas inherited almost $500,000 worth of the bank’s stock from the president’s grandmother.

At the Friday fundraiser, held in a private home, Mrs. Obama explained why President Obama wants everybody to get a “fair shake.”

“Or can we rebuild our economy for the long term so that work pays, and responsibility is rewarded, and everyone—everyone--gets a fair shake and does their fair share?” Mrs. Obama asked, according to an official White House transcript. “That is the choice we face. Those are the stakes.

“But believe me, Barack knows this all too well,” Mrs. Obama continued. “He understands these issues because he’s lived them. He was raised by a single mother who struggled to put herself through school and pay the bills. And when things got too tough for her, his grandmother stepped in, waking up every morning before dawn to take the bus to her job at the bank.

“And his grandmother worked hard, and she was good at what she did,” said Mrs. Obama. “But for nearly two decades, he’s [sic] watched as she was passed over for promotions. Why? Because she was a woman.  And she watched men no more qualified then she was--men she actually trained--climb the corporate ladder ahead of her.

“So believe me, Barack knows what it means when a family struggles.  He knows what it means when someone doesn’t have a chance to fulfill their potential,” said Mrs. Obama.

In May, the Washington Post published a review of author Janny Scott’s “A Singular Woman: The Untold Story of Barack Obama’s Mother.”

In the review, the Post reported that Barack Obama’s grandmother, Madelyn Payne Dunam, became the first female vice president of the Bank of Hawaii even though she had not gone to college.

“Her mother, though, the oldest, saw her own plans for college cut down by the Depression and looming war,” said the Post. “Madelyn Payne escaped the boredom of sturdily simple Augusta, Kan., by slipping away from her prom at 17 and marrying the dashing Stanley Dunham, much to the dismay of her parents. Their marriage was stormy and long-lasting. Madelyn worked her way up to be the first female vice president of the Bank of Hawaii, outearning her husband.”

In its own review, the New York Times said: “At home, sex roles were changing, too. While Stanley Dunham [Obama’s grandfather] drifted between sales jobs, Ann's mother, Madelyn, ultimately rose to prominence as one of the first women to be vice president at the Bank of Hawaii. It was Madelyn who supported the family and paid for her grandchildren's private schooling as her daughter struggled to support herself abroad.”

On April 16, 2010, the Washington Post reported that President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama had publicly released their 2009 tax return. “Obama's grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, left him stock in the Bank of Hawaii valued at almost $500,000 at the time of her death in November 2008, the tax return shows,” said the Post.

In fact, that tax return is currently posted on the White House website. In a Schedule D, showing "Capital Gains and Losses," it indicates that the Obama’s inherited $480,908 worth of Bank of Hawaii stock. The tax return says the Obama’s sold the stock on Jan. 29, 2009, for $355,029, absorbing a loss of $125,879.

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