>> we have finally received a book with all the information about Barack Obama. It might have been good to know before he was elected president. The book is called rising star, it is an exhaustive thousand page look at the former president’s life prior to being elected. The books author he joins us now. And for coming on.
>> Thank you.
>> Tucker: So the question is, many questions, but you found material in this book not previously uncovered during his entire presidency, his years in the Senate and, the fact that he was a subject of a number of books. What did it take you to find this?
>> It’s remarkable that someone could twice be elected president of the United States, serve eight years, and huge pieces of his earlier life remained undiscovered. And it’s not just a girlfriend in. It’s his closest intellectual companion, his closest friend from Harvard law school, the person who actually helped edit his autobiography memoir, Dreams from my Father. It’s remarkable that journalists didn’t do this basic legwork back in 2007-2008.
>> Tucker: In the book, you say that the former president reached out during the course of a splitter go career to a number of people who might have given interviews and laid on them not to talk to journalist because they might hurt him. To think that was part of the problem?
GARROW: “The Barack Obama from 1985 to 2002 in Illinois was a wonderful Progressive politician. I’m a Progressive Democrat myself. But the Barack Obama that we saw in the White House when we see nowadays is a fundamentally different person from who he was in the 1990s. And it’s that intellectual and political evolution that is what this book really discovers and captures.”
>> Tucker: So I know you’re a man of the left and I’ve always thought of you that way and with that in mind, I was struck by the epilogue to the book, the 40 or 60 pages at the end where you sum up what you’ve learned about President Obama and I think it’s fair to call it very negative, very tough on him. Are those judgments that you made after collecting all the evidence and were you surprised to read that conclusion?
>> I was surprised at how the Obama presidency turned out, and it is a critical epilogue from the perspective of a Progressive Democrat. When Barack was in Illinois, he was an outspoken proponent of single-payer health coverage, an outspoken critic of the patriot act and the intelligence community and the CIA. So the Obama that we have seen as president has been a dramatically different person up through 2002, Brock lived a very modest, humble, middle-class life. Now here we are in 2017 and we see him hobnobbing with celebrities and musicians and billionaires, getting $400,000 in speech. He’s a a very different person today from who he was from 1985 through 2002 and that’s what this book explains.
>> Tucker: So I think it’s fair to say you look at him more closely than ever living person perhaps other than his wife and you reach the conclusion in the epilogue that he is — I think I’m quoting pretty much more or less a hollow man. You’re not sure that the center of him.
>> As a Progressive Democrat, I’m disturbed and perplexed that he has changed so dramatically over the last 15 years. We look at his record back in Illinois in the 1990s up to 2002, you would think we knew who he was. But he has turned out to be a different person then we would have protected.
>> Tucker: You think is a good person?
>> He was certainly a very good person from 1985 till 2002. About the desire to succeed, the desire to win, the need to become president changed him. Fundamentally changed him, and that to me is a fundamentally sad story.
>> Tucker: You write that Michelle Obama was not his first choice for a wife. Explain the criteria he used to make that decision. On who to marry.
>> From 1986 through 1991, Brock had a very intense, important, formative relationship with a woman who was half Dutch, half Japanese. A wonderful woman, woman who like myself as an academic, a scholar. Journalists never discovered her back in 2007-2008 but anyone could have by working into the library of university of Chicago and who else lived at Barack’s address. But it’s not just her. His closest friend in law school, rob, who helped him write and edit and hone dreams from my father, they were these formative people in Brock’s early life who American journalism failed to discover for years.
>> Tucker: It seems like at key points in his life, Obama made decisions that were not — not human decisions. He seemed to make decisions — going back a long time including on who he married and there’s a coldness. I’m not being political in this. This comes out in your pages, a coldness at the center of the guy that’s really striking.
>> I think there is an ambition, a deep, profound political ambition, which Brock articulated as early as 1987 to the people with whom he was closest then and that ambition was a formative part of his life life. Joining Jeremiah Wright, Trinity was a part of that too.
>> Tucker: The last question, you describe yourself as a Progressive, is a man of the left. “The New York Times” has attacked your book savagely and review and the main problem here to me that you criticized saying to Obama at the end of your book. Given that your book has this critical assessment at its end, are you surprised that the left can’t deal with that apparently?
>> I think in today’s culture and today’s politics, unfortunately, we sometimes see partisanship trumping — a verb I like — trumping professionalism. I’m an academic, a scholar, historian. It’s sad “The New York Times” gives into partisan fervor, but I am playing a long game. I’m a scholar. In this book will be the authoritative account of Barack Obama’s prepresidential life. I believe for decades to come.
>> Tucker: That is without question true and good for you to doing all the work required to produce it. Thank you.