Doug Wead has researched the lives and families of all the American Presidents and many other national leaders seeking to find a link between the father’s influence and the child that eventually became an American President. At the time of the 2008 U.S. presidential campaign, the last two opponents standing were both men who had barely known their fathers: Barack Obama and John McCain. Presidents Andrew Jackson and Bill Clinton never knew their fathers; those men having died before the sons were born.
The father of Barack Obama left home in 1963, when his son was only two years old. They were separated by continents. Obama was twenty-one years old when he learned by a telephone message that the father he never knew was killed in an automobile accident. History now records Obama serving two consecutive terms as President of the United States. John McCain, historically the only son and grandson of four-star Admirals in the Navy, had a father who was very loving but very busy and mostly absent. In fact, history shows that many fathers of the American presidents died young. And even the ones who lived longer were busy, successful, but absent. George Herbert Walker Bush said of George W., “I was never there. Barbara raised him.” That said, he was one of only two fathers to actually attend their sons’ presidential inaugurations.
What impact would that have had on young men seeking to prove themselves or measure up? The truth is, Hitler, Stalin, Chairman Mao all fit the pattern of a strong mother attachment and an absent father. What is baffling, outside of an understanding of the orphan spirit, is that it seems to be the template for aggressive and criminal behavior as well as that of highest performers.
America’s prisons are full of young men who love their mothers and don’t know their fathers. Wead concludes, “It seems that both presidents and criminals drink from the same poisonous cup with vastly differing results. It was a strange tonic for good to the achieving presidents and a formula for terrible emotional damage to the criminal.”i
Here is the point: authority figures are not perfect – whether parents, pastors, teachers, or politicians – and Satan uses their imperfections as entry points for an orphan spirit. As we will see in The Abba Factor, the orphan spirit thrives in the highest places of wealth and power and lowest places of poverty. The orphan spirit is no respecter of persons,
i Doug Wead, The Raising of President and All the Presidents’ Children (Atria Books, 2005). Doug Wead chronicles that many other American Presidents lost their fathers at an early age. James Garfield was one year old when his father died. Andrew Johnson was three, Herbert Hoover six, George Washington eleven, and Thomas Jefferson fourteen. Fully nineteen presidents lost their fathers before they reached age thirty.