It`s hard to know what`s in a man`s heart, especially in the heart of someone as verbally gifted and cautious as the Democratic frontrunner. We do have one objective source of data, however: the Obama family`s charitable contributions according to their tax returns of 1998, 2005, and 2006.
The Obamas didn`t give a lot to charity until they hit it rich in 2005 with Barack`s book deal and Michelle`s big raise, but what`s of interest here is the pattern of donations. Was there a relative fall-off in support for Wright`s Trinity church as they matured politically and emotionally?
According to a 2007 Chicago Tribune story:
"Only a few of the tax returns released by Obama detail the recipients of his charity. In 1998, when the Obamas reported a combined household income of $191,146 and $1,100 in cash donations to charity, the biggest gift went to Trinity. It totaled $400, about 0.2 percent of their combined income."In 2005 they gave the church $5,000 and in 2006 it received $22,500."
So, in two of the three years for which we have numbers (1998 and 2006), Wright`s Trinity church was the top recipient of the Obama family`s contributions. Now, 2006 really wasn`t very long ago...