Author, Author: A Sorry Denouement

Daniel J. Kelley, Chicago Daily Observer, October 1, 2009

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Imagine a man whose entire public career is predicated upon a simple yet colossal fraud.

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Several months ago, I wrote an article that raised questions related to Barack Obama’s celebrated autobiography, “Dreams from My Father.” I found portions of the book to be preposterous and difficult to accept as truthful. I thought some episodes in the book were completely fabricated. Other events were conflated. To be fair, it was not a particularly original article. Many other columnists found fault with the book and serious questions were raised as to the authenticity of Obama’s literary skills.

It was suggested in many quarters that Bill Ayers was the actual author of the book rather than Obama. Jack Cashill wrote a series of online articles which compared and contrasted paragraphs in Obama’s bestseller with similar passages found in books written by Ayers. Subsequent denials by Ayers did nothing to dispel the credible rumors concerning the origins of the book. The duplicitous Ayers has steadfastly denied collaborating with Obama on the book. Obama, himself, dismissed the extent of his association with Ayres, a former domestic terrorist, who he described simply as “a guy who lives in my neighborhood.”

The newly published “Barack and Michelle: A Portrait of an American Marriage” by Christopher Andersen adds more fuel to the fire. After interviewing close to two hundred persons, Andersen states that Obama had lost one publishing contract for his long delayed autobiography and he struggled to meet a second publisher’s deadline when he hurriedly turned over his work materials to Ayers. Obama had already spent close to half of his initial advance and he did not have anything resembling a final manuscript. Michelle Obama reportedly recommended that Ayers be called upon to collaborate with her husband on the book. The finished text suggests that Obama did little or no actual writing. The form and content of the book is unlike any other of the writings that Obama has made public.

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Suspiciously, Obama’s student records and scholarly writings from Occidental, Columbia and Harvard have been scrupulously guarded and withheld from researchers and the public. In light of recent revelations, one wonders if Obama was not acting out of motives related to personal modesty or privacy concerns. It seems as if his handlers were seeking to safeguard their candidate from being exposed as a phony. One wonders if Ayers and members of his radical cadre were not delighted to assist in launching a “Manchurian Candidate” upon a gullible and naïve American electorate.

It is hardly surprising that the truth has finally become public. Obama is not the first politician to profit from a successful book while relying upon the help of others to produce his manuscripts. Some politicians have had the honesty to list their co-authors or published books with the descriptive “as told to” appellation, but Obama seems to have largely faked it from start to finish.

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Obama is a calculating and scheming opportunist, as his past political history has demonstrated from the time of his first election to the Illinois State Senate. Like many of David Axelrod’s political clients, he has shown willingness to bend the truth and lie whenever it is expedient to do so. Somehow, I doubt he will be greatly embarrassed by the latest expose. He has no sense of shame. Like Kennedy, Obama can depend upon an adoring media to bury his misdeeds for as long as possible.

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