Why would Barack Obama lie about being born in Kenya when he was really born in Hawaii?
Breitbart News has obtained a promotional booklet produced in 1991 by Barack Obama’s then-literary agency, Acton & Dystel, which touts Obama as “born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia and Hawaii.”
The booklet, which was distributed to “business colleagues” in the publishing industry, includes a brief biography of Obama among the biographies of eighty-nine other authors represented by Acton & Dystel.
It also promotes Obama’s anticipated first book, Journeys in Black and White–which Obama abandoned, later publishing Dreams from My Father instead.
This is no birther blog – we don’t smoke that shit around here. I have no doubt in my mind that Obama was indeed born in Hawaii and is a natural born citizen.
This story barely broke before the Obama campaign and the media (but I repeat myself) rushed to claim it was a resurgence of birtherism. Miriam Goderich promptly issued the following statement:
“You’re undoubtedly aware of the brouhaha stirred up by Breitbart about the erroneous statement in a client list Acton & Dystel published in 1991 (for circulation within the publishing industry only) that Barack Obama was born in Kenya. This was nothing more than a fact checking error by me — an agency assistant at the time. There was never any information given to us by Obama in any of his correspondence or other communications suggesting in any way that he was born in Kenya and not Hawaii. I hope you can communicate to your readers that this was a simple mistake and nothing more.”
That’s the mother of all fact checking errors. Who wrote the original copy? If Obama didn’t write it, who did? Are we supposed to believe that a narcissist like Obama didn’t review his own bio?
This was 1991 – Obama was still a nobody. Back then his sole claim to fame was getting chosen as the first black president of the Harvard Law Review. He had a book deal but no book.
This is what got written in his bio:
Barack Obama, the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review, was born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia and Hawaii. The son of an American anthropologist and a Kenyan finance minister, he attended Columbia University and worked as a financial journalist and editor for Business International Corporation. He served as project coordinator in Harlem for the New York Public Interest Research Group, and was Executive Director of the Developing Communities Project in Chicago’s South Side. His commitment to social and racial issues will be evident in his first book, Journeys in Black and White.
In that one paragraph there are several misstatements. Barack Obama Sr. was a senior economist for the Kenyan Ministry of Finance, not a finance minister. A minister is like a cabinet secretary. Obama’s positions with NYPIRG and the Developing Communities Project may have carried a fancy title but it was basically just him being a “community organizer.”
But wait! There’s more!
The most interesting “tell” in the 1991 Acton & Dystel brochure relates to what was said about Obama’s career in the business world. Obama, the reader learns, “worked as a financial journalist and editor for Business International Corporation.”
In Dreams from My Father, Obama inflated his stint at Business International even more and transformed it into a faux moment of racial awareness, one of at least a half-dozen concocted racial melodramas in the book. As Obama tells the story, a “consulting house to multinational corporations” hired him and promptly promoted him to the position of “financial writer.”
Here, he felt like “a spy behind enemy lines,” and a guilty one at that. “As far as I could tell,” he adds, “I was the only black man in the company.” He does not boast of his racial uniqueness. Rather, in full grievance mode, he considers it “a source of shame.” Indeed, the whole experience troubled him:
I had my own office, my own secretary, money in the bank. Sometimes, coming out of an interview with Japanese financiers or German bond traders, I would catch my reflection in the elevator doors-see myself in a suit and tie, a briefcase in my hand-and for a split second I would imagine myself as a captain of industry, barking out orders, closing the deal, before I remembered who it was that I had told myself I wanted to be and felt pangs of guilt for my lack of resolve.
As early as July 2005, however, former co-worker and Obama fan Dan Armstrong revealed Obama’s whole account to be a “serious exaggeration.” Obama worked at not a multinational corporation, but a “small company that published newsletters.” He was not the only black person who worked there. He did not, as claimed, have his own office, wear a jacket and tie, interview international businessmen, or write articles. He mostly just copy-edited business items and slipped them into a three-ring binder for the company’s customers.
Are we supposed to believe that Goderich not only changed Obama’s birthplace from Hawaii to Kenya, but also transformed him from a grunt filling three-ring binders into a “financial journalist and editor”?
Who hasn’t puffed-up a résumé a little bit? But this goes beyond that. For one thing, this kind of stuff is among the characteristics of narcissism:
Pretending to be more important than they really are
Bragging (subtly but persistently) and exaggerating their achievements
Claiming to be an “expert” at many things
One last piece of data: In Dreams From My Father Obama admits that while at Punahou School, the fancy prep school he attended with the children of Hawaii’s rich and powerful, he told people that his father was an African prince.
Are you starting to see a pattern?
Unlike Obama, I never went on some years-long journey of self-discovery trying to figure out who I am. That journey is what Dreams is supposedly all about. But as we have already learned, many of the people in that memoir are fake “composites” and the events he describes didn’t take place.
Obama is not only pretentious, he is pretend-tious. At Punahou School he was low on the social status totem pole compared to the other children. So he claims to be the son of an African Prince. As he grows older he cultivates a persona that is exotic and international. He wears a sarong, quotes TS Eliot and listens to jazz.
Early on his lies are easy to tell and hard to check. Later on, not so much. So he begins trying to clean up his history. But the problem is he has created a paper trail, and now that he is world famous there is no place to hide.
Luckily for him the media is doing their best to protect him.