September 18, 2016

*Obama Was the Original Birther*

By Brian Joondeph <>

Barack Obama’s life story is back in the news after Donald Trump played
rope-a-dope with the dopey media once again. Brilliantly he duped the major
networks into giving him 30 minutes of free airtime culminating in a few
sentences ending
his involvement in the birther controversy. The only thing Trump could have
added is a fourth sentence quoting previous birther Hillary Clinton, “What
difference, at this point, does it make?”

Big media is howling after being played once again by the master showman.
And the birther issue is back in the news at a point where it really
doesn’t matter anyway given only a few months left in Obama’s presidency.
Since the subject has been resurrected, it would be instructive to look
back and see who started all of this.

Long ago in 1991 when Bill Clinton, to borrow Colin Powell’s description,
was “D---ing bimbos” in Arkansas, Barack Obama was a Visiting Law and
Government Fellow <> at the
University of Chicago Law School. During his fellowship he began writing
his first book, *Dreams From My Father*. The aspiring author had a literary
agency, Acton and Dystel, which prepared a promotional booklet including a
brief Obama biography. They printed similar bios for the other 89 authors
they represented. Standard practice in the publishing world.

In the bio, Obama is described
<> as “Born in
Kenya and raised in Indonesia and Hawaii”. This booklet was first published
in Brietbart and verified
<> by Snopes. The
excuse for the birthplace discrepancy is that the bio was written by some
editor at the literary agency, not by Obama himself. Which may very well be
true. But where did the editor get this information?

Remember that in 1991, the internet was just in process of being invented
by Al Gore. One couldn’t run a web search for Barack Obama and his
background and education. As president of the Harvard Law Review, he
nothing. As he was a recent law school graduate, there would be little in
the public library about his background. The New York Times published
a short article in 1990 announcing Obama’s election to the Harvard Law
Review, but with no mention of his being born in Kenya. In fact, the
article in the Times stated that he was born in Hawaii.

The logical conclusion is that what the literary editor wrote for the Obama
bio, particularly the part of him being born in Kenya, had to come from
Obama himself. Why would an editor cherry pick some information from the
New York Times article and manufacture something else about his place of

This is the Times bio
“His late father, Barack Obama, was a finance minister in Kenya and his
mother, Ann Dunham, is an American anthropologist now doing fieldwork in
Indonesia. Mr. Obama was born in Hawaii.” The literary bio said essentially
the same thing, except changing the birthplace to Kenya. This bio was
written by a literary agency, not a politician’s press office. Literary
publishing is about accuracy and it’s a stretch to believe the agent made
this change without first running it by Obama.

The “Born in Kenya” certainly spices up the bio and that may have been the
sole reason for Obama to alter his birthplace. After all, his goal at this
point was to sell books. What’s a little stretch or exaggeration compared
to the greater good of launching his writing career? Much like, “If you
like your insurance” or “If you like your doctor.” Other tall tales used to
promote a lofty agenda.

As Obama’s school records are sealed, there is no way of knowing if he
promoted himself as “foreign born” earlier in his educational career.
Perhaps for admission preference or financial aid, but pure speculation in
the absence of his actual school records. Meaning that his literary bio
represents the first promotion of his being born in Kenya.

If this was a mere oversight, it would have quickly been corrected. Instead
16 years went by with the bio neither revised nor updated. It was finally
in 2007 when Obama announced his Presidential candidacy. During that
Presidential campaign, the birth issue was not raised by Obama’s opponent
John McCain. McCain actually went so far as to chastise anyone for even
mentioning Obama’s middle name of Hussein.

Instead it was Obama’s Democrat primary opponent, Hillary Clinton, who
picked up on the birth issue. Not Donald Trump who was busy building hotels
and hosting reality shows at the time. Mrs. Clinton’s surrogate Sid
Blumental was pushing
the Obama birth story so hard that McClatchy sent a reporter to Kenya to
investigate. And don’t forget the now famous photo of Obama in Muslim garb
by the Clinton campaign in 2008 as, “A last-ditch battle to keep her hopes
of the White House alive”.

Back to Trump and his recent “major announcement” on the birther issue. He
was incorrect in his first
of three sentences, "Hillary Clinton and her campaign of 2008 started the
birther controversy.” It was actually Barack Obama himself, who willingly,
or negligently by not correcting the error, allowed the Kenyan birth
narrative to live for 16 years before saying otherwise. But Mrs. Clinton
and her campaign resurrected the issue, which now continues to smolder.

Trump, after a 30-minute infomercial donated by the big media networks,
wisely took the issue off the table. “I finished it,” he told
the cameras. Leaving the real birther coughing and collapsing after Trump’s
masterful manipulation of the dopey media. As the Washington Post
concluded, “It was peak Trump”.

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