Those who detected the delicate, but distinctive whiff of fraudster in Barack Obama’s clearly overapplied cologne were onto something - just not exactly what they thought.
Some thought he was trying to mask his lack of natural-born citizenship, but Obama was trying to cover something else with a little misdirection.
Obama’s old literary agency, Acton & Dystel, noted in a 1991 brochure touted its stable of writers, including a young talent who was “born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia and Hawaii.” That talent was, of course, Barack Obama.
Miriam Goderich, who said she edited the bio, fell on her sword and issued a statement to Yahoo News (Not Breitbart, which found the fascinating tidbit) saying it was a “fact-checking error by me.”
Uh, OK. If so, it was a fact-checking error that lasted for 16 years. It survived on what became the Dyster & Goderich website until April 2007, when it got scrubbed – two months after Obama declared he was running for president.
Interesting timing, that.
Obama’s defenders have leapt to the president’s defense by saying that the 16-year gap in promotional truth was being abused by “birthers.” No, we suspect Mr. Obama, self-proclaimed scourge of fraudsters, was happy to live with a misrepresentation that painted him in an Austin Powers-like light. He was a man of the world, you see. He owed no old-world allegiances. He had a unique perspective, and he was sensitive to boot.
Obama was supposed to write a tome called “Journeys in Black and White.” The black and white of it was that the book never was written (no word on whether it was cancelled because Bill Ayers was unavailable for typing services).
But the promo lived on and the world’s most famous narcissist never said a word to his old agent about how he was born in Hawaii, or that maybe she might want to correct that error about his place of birth. That is until it was no longer advantageous to be a Kenya-born, international man of mystery. Then it was time to do a little scrubbing.
It would have been simple enough for Obama to have mentioned early on as the birther frenzy began that, hey, he might have let the “fact-checking error” stand in order to get a little marketing advantage. Trust The Cheap Seat, Chris Matthews still would have had that tingle up his leg and the rest of us, well we might have at least recognized a bit of American ingenuity in the gambit.
One thing is for sure, Obama has surrendered any right he might have to question hucksterism and small-time misrepresentations offered in the pursuit of profit. To condemn them is to condemn himself.