In his new book, “Barack and Michelle: Portrait of an American Marriage,” best-selling celebrity journalist Christopher Andersen has blown a huge hole in the Obama genius myth without intending to do so.
In the way of background, I had first advanced the thesis that Bill Ayers played a major role in the writing of Obama’s much acclaimed 1995 memoir, “Dreams From My Father,” in WorldNetDaily more than a year ago. (See extensive list of columns below.)
Relying on inside sources, quite possibly Michelle Obama herself, Andersen describes how “Dreams” came to be published, and it is just as I envisioned it.
According to Andersen, Obama was “hopelessly blocked” in his effort to honor the $150,000 contract Simon & Schuster had advanced him after three years of trying.
Obama was particularly worried because he had spent $75,000 of the advance and had produced nothing. In 1993, the publisher canceled the contract but let Obama keep the money after he pled poverty due to “massive student loan debt.”
After his agent secured Obama a smaller contract with the Times Books division of Random House, Barack and Michelle decamped to Bali in the hope that he would be able to finish the book without interruption. That did not happen either.
With the deadline pressing, Michelle recommended that Barack seek advice from “his friend and Hyde Park neighbor Bill Ayers.”
To flesh out his family history, Obama had taped interviews with various family members. Andersen writes, “These oral histories, along with a partial manuscript and a truckload of notes, were given to Ayers.”
Andersen quotes a Hyde Park neighbor: “Everyone knew they were friends and that they worked on various projects together. It was no secret. Why would it be? People liked them both.”
Andersen continues, “In the end, Ayers’ contribution to Barack’s ‘Dreams From My Father’ would be significant – so much so that the book’s language, oddly specific references, literary devices and themes would bear a jarring similarity to Ayers’ own writing.”
To his credit, Andersen cites my contribution to his research, but he clearly has access to inside information that I did not have. His level of detail on the mechanics of the transmission goes beyond anything I could have discovered on my own.
Andersen concludes, “Thanks to help from the veteran writer Ayers, Barack would be able to submit a manuscript to his editors at Times Books.”
This will come as a profound shock to the Obama fans in the literary world that Andersen will count on to sell this book.
“He wrote it himself,” esteemed British author Jonathan Raban wrote of Obama’s “Dreams” in The Wall Street Journal. “Every sentence has its own graceful cadence. He could just as easily have been a novelist as a politician.”
Raban called Obama “the best writer to occupy the White House since Lincoln.” He is in good company. In their reading of “Dreams,” the world’s literary gatekeepers, an influential subset of the Obama faithful, have convinced themselves that Obama is too smart, too sensitive, too skilled as a writer to need anyone’s assistance.
They believe this deeply enough to have built Obama’s foundational myth around his presumed genius.
“I was astonished by his ability to write, to think, to reflect, to learn and turn a good phrase,” said Nobel prize-winning novelist Toni Morrison. “I was very impressed. This was not a normal political biography.”
By contrast, the left has been at pains to depict Republicans – George Bush and Sarah Palin most recently – as dunces because they were unable to write their own books.
Chris Matthews, the “Hardball” host, weighed in on the subject of Sarah Palin’s new book deal. “Sarah Palin – now don’t laugh – is writing a book,” sneered Matthews. “Not just reading a book, writing a book.”
“Actually in the word of the publisher she’s ‘collaborating’ on a book,” Matthews continued. “What an embarrassment! It’s one of these ‘I told you,’ books that jocks do. You know she’s already declared, I mean, why they do it like this? ‘She can’t write, we got a collaborator for her.’”
As the Obama–as–Milli Vanilli story unfolds, Matthews and those willfully blind souls like him are in for a shock. To admit that Obama needed a collaborator would have undercut his campaign for president and to reveal the name of that collaborator would have ended it.
Now that he is president, it may be time to start telling the whole truth about the man we elected president.
Note: If you’re a member of the media and would like to interview Jack Cashill, e-mail WND.
Cashill’s exclusive columns on the ghostwriting of “Dreams From My Father”: