Confirming the literary detective work of WND columnist Jack Cashill prior to the 2008 election, author Christopher Andersen says in a newly released book that former domestic terrorist William Ayers helped Barack Obama write the president’s highly acclaimed memoir “Dreams from My Father.”
Obama’s 1995 book won the 2006 Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album and drew praise from Time magazine, which called it “the best-written memoir ever produced by an American politician.”
But since July 2008, Cashill has unveiled in nearly two dozen columns, summarized here, his compelling evidence that the unrepentant co-founder of the radical Weather Underground group – dismissed by Obama during the campaign as just “a guy who lives in my neighborhood” – shaped and refined the book with his exceptional writing skill and radical ideas.
Cashill, who acquired a copy of Andersen’s new book today, told WND the author “lays out the scenario just as I envisioned it.”
Andersen, in “Barack and Michelle: Portrait of a Marriage,” writes that Obama was faced with a deadline with the Times Books division of Random House to submit his manuscript after already having canceled a contract with Simon & Schuster. Confronted with the threat of a second failure, his wife, Michelle, suggested he seek the help of “his friend and Hyde Park neighbor Bill Ayers.”
Obama had taped interviews with relatives to flesh out his family history, and those “oral histories, along with a partial manuscript and a truckload of notes, were given to Ayers,” writes Andersen.
The author quotes a neighbor in the Hyde Park area of Chicago where Obama and Ayers lived, who says of the two, “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,” the neighbor said, according to Andersen.
Andersen also has written “marriage portraits” of George and Laura Bush, Bill and Hillary Clinton, and John and Jackie Kennedy. Among his other books are “Somewhere in Heaven: The Remarkable Love Story of Dana and Christopher Reeve,” “Barbra: The Way She Is,” “Sweet Caroline: Last Child of Camelot” and “After Diana: William, Harry, Charles, and the Royal House of Windsor.”
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.
Andersen concludes, “Thanks to help from the veteran writer Ayers, Barack would be able to submit a manuscript to his editors at Times Books.”
Andersen relied on inside sources, quite possibly Michelle Obama, to describe how “Dreams” was published, Cashill says. Andersen cites Cashill as a source, but Cashill points out in a fresh WND column today that Andersen “clearly has access to inside information that I did not have.”
“His level of detail on the mechanics of the transmission goes beyond anything that I could have discovered on my own,” Cashill writes.
Cashill pointed out in a column last year that in contrast to “Dreams,” the Obama writing samples unearthed before 1995 “are pedestrian and uninspired.”
“There is no precedent for this kind of literary transformation,” Cashill wrote. “It is as if a high 90s golfer suddenly showed up with his PGA card – with no known practice rounds in between.”
The evidence Cashill had gathered to that point, he said, “severely tests Obama’s claim of a superficial relationship with the self-declared ‘communist’ Ayers. This appears to be a conscious and consequential deception.”
‘That’s a myth’
Cashill noted in a column in May this year that Ayers was confronted at a Baltimore book-signing by a Washington Times online editor with the question of his alleged role in Obama’s book.
In the encounter, which was captured on video, the Times’ Kerry Picket asked Ayers if he had received any feedback from Obama on Ayers’ latest book, “Race Course: Against White Supremacy.”
Ayers asked rhetorically, “Why would I?”
Picket then asked, “Considering that you may have had a collaboration with ‘Dreams of My Father.’”
Ayers’ body language changed abruptly. Turning away from Picket, he replied curtly, “I never had a collaboration, no.”
“No?” she persisted.
“That’s a myth,” said Ayers, ending the conversation.
In an interview last night with the Fox News Channel’s Sean Hannity, Andersen was asked to comment on his assertion that Ayers helped Obama write “Dreams.” Hannity pointed to Andersen’s observation that “the literary devices and themes” of the book “bear a jarring similarity to Ayers’ own writings.”
“They were good friends,” Andersen affirmed, recalling that during the campaign Obama denied that fact.
“There was a literary cabal there in Chicago,” Andersen continued. “They were all giving each other quotes, blurbs to promote their respective books.”
Hannity concluded rhetorically: “So (Obama) lied to the American people.”
Andersen appeared hesitant to concur, but conceded, “Well, you know, I think, well, let’s face it, during that campaign I think he was doing some backpedaling, I’ll be honest. And I think that, you know, Michelle probably recommended that he not emphasize the relationship with Ayers.”
Last fall, Cashill commissioned an independent scientific comparative analysis of writings by Obama and Ayers to determine whether Ayers had a significant role in the writing of “Dreams.”
His experts included university professors from the U.S. and England in the statistical analysis of authorship, systems engineers, writers and Ph.D. literary analysts. Most, particularly professors at public universities, asked that their names not be revealed.
One analyst said it was possible Ayers served as a “book doctor,” drastically rewriting work Obama already had done.
Cashill conjectures that the apparent revelation of Ayers’ part in Obama’s book would have changed the outcome of the 2008 election.
He recalls that Chris Matthews, host of MSNBC’s “Hardball,” mocked the Republicans’ 2008 vice presidential candidate, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, for needing a collaborator for her book, because “she can’t write.”
Cashill comments in his column today that 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,” Cashill says, “and to reveal the name of that collaborator would have ended it.”
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