Author and WND columnist Jack Cashill, whose works include “Deconstructing Obama: The Life, Loves and Letters of America’s First Postmodern President,” says revelations in Vanity Fair’s excerpts of a coming Obama biography simply raise more questions about just exactly who wrote what in Barack Obama’s history.
That’s because excerpts from Obama’s writings, love letters to a girlfriend, quoted by biographer David Maraniss in his coming book, “Barack Obama: The Story,” are smooth, erudite and grammatically fluent, as opposed to the “clunkers,” clichés and calamities from other documented examples of Obama’s writings.
In a column in today’s WND, Cashill cites some of the other work that has been linked positively to Obama’s authorship.
“In the Harvard Law Record letter, which is less than 1,000 words long, Obama has three sentences in which nouns and verbs fail to agree, including the very first one: ‘Since the merits of the Law Review’s selection policy has been the subject of commentary for the last three issues, I’d like to take the time to clarify exactly how our selection process works,’” Cashill cited.
He explained, “In the Harvard of 1990, with his name fully emblazoned upon his work, Obama was not hesitant to share syntactically challenged clunkers like this one: ‘No editors on the Review will ever know whether any given editor was selected on the basis of grades, writing competition, or affirmative action, and no editors who were selected with affirmative action in mind.’”
“Huh?” Cashill wondered.
Maraniss, in the Vanity Fair excerpt, quotes from writings purportedly from the pen of Obama that include, “But I will hazard these statements – Eliot contains the same ecstatic vision which runs from in Münzer to Yeats.”
“Recall that Obama, in the words of friendly biographer David Remnick, was an ‘unspectacular’ student. A Northwestern University prof who wrote a letter of reference for Obama reinforces the point, telling Remnick, ‘I don’t think [Obama] did too well in college,’” wrote Cashill.
“And yet writing longhand, presumably from memory, Obama has the wherewithal to put an umlaut over the ‘u’ in Münzer. In college, I was an Honors English student and a Classics minor, not a political science major like Obama. I had not even heard of Münzer before reading this letter.”
He continued, “That Obama could embark upon a sophisticated, spontaneous discussion of T.S. Eliot – he claimed not to have read ‘The Waste Land’ for a year and never bothered ‘to check all the footnotes’ – should have alerted Maraniss.”
“Nowhere in ‘Dreams’ (“Dreams from My Father, purportedly written by Obama) is there any mention of T.S. Eliot, Münzer or Yeats or any of the themes in this letter…”
He continued, “Totally missing from ‘Dreams’ too are the more exotic words in the [Obama] letter to McNear: ecstatic, mechanistic, asexual, stoical, moribund, reactionary, fertility, dichotomy, irreconcilable, ambivalence, plus ‘hazard’ and ‘counter’ used as verbs, as in ‘I will hazard these statements’ and ‘Counter him with Yeats and Pound.’”
He said the New York Times owes its readers “some proof of the letter’s legitimacy,” such as a hard copy of the letter, whether it was typed or handwritten, and other details.
That’s because there was no spellcheck installed in those days. At that time, in the early 1980s, college students typically typed documents or wrote them longhand.
That makes the transformation from what is documented to have been Obama’s writings to the quotes in the biography excerpt more startling.
For example, attributed to Obama is: “The belief that moribund institutions, rather than individuals are at the root of the problem, keep SAM’s energies alive.” Noted Cashill: “Random commas, misuse of ‘moribund,’ should be ‘keeps.’”
Another case: “What members of ARA and SAM try to do is infuse what they have learned about the current situation, bring the words of that formidable roster on the face of Butler Library, names like Thoreau, Jefferson, and Whitman, to bear on the twisted logic of which we are today a part.” Noted Cashill: “A syntactic disaster from beginning to end.”
“The letter that Maraniss reproduces, by contrast, is exquisitely punctuated and free of all such errors. The author of the letter even uses his or her participles correctly,” he said.
Even Google apparently is on board with Ayers’ authorship of the award-winning book.
A search on Ayers’ name in Google’s books section lists “Dreams” among his works.
“Google knows so much about us already that privacy activists are alarmed. What data are its algorithms sifting through to come to the conclusions that yes, the stylistic parallels to Ayers’ other books are formidable and Barry never showed any sign of an ability to write this way before or after,” writes Thomas Lifson at American Thinker.
Lifson pointed out that Christopher Anderson’s “friendly biography” of the Obamas “includes the information that Obama found himself deeply in debt and ‘hopelessly blocked.’ At ‘Michelle’s urging,’ Obama ‘sought advice from his friend and Hyde Park neighbor Bill Ayers.’”
“So the company that supposedly knows more about us than we know ourselves also knows who wrote ‘Dreams from My Father,’” he writes.
Cashill’s book notes Obama told an audience of teachers in July 2008, “I’ve written two books. I actually wrote them myself.”
One of those would be the 1995 “Dreams,” which was called by Time magazine “the best-written memoir ever produced by an American politician.”
Cashill, however, reports that he found nothing in Obama’s history that could suggest he was capable of writing such a book. In fact, his book describes what happens when a citizen journalist discovers a game-changing reality, such as Ayers’ authorship, that the media refuse to acknowledge.
In 2008, Obama pocketed $1,512,933 for another book, “Audacity of Hope,” and another $949,910 from “Dreams.” In 2007, his book royalties were $3.9 million total; in 2006, $570,000; in 2005, $1.4 million.
WND reported in 2009 that Ayers has claimed to have written “Dreams.”
“Here’s what I’m going to say,” Ayers said according to a report in Talking Points Memo. “This is my quote. Be sure to write it down: ‘Yes, I wrote ‘Dreams From My Father.’ I ghostwrote the whole thing. I met with the president three or four times, and then I wrote the entire book.”
Cashill earlier reported that in the retelling of his life in “Dreams,” Obama “embellishes and fabricates at will. He is particularly cavalier with dates. He gets these wrong as often as he does right.”