Literary agents are lining up to add Michelle Obama to their client list. According to an article in the Sunday New York Times, book publishers are likely to shell out north of $10 million to publish her memoirs.
“I think Michelle Obama has the opportunity to sell the most valuable first lady memoir in history,” agent Raphael Sagalyn told the Times.
“I think the big surprise could come from Michelle,” added Sandra Dijkstra, a literary agent based in San Diego. “But one thing is for sure: [the Obamas] will be able to afford to buy that house on Martha’s Vineyard they’ve been renting.”
What remains to be seen is whether the literary world will try to sell Michelle as a “real writer” much as they have done with her husband, Barack.
“Mr. Obama’s writing ability could make his memoir not only profitable in its first years but perhaps for decades to come,” gushed the Times. “Among presidential memoirs, only the one by Ulysses S. Grant, published in 1885, is considered by many historians to be timeless.”
Michelle will be a tougher sell for one ironic reason: She has a more conspicuous paper trail than Barack, specifically her senior thesis at Princeton.
Michelle’s experience both at Princeton and at Harvard showed just how wonderfully accessible an Ivy League education could be for those untainted by the curse of white privilege.
“Told by counselors that her SAT scores and her grades weren’t good enough for an Ivy League school,” wrote celebrity biographer Christopher Andersen, “Michelle applied to Princeton and Harvard anyway.”
According to sympathetic biographer Liza Mundy, Michelle admitted as much. “Michelle frequently deplores the modern reliance on test scores,” wrote Mundy, “describing herself as a person who did not test well.”
She did not write well either. She even typed badly. Mundy charitably described her Princeton thesis as “dense and turgid.”
The less charitable Christopher Hitchens observed, “To describe [the thesis] as hard to read would be a mistake; the thesis cannot be ‘read’ at all, in the strict sense of the verb. This is because it wasn’t written in any known language.”
Hitchens exaggerated only a little. The following summary statement by Michelle captures her unfamiliarity with many of the rules of grammar and most of logic:
“The study inquires about the respondents’ motivations to benefit him/herself, and the following social groups: the family, the Black community, the White community, God and church, The U.S. society, the non-White races of the world, and the human species as a whole.”
Still, Michelle was admitted to and graduated from both Princeton and Harvard Law. One almost feels sorry for her. She had to have been as anxious as Bart Simpson at Genius School, but Bart at least knew he was in over his head, and he knew why: He had cheated on his IQ test.
“It doesn’t take a Bart Simpson to figure out that something’s wrong,” he told the principal and demanded out. Michelle fled inward and, as at Princeton, found refuge in her blackness.
The obvious gap between her writing and that of her highly talented colleagues marked her as an affirmative-action admission, and the profs finessed her through both Princeton and Harvard.
The media will not allow themselves to acknowledge Michelle’s crippling dependence on affirmative action. Should critics challenge her literary skills, they can count on the kind of scolding I received for challenging Barack’s.
When I offered evidence in the fall of 2008 that Bill Ayers helped Obama with his celebrated memoir, “Dreams from My Father,” America’s cultural imams fought back with the most potent weapon in their arsenal – shame.
“This may not have been Limbaugh’s most racist insinuation of the campaign,” said New Yorker editor David Remnick, citing Rush’s defense of my thesis. Remnick concluded that our collective “libel about Obama’s memoir – the denial of literacy, the denial of authorship – had a particularly ugly pedigree.”
“Let’s get on to the racism of today,” Bill Maher asked the late Andrew Breitbart on his HBO show. “You do not believe Obama wrote his own book?” Breitbart was not surprised by this line of attack. Martin Bashir had already tried to race-bait him for defending me on his MSNBC show.
I don’t object to either of the Obamas using ghostwriters. I ghostwrite myself. What I object to is their lying about it and the media attack on those who expose their lies.
I consider such attacks an affront to the family, the Black community, the White community, God and church, The U.S. society, the non-White races of the world, and the human species as a whole.
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