Details NOT included in Obama’s new memoir

By Jack Cashill

Barack Obama’s long delayed new memoir, “A Promised Land,” debuted on Tuesday. Although I have not read all of it, I have read enough to know what Obama has chosen not to tell about his early years and his ascendancy to the Senate.

What Obama misses most is terrorist friend Bill Ayers. Without Ayers’ editorial input, the book reads as though Ward Cleaver had written it about winning a seat on the Mayfield City Council. The style is that flaccid.

Ayers, however, lent Obama’s first memoir, the 1995 “Dreams from My Father,” more than a sense of style. He lent the book its sense of rage.

In Ayers’s memoir “Fugitive Days,” “rage” rules. Ayers tells of how his “rage got started” and how it evolved into an “uncontrollable rage – fierce frenzy of fire and lava.” Ayers, of course, was the co-creator of the infamous “Days of Rage.”

In fact, both Ayers and the Obama of “Dreams” speak of “rage” the way Eskimos do of snow – in so many varieties, so often, that they feel the need to qualify it, as Obama does when he speaks of “impressive rage,” “suppressed rage” or “coil of rage.”

There is no hint of rage in “A Promised Land.” In fact, there is no hint of Bill Ayers, the man Obama airily dismissed during a primary debate in 2008 as “a guy who lives in my neighborhood.”

This was the lie that saved Obama’s candidacy. As civil rights historian David Garrow documented in his massive 2017 Obama biography, “Rising Star,” Obama and Ayers were tight indeed.

According to Garrow, Obama organized a panel on juvenile justice based on a new book by Ayers. He served on the Woods Fund board with Ayers. He joined Ayers for a panel discussion, “Intellectuals, Who Need Them.”

And up until the time of his 2004 U.S. Senate run, Barack and Michelle attended “the almost nightly dinners” held with Ayers, his radical wife Bernardine Dohrn, and Palestinian radical Rashid Khalidi and his wife.

All of this is purged from “A Promised Land” as are the socialist conferences Obama attended, the radical ideas he spouted and the very existence of communist mentor Frank Marshall Davis. (“Frank Marshall who?” ask liberal readers).

Purged too, most curiously, is the Kenyan Barack Obama, the presumed father of the future president. “Since I didn’t know my father,” writes Obama, “he didn’t have much input.”

Obama dedicates all of one paragraph to the man. When Obama was 10, the Kenyan visited Hawaii for a month. This visit, Obama writes, “was the first and last I saw of him.”

After that, Obama received the occasional letter offering career advice written “on thin blue airmail paper.” Concludes Obama accurately, “It was not much to go on,” but it proved enough for Obama to launch a literary career and eventually a candidacy.

As I have long argued, the skilled Ayers appears to have woven the rough strands of Obama’s life with tales from Homer’s “Odyssey” and spun a work of literature in the process.

“Dreams” and the “Odyssey” both begin in media res, a literary technique in which the narrative starts in mid-story and not from the literal beginning. Odysseus’s son, Telemachus, is 20 when the Odyssey begins. Obama, now in New York, tells the reader he has just turned 21 at the outset of “Dreams.”

More intriguing, each begins with the young protagonist receiving an unexpected call that inspires him to seek out his missing father.

The media elites so wanted to believe Obama’s story as told in “Dreams” that they anointed him as one of their own, “the best writer to occupy the White House since Abraham Lincoln.”

All of this, Obama now quietly confirms, was borderline fiction. In “A Promised Land,” he does not even mention his several visits to Kenya.

Fictional too was the 2004 convention speech that thrust him onto the national stage. As Obama told the story, his father had grown up in Kenya “herding goats.” His mother he traced to Kansas, as he always did.

“My parents shared not only an improbable love,” Obama continued, “they shared an abiding faith in the possibilities of this nation.”

Friendly biographer David Remnick describes this story as Obama’s “signature appeal: the use of the details of his own life as a reflection of a kind of multicultural ideal.”

As Obama unwittingly affirms in “A Promised Land,” there was no love, no abiding faith and no truth to the story on which he built his career.

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