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February 09, 2008

Comments

Twentysomethings writing autobiographically may tend to take themselves too serious & see their own struggles as more dramatic as they really are--God knows, I do, & I think Obama was about my age when he wrote that book. But there's nothing *deceptive* or calculated about that.

too seriousLY. oy veh.

"As Steve Benen says: 'Barack Obama may be the first major politician in history to exaggerate his drug use in the wrong direction.'"

It would be useful for everyone to be clear that Obama wrote that autobiography on a contract offered after his being elected the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review, in 1991, long before he went into politics.

smack(ed) down?

smack(ed) down?

While I think your analysis is smart, I think you're missing the larger point, which is that the media are attempting to latch onto a negative narrative about Obama to complement the cult leader/preacher meme that's been floating around for a couple of days. This piece is all about rehearsing the "serial liar" narrative to see if it will stick.

Look to see who picks it up. I'm guessing Taylor Marsh, TalkLeft, and No Quarter, but only in the interests of 'vetting' Obama, which is of course such vital work that they'll put their mind and body into it.

If, lets say it did catch on - what would be the best way to tackle it -

1) He was basically telling the truth. Good on him for being honest.
2) He exaggerated but thats just what one does when writing a book.
3) Who cares what he did at that stage in his life?

or some other strategy?

Contrare... read a story called 'The Not so Simple Youth of Barack Obama. Google it, I think it was the Tribune.

Great essay, and great points. And I agree with your strong endorsement of the book; I donated to Obama's Illinois primary campaign (never having lived their, on Atrios's recommendation) and read the book before he became famous at the convention, and it really is a great and a fascinating book.

I thought the article was mildly interesting, and not unfair to Obama - but that its publication on the front page, with a vague headline, was an absolute disgrace. Far more people will see the headline in passing and just pick up one more reinforcing subconscious "Obama = Drugs" than will ever read either the story or the book.

i really need to read this book - it sounds awesome

"i really need to read this book - it sounds awesome"

There are ~130 copies available at the moment at Abebooks.com, starting at ~$8 + $5 shipping.

~61 for the same used at Amazon.

Only 5, more expensively, at Powell's.

There's also barnesandnoble.com.

What the heck: life has been good to me. If anyone wants a copy of the book, just email the kitty in the next week or so, with your address and name, and I'll send one. It's worth it.

Hilzoy should be back momentarily to explain that that last comment wasn't by me, but a leftover from an unfinished attempt by her to post a comment of mine that was stuck in the spam trap, before she figured out how to just get it unstuck.

I already ordered a copy of the book, myself.

"We're sorry, your comment has not been published because TypePad's antispam filter has flagged it as potential comment spam. It has been held for review by the blog's author.

Go back to Reefer Madness."

Yeah. Sure it is.

Yikes, no, that comment (offering books) was in fact by me, hilzoy. Gary might offer books if he feels like it, but I was the one who did so here.

I never bother to check my name, etc., since it has been the same for so long. Serves me right for getting careless.

"Go back to Reefer Madness."

Wait, so the spam filter just told Gary to go smoke a joint?

The spam filter being stoned out of its gourd would actually explain a lot...

...since the filter told Gary to "go back to reefer madness," I tried to make a joke about it being stoned and that explaining a lot...

...and of course it ate it.

I'm really starting to get suspicious. Paranoid, even.

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