May 18, 2012

Obama's literary agent used the "born in Kenya" bio from 1991 to 2007.

If it was a mistake, why did it go uncorrected for so long? You could say: That's how sloppy this literary agency is and how inattentive people are to brochures like this. I still wonder how that particular mistake got made. Why would you drift into thinking an American woman gave birth in a foreign country? That is, why would you guess at a fact and guess what is unlikely?

What are the other options? One is that Obama wanted to be thought of as having been born in Kenya, and he deliberately put out false information. Why would he want that? It's not advantageous to his political career, and we know that, if anything, he sought to embed himself more deeply in American culture by going to Chicago and working with poor black people, by attending Jeremiah Wright's church, and even — it's indelicate to say so — by marrying Michelle.

Where's the advantage in being seen as African African? It certainly isn't a way to get affirmative action from law school admissions and appointments committees. They may crudely care mainly about the way their classrooms look and take advantage of African African applicants, but the theories of affirmative action (especially the legal ones) have to do with black people who come from the American culture with its history of discrimination, prejudice, and disadvantage.

Considering that, you might jump to (or closer to) the conclusion that Obama really was born in Kenya. I'm not going there. How would Stanley Ann have traveled to Kenya when she was 18 and pregnant? Where would she have gotten the money? She had a lot of nerve, but would she have thrown herself halfway across the world to put herself, in her most vulnerable time, in a third world hospital? I don't believe it.

I'm as convinced as I need to be that Obama was not born in Kenya. (And I think that, even if he was, he's eligible to be President, since he was an American citizen at birth, being born to an American woman who happened to be traveling.) I'm interested in the possibility that Obama wanted to be thought of as having been born in Kenya. But I'm not going to think that unless I can understand his motivation. As I said above, it would not help him get affirmative action or any mainstream political advantage — quite the opposite. Let's explore the possible motivations: a feeling of alienation from the United States, a desire to connect more deeply to his African roots, a preference for African-style left-wing politics over the American political tradition, perhaps some belief that it's noble to be from Africa.

I can see a way to build a psychic profile of the Obama who dreams of being more truly African. It was in 1989 — 2 years before the publication of the brochure — that Jesse Jackson led a movement to get us to stop saying "black" and start saying "African-American." Here's a contemporaneous NYT article:
The term, used for years in intellectual circles, is gaining currency among many other blacks, who say its use is a sign that they are accepting their difficult past and resolving a long ambivalence toward Africa....

For many, the issue is already settled, not only in their minds but in their hearts. ''Whenever I go to Africa,'' said Roger Wilkins, a senior fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies, ''I feel like a person with a legitimate place to stand on this earth. This is the name for all the feelings I've had all these years.''...

Leaders of the movement... say they want to shift the definition of the group from the racial description black to a cultural and ethnic identity that ties the group to its continent of origin and fosters dignity and self-esteem.

''This is deeper than just name recognition,'' said Mr. Jackson who, along with others, called for the change at a news conference in late December. ''Black tells you about skin color and what side of town you live on. African-American evokes discussion of the world.''...
Hilda Whittington, a Chicago lawyer, has been calling herself an African-American since Mr. Jackson's remarks last month and is now planning a trip to West Africa next year. ''After thinking about it, I kind of like it,'' Mrs. Whittington said. ''We should call ourselves African-Americans and get it over with. This is it for me.''...

Now a term that was once considered militant is going mainstream. '''African-American' reflects a post-modern black consciousness,'' said Dr. Roderick Watts, an assistant professor of psychology at Yale University, who last year founded a community group with the name the Association of Agencies Serving African-Americans. ''It has a self-affirming quality that seems to fit right now.''
Nevertheless, I believe the most likely answer is that "born in Kenya" was a mistake, made by some literary agency underling, in a brochure that never inspired close reading, even as the years passed. I mean, there are things in Obama's book that you could pull out today and surprise people with. I was doing that last week. And that book is sitting there in plain sight. Really, it's quite amazing the things we don't notice that are right in front of us.

118 comments:

Tom Spaulding said...

Really, it's quite amazing the things we don't notice that are right in front of us.

Also really quite amazing: Seeing those "things" in 2008 and being called a racist for doing so.

gerry said...

Obama is a liar.

If he complied with the Kenyan birth claim and was born in Hawaii, he's a liar; if he was born in Kenya and claimed he was born in Hawaii, he's a liar.

Icepick said...

Why assume that Obama would have claimed Kenyan birth for the first time to get into law school? Why not assume a 16 or 17 year-old Obama (perhaps at the urging of the adults in his family) claiming that when he was applying to undergraduate schools? It doesn't matter if it would have helped, it matters if he THOUGHT it would have helped. After that, he just starts doing it until finally he needs to STOP doing it.

Another possibility is that Obama had been TOLD that he was born in Kenya, only later to discover the truth.

I'm only speculating, of course.

Also, I noticed CNN didn't touch this story. Their Political Ticker, yesterday at 5:13 PM, reported:

Leading Drudge: Fitch Slashes Greece

Yeah, that's what was leading Drudge yesterday afternoon! So much for CNN calling it a Gut Check!

Also, it's funny that the original birther was Barack Hussein Obama himself - there's nothing he can't do!

glenn said...

One. I don't believe for a minute that saying you were Kenyan didn't advantage Barry at the admissions office. Part of that exotic multi-cultural tapestry we've been trying to build. Or, "We've got a real African and all you have are those garden variety Afro-Americans. Nanner, Nanner, Nanner".
Two: The real point is, Where was the hardcharging bulldog media on this. This story (along with the Rev Wright) was sitting right there in plain sight.

Jay said...

I still wonder how that particular mistake got made

ZOMG!!!!!!!!```11111


SHUT UP, BIRTHER!

RACIST!

Hagar said...

There must be a number of people in Honolulu that knew the Dunham's and their daughter quite well. This alone puts the kibosh on the "birther" theories.
How Obama's literary agent came to believe he was born in Kenya, now that is a legitimate question.

And as Negro (Spanish or Portuguese for "black") came to be considered a derogatory term among the glibberati, they moved to show how liberal they were by changing to "Black," then when that became common, they moved on to "Afro-American," and then finally Jesse Jackson said it had to be "African-American," and that has stuck so far, but will no doubt be considered passe in its turn and replaced by a still more esoteric construction.

Rich B said...

Why don't we ask Obama at his next press conference? That should clear this all up.

MayBee said...

But I'm not going to think that unless I can understand his motivation. As I said above, it would not help him get affirmative action

I'm not sure about that.
Or at least, while it may be true that he may not get the usuall affirmative action from it, among expats it is a common belief that international experience gives a student a leg up in the admissions process.

A dramatic personal bio sells. It sells a person to a college, sells a college student to a book publisher, sells a book to the people, sells a speaker to the world.
And being born in Kenya is so much more dramatic than having a Kenyan father. Anybody can have an exchange student father!

dreams said...

Read Roger Simon of PJ Media for his opinion of the "born in Kenya" bio.

I think he use it for advantage in some way.

AllenS said...

Obama doesn't have a clue where he was born. Quite frankly, he doesn't care. He's in and nothing else matters to him.

X said...

It certainly isn't a way to get affirmative action from law school admissions and appointments committees.

I'll need more than an assertion. I would also need more than a denial from committees who under no circumstance confess anyone is an AA beneficiary other than black conservatives.

pm317 said...

What if the Kenyan father was a composite? What if Stanley Ann was not really his mother? What if...

They were careful to scrub parts of his past revealing only the favorable and only those that come from his book. How did this little tidbit escape the scrub? Even in 2008 it was noted that his campaign aides were making things up as they went along about his bio. As it always happens, it is the coverup, silly.

Jay said...

Really, it's quite amazing the things we don't notice that are right in front of us.

Um, not really.

As you noted last night, there is a lot of "dumb" going on with leftists.

Combine the dumb (note: the political party the left votes for depends on that ignorance & stupidity) with race and you get a whole lot of emoting and very little critical thinking.

The most recent example is the George Zimmerman case.

EDH said...

Watch Roger Simon's PJTV interview with Jack Cashill (linked at Instapundit).

What Cashill says about "Dreams" (the composites, posturing, potential involvement and grooming by Ayers, etc.) is that "Dreams" makes sense if you think Obama's ambition at that time was to become mayor of Chicago.

Of course, this literary agent's brochure is the prior incarnation of Obama.

dreams said...

"What if the Kenyan father was a composite? What if Stanley Ann was not really his mother? What if..."

There is some controversy about who is his real father.

DADvocate said...

Originally, Obama wanted to claim he was born in Bethlehem.

X said...

of all the gin joint countries in all the world she picked Kenya. and she got the Indonesia and Hawaii parts right.

Mark O said...

"Nevertheless, I believe the most likely answer is that "born in Kenya" was a mistake, made by some literary agency underling, in a brochure that never inspired close reading, even as the years passed"

There is only one source for this information. She certainly didn't get it on the Internet.

What about the other information on the bio that is supposedly correct? Why only this piece?

Are you really suggesting this did not come from Obama?

Paul Zrimsek said...

One innocuous explanation might be if Obama was talking with his agent or someone else at the agency, and was going on and on and on about stuff his father did in Kenya, and that person jumped to the conclusion that Obama Jr. was born in Kenya.

Mitchell said...

Professor Vandiver does a pretty good job of showing that the great classical heroes typically have something unusual about their birth that sets them apart, from the very beginning.

Hagar said...

At that, is not "white" also an offensive derogatory term? Especially since it is hardly ever capitalized? And we are not "white" any more than Negroes are "black"?
(I understand that among anthropologists "Negro" loosely refers to sub-Saharan Bantu speaking peoples, except that some Bantu speakers are not Negroes, and some Negro peoples do not speak Bantu dialects.)

Should we not at least be referred to as "European-Americans"?

pm317 said...

Anyway, this thing is not going to go anywhere. The lit agent has already fallen on her sword declaring she was dumb and incompetent and she made a mistake (though there is some question whether she worked at that agency in 1991). That will stick and Obama will be spared as usual.

Let us go back to: ‘It is the economy and we’re not stupid.’

granmary said...

Link at Drudge to an AP article in the Kenyan Standard. AP article is from 2004 & headlined " Kenyan-born Barack Obama all set for US Senate." Apparently Obama has been lying to people about his heritage for at least as long as Elizabeth Warren, and probably for the same reason as Warren, to take advantage of affirmative action perks.

Jay Vogt said...

Where are Mary Mapes and Dan Rather when you need them? They're so skilled at exhuming long forgotten documentary evidence to shed light on sitting president's youthful enigmas.

Balfegor said...

Why would you drift into thinking an American woman gave birth in a foreign country? That is, why would you guess at a fact and guess what is unlikely?

I don't know that that's all that unlikely. If whoever was writing that knew Obama's mother travelled the world for her work/research, they might have assumed one of those trips was to Kenya. It's not an unreasonable mistake to make. People have made that assumption about me too -- that I was born abroad.

Anne B. said...

"How would Stanley Ann have traveled to Kenya when she was 18 and pregnant? Where would she have gotten the money? She had a lot of nerve, but would she have thrown herself halfway across the world to put herself, in her most vulnerable time, in a third world hospital? I don't believe it."

I agree with this. If you're old enough to remember 1961, this version of events is way too bizarre to be believable.

Balfegor said...

Re: glenn:

One. I don't believe for a minute that saying you were Kenyan didn't advantage Barry at the admissions office. Part of that exotic multi-cultural tapestry we've been trying to build. Or, "We've got a real African and all you have are those garden variety Afro-Americans. Nanner, Nanner, Nanner".

I think back when Obama was going to university, affirmative action was more focused on the "reparations" rationale, and less on the "diversity" rationale. So African-Americans would have been better than Africans for that purpose. That said, I think that nowadays, the Black population at elite universities is disproportionately comprised of students from Africa or the West Indies. Elite universities have no trouble at all finding foreign Blacks and persuading them to attend.

Jay said...

Note: Obama's grandmother, brother and sister, who live in Kenya, believe(d) they were present during Obama's birth in the African country.

I guess they are just liars.

Carl Vero said...

Obama being a composite character, the intriguing question is not where he was born, but whether he was born or evolved.

Balfegor said...

Re: Anne B.

I agree with this. If you're old enough to remember 1961, this version of events is way too bizarre to be believable.

Yes, but to realise that would be an issue, you'd have to realise Stanley Ann was 18 when she gave birth to Obama. Not necessarily the case that whoever drafted the bio realised that.

Comanche Voter said...

I think Obama had "high cheekbones" like Elizabeth Warren.

Barack Obama is a shape shifter becoming whatever he needs to be at any given moment. A sort of human "Oakland" where, as Gertrude Stein remarked, there is no there there.

Chef Mojo said...

Obama did it for the composite chicks. Composite chicks dig on exotic guys from Kenya with Muslim-African names.

It's a fact.

Icepick said...

Obama being a composite character, the intriguing question is not where he was born, but whether he was born or evolved.

He was manufactured in a robotics laboratory in East Germany. He's been getting periodic upgrades ever since.

MayBee said...

I remember soon after Obama gained his senate seat, he took a trip to Kenya. The press followed him and it was a very big deal.

He really really loved that part of his biography. I can see Obama making a big deal about his Kenyan roots to his literary agent and the agent assuming it meant he was born there (rather than simply that his father was born there).

Balfegor said...

Note: Obama's grandmother, brother and sister, who live in Kenya, believe(d) they were present during Obama's birth in the African country.

I guess they are just liars
.

His father had a number of children by a number of wives. Not all that hard to think they had got it confused.

prairie wind said...

But I'm not going to think that unless I can understand his motivation.

With Obama, lies are deliberate; truth is accidental.

Michael K said...

U see a lot of African and west indian students in prestigious schools, like medical schools. I believe that admissions committees favor them over American born black students because they have fewer psychological hangups than American blacks and are ready to work and not whine, Affirmative action was h]=worked very well for freeing born students and not so well for American born blacks. A Kenyan birth would make hum more attractive as an applicant.

traditionalguy said...

It's a tangled web that Patron Ayers wove for client Obama.

The whole series of events from Ayers writing the campaign book to the release of the blurb promoting it makes sense if you focus on Ayers creating a campaign persona for his client to run for and win the Chicago Mayor's office.

The biggest hoop Ayers had to jump was making Barry seem black enough to the ChiTown voters.

To that end, Kenyan birth was a plus, as was Barry and Michelle's attendance at Rev Wright's Temple.

No wonder the Obama's never respected Americans.

The first Tuesday in November cometh.

glenn said...

C'mon Balfegor, even when I went to school in the 50's real Africans were exotic foreigners much in demand. The Afro-Americans played sports and were the drum majors in the band. And my buddy Willie Easter played bass and lead guitar in a really cool blues band.

PatCA said...

Yes, I think Roger Simon nailed it. We can't see Obama's college records because he said the same thing there: born in Kenya. He lied his whole life, until he ran for president.

Remember when Princeton admitted the Taliban's communication guy? Of course Obama's Kenya claim would help him in college admissions!

As Warren's ridiculous claim of Cherokee background was touted by her employers, so would a student from Kenya be sought after by colleges.

Icepick said...

Michael K, that might be true now, but was it true THEN?

Matthew Sablan said...

I just assume incompetence. People routinely don't check things writers ask them to when we need them to confirm facts that are unavailable to us. More likely, Obama's office didn't want to bother with some random bio booklet somewhere and just signed off without looking, and not until 2007 or so did someone notice it when thoughts of running for president were around. It probably went something like:

"Well, sir, we will have to remind people that, despite being born in Kenya, you are still a citizen. That will be a problem."

"Wait, what did you say?"

"You were born in Kenya; some people aren't fully aware of the presidential requirements don't require geographic presence--."

"No, no,no. I was not born in Kenya."

Awkward silence. "Have you seen your biography, sir?"

ThomasD said...

Remember when the media was so keen to point out that Joe the Plumber was, in fact, not a licensed plumber?

That was a big F'in deal, IIRC.

Yet Obama, for 16 years, selling himself as something he is not is not worth even asking about.

And Althouse spins herself a might web of self deception.

rhhardin said...

The other-thread cited Choosing Your Names was published in 1992, so around that time.

It satirizes the academic advantage of a multicultural name.

Being an exotic paid off, probably especially in selling books.

Methadras said...

In 1991 Urkel wasn't running for president and yet had nothing to hide and neither did his 'literary' agent. So he either pulled an Elizabeth Warren to get the politically correct goodies or he was really born in Kenya, which make him now a known liar either way in public without anywhere to hid from it.

Maguro said...

father had a number of children by a number of wives. Not all that hard to think they had got it confused.

OK, but how many of the other wives were white Americans? Seems like that one might've been kind of memorable.

MayBee said...

I think back when Obama was going to university, affirmative action was more focused on the "reparations" rationale, and less on the "diversity" rationale.

Don't forget, though, that his father got special treatment to be flown to the US to go to Harvard. That was all part of a civil-rights equalizing opportunity thing, too.

Paddy O said...

The bio makes sense to me. He probably was trying to find something in common with Teddy Roosevelt.

In March 1909, shortly after the end of his presidency, Theodore Roosevelt left New York for a safari that began in what is now Kenya. In 1961, President Obama was born in Kenya.

Lucius Cornelius said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MayBee said...

Maguro- Obama Sr brought a white American wife back to Kenya with him from Harvard.

From Sr.'s wiki:
In June 1964, Obama Sr. met and began dating a 27-year-old Jewish American elementary school teacher named Ruth Beatrice Baker, the daughter of prosperous Lithuanian immigrants to the United States.[42][43][44]


Obama Sr. returned to his native Kenya in August 1964.[45] Ruth followed Obama Sr. back to Kenya, where she married him on December 24, 1964,[46] and had two sons with him, Mark Okoth Obama in 1965 and David Opiyo Obama in 1968.[47] Ruth and Obama Sr. separated in 1971,[48][49] and divorced in 1973.[2][24]

Icepick said...

OK, but how many of the other wives were white Americans? Seems like that one might've been kind of memorable.

And might not those relatives want to claim they were there for important events of a very famous person?

Lucius Cornelius said...

I agree completely with Althouse on this. There is no way that a pregnant 18 year old would have been able to travel half way around the globe in 1960. Obama was born in America.

That said, there are inconsistencies in the record, but there are always inconsistencies. The simplest explanation for the total facts presented is that he was born in Hawaii.

Maguro said...

Thanks, Maybee, very interesting. I didn't know that.

MaggotAtBroad&Wall said...

You don't have to understand Obama's motivation in order to conclude that he was the source that enabled the literary agent to assert that Obama was born in Kenya.

Honestly, who else except Obama is going to plant that seed in the mind of the person who wrote that blurb? And you know with absolute certainty that after it was published Obama was aware it. Why didn't he correct it?

It does not have to be more complicated than that.

edutcher said...

This is part of his, "I'm exotic, I'm foreign, and, did I mention, I'm black", campaign.

I pointed this out in the Cafe this morning; he's just another Fauxcahontas.

Carol said...

"black people who come from the American culture with its history of discrimination, prejudice, and disadvantage"

Minor point, but I thought foreign-born blacks were the biggest beneficiaries of AA, because they are more academically qualified than US born blacks.

Jay said...

And I think that, even if he was, he's eligible to be President, since he was an American citizen at birth, being born to an American woman who happened to be traveling

This may not be actually true, under Obama's circumstances. Birth in the U.S. was a necessary condition under applicable statutes.

elkh1 said...

Liberal mantra: say whatever, do whatever to get ahead.

Truth is a pesky pest that may or may not come back to bite you, when it does, you already got what you wanted.

Liberal masters of iffy truths: Tim Geithner, the tax cheat; Elizabth Warren, the pale faced cheat; Obama, the Kenyan.

D.D. Driver said...

My theory is that it just seemed to make him appear more "worldly" and interesting.

He was, after all, a 30-year-old pitching a "memoir." His only accomplishment was going to law school.

ErnieG said...

''Whenever I go to Africa,'' said Roger Wilkins, a senior fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies, ''I feel like a person with a legitimate place to stand on this earth. This is the name for all the feelings I've had all these years.''...

At the height of the "back to Africa" craze, I read of a man who went there, expecting be welcomed with open arms. "Welcome home, brother!" - That sort of thing. His rude awakening began when he was treated like dirt by the customs and immigration people at the airport, and things went downhill from there.

Matthew Sablan said...

Also, sometimes, people are just stupid. People can look at something and, for whatever reason, completely miss what they should see is wrong.

chickelit said...

edutcher said: I pointed this out in the Cafe this morning; he's just another Fauxcahontas.

Lyin' King?

Pastafarian said...

I think Obama might have lied and claimed to have been born in Kenya, to seem more "black" than he actually is.

Let's be honest: Obama is whiter than Elizabeth Warren. And when he started his political career, he decided to leverage his (limited) blackness.

But I think it's more likely that it's just an innocent mistake. Either way, the more we focus on it, the more it helps Obama. He'd like nothing more than a revived birther movement.

Lucius said...

An ambitious young man who sees himself as a literati, and whose writing, furthermore, is to propel him toward elected office, would not just let these things "slip."

At the absolute least, he's guilty of a lie by omission of failing to clarify to his agent the true "drift" of all his stories. Would he be canny enough to talk and talk, as some suggest, until his agent just *assumes* he's Kenyan-born? Perhaps. But what a huckster!

Even if only informally, the Kenyan-born story would, I think, have favored him in his rise through non-elective institutions, raising the especial interest of admissions officers and literary agents, swoony diversicrats that they are.

edutcher said...

OTOH, as an observant fellow once noted, "When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth".

Is this a Jack Nicolson(sp?) moment, I wonder?

PS As many may remember, I thought the birth cert just had something embarrassing WRT name like, "Stanley Ann Dunham, Jr" - which Oop will find if she digs through the archives.

Balfegor said...

Re: Maggot:

And you know with absolute certainty that after it was published Obama was aware it.

What have you ever seen that could possibly make you think Obama is the kind of man who is attentive to accuracy in small details?

Pastafarian said...

Althouse: "...the theories of affirmative action (especially the legal ones) have to do with black people who come from the American culture with its history of discrimination, prejudice, and disadvantage."

And therefore affirmative action shouldn't be applied to an African.

Think about that: Take the average African, and the average African American, today. Which one has more hurdles to overcome?

More Africans face more severe discrimination (tribal, or religious, rather than racial)in Africa than anyone in this country. And African Americans are so much better off in this country, with its history of blah blah blah, than they are in almost monolithically black Africa. What's up with that?

Matthew Sablan said...

"What have you ever seen that could possibly make you think Obama is the kind of man who is attentive to accuracy in small details?"

-- Remember how he makes decisions. Totally overlooking his own bio being wrong is perfectly in character for how his office runs. They gave a partially blind man region-locked DVDs, for goodness sakes.

james conrad said...

''Nevertheless, I believe the most likely answer is that "born in Kenya" was a mistake, made by some literary agency underling, in a brochure that never inspired close reading, even as the years passed.

Theres a problem with this line of reasoning, it has been reported that when Obama was running for the Senate, the issue of his birth in Kenya came up during a debate with Alan Keyes and Obama acknowledged that he was born in Kenya. If that turns out to be true, how does that square that it was a "mistake" by others.

Icepick said...

What have you ever seen that could possibly make you think Obama is the kind of man who is attentive to accuracy in small details?

He's a narcissist, he would have hoovered up that bio to see his name in print, and to see how glorious they made him sound. Hell, even non-narcissists would likely do the same, in that circumstance.

Matthew Sablan said...

"If that turns out to be true, how does that square that it was a "mistake" by others."

-- Prove it is true before we deal with what it means if it is true. But, Obama also talked about his Muslim faith. He just... doesn't speak off the cuff well at times. I think he got when his parents met wrong too in a speech. He's not really a reliable narrator.

Zeb Quinn said...

I still wonder how that particular mistake got made

Oh, the wrenching Byzantine tapestry-like extreme contortions Obama voters put themselves through just to justify and defend that vote.

Here, in a bio he himself wrote, promulgated, and dangled out there for 16 years, before he was seriously considering running for president, and at a time when he thought it didn't matter, Obama flat says he was born in Kenya. Flat freaking out.

How do his voters react? "It must've been a mistake."

This is rich.

Matthew Sablan said...

Zeb: Except, he didn't write the bio. I'm not an Obama voter, but I acknowledge that these errors happen. Especially when the person who is supposed to do approvals is too lazy/unconcerned to check things.

Matthew Sablan said...

Oh, apparently I'm wrong and the literary agent requested bios be sent in. Well, then, now I'm stumped. It also contradicts what the ex-employee said about it being an error on her part in making the bio.

Andy R. said...

Can we have one thread each day until the election about Obama the Kenyan?

Matthew Sablan said...

If people keep lying to us about how the error happened and there are new breaks in the story, very possibly Andy. Very possibly. Also note that Althouse doesn't think he was born in Kenya (neither do I). I, at least, am curious how such an error happened. Mainly because this is something that should've been figured out in 2008, if not earlier, to be a sort of -- ha, ha, how funny -- story by the media. As opposed to the black eye it is for them being unwilling to check up on this.

edutcher said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AJ Lynch said...

How can a reasonable person be aghast that there are "birthers" when stuff like this brochure exist?

edutcher said...

Andy R. said...

Can we have one thread each day until the election about Obama the Kenyan?

Just to remind everyone of what a liar, fraud, and unserious, joke candidate he is?

No problemo.

Matthew Sablan said...

Maybe tomorrow we can skip Kenya, and instead, talk about his history of drunk driving. That was a thing that was bad when Bush was president, right? Or is it not bad any more?

CatherineM said...

Ann, I have a feeling this would help Obama with college scholarships and even the whole "diversity" / international thing colleges want to be able to advertise. I think this is why we haven't seen his college transcripts. I bet he lied there too.

Just like he claims to be international because he lived in Indonesia when he was 5. So cultured and international!

bgates said...

It must've been a mistake

Here's what I know: For the past four years, to say "Barack Obama was born in Kenya" marks you as the worst kind of monster. That those six words can be strung together almost disproves the existence of God, because a God of justice would surely strike down anyone who could commit that most outrageous and unjustifiable slander. Even to print them here as an object of discussion rather than belief, I have essentially forfeited my citizenship as an American, my humanity, and my immortal soul.

But using the same phrase for the twenty years before the last four years was no big deal. At least not in New York literary circles, where maybe they're not as hung up on racial issues as the rest of the country.

Lost My Cookies said...

I thought he was an architect...

Nomadic100 said...

One problem with the "born in Kenya" report is that 3 weeks after Obama was supposedly born (8/4/61) Stanley Ann and son were in Seattle as she enrolled at the Univ. of Washington. She would have had to travel with a newborn half way around the world. On the other hand, Michelle has referred to Kenya as BO's "home country."

Cashill is undoubtedly right as to the motivation for Obama to identify himself THEN as Kenyan. I do not believe this was an error made by some low level functionary in his literary agent's office. Obama has always tightly controlled what information the public has about him, only furnishing his forged birth certificate when the pressure was intense.

Matthew Sablan said...

Ok, I give. I have no clue how this error could have persisted this long; not even rank incompetence is this incompetent.

wildswan said...

...it has been reported that when Obama was running for the Senate, the issue of his birth in Kenya came up during a debate with Alan Keyes and Obama acknowledged that he was born in Kenya. If that turns out to be true, how does that square that it was a "mistake" by others.

I think that the Alan Keyes story is an urban legend.
You can go the Alan Keyes archive website (run by him) and find the transcript of the debate with Obama. Nowhere does Obama say: "So what? I'm running for the Illinois Senate, not for President," or anything in that same vein.

gutless said...

Mr.Obama didn't need subtle qualifiers to benefit from affirmative action. Merely recording his race and showing up for an interview would have confirmed his bona fides for race-based treatment. The African part is irrelevant to this particular issue.

Charlie said...

At the very least, this makes the birthers seem somewhat more reasonable. Serious business people around him in 1991 assumed he was born in Kenya probably because that's what he was telling people.

fleetusa said...

I would think it is just literary license which many on both sides of a book deal might enjoy. Publisher and author. Just so P.C.

CWJ said...

I think our hostess could have saved six paragraphs, and a long embedded quote, by just skipping to the final paragragh.

I have no problem imagining the copywriter unthinkingly jumping from Kenyan father to born in Kenya.

It's a literary agent's brochure, not the Encyclopaedia Britanica (RIP). Who actually ever read it for content? Maybe no one until BHO became more than a curiousity.

edutcher said...

Nomadic100 said...

One problem with the "born in Kenya" report is that 3 weeks after Obama was supposedly born (8/4/61) Stanley Ann and son were in Seattle as she enrolled at the Univ. of Washington. She would have had to travel with a newborn half way around the world. On the other hand, Michelle has referred to Kenya as BO's "home country."

They did have transatlantic airplane travel back then.

Jets, even.

cassandra lite said...

"I believe the most likely answer is that 'born in Kenya' was a mistake, made by some literary agency underling..."

Nope. Not possible. In 30 years I've had dealings with more literary agencies that I can even remember without checking files. Never would an "underling" do something like that without being told--and certainly without the bio's being vetted by the ...author.

Then, too, this particular agency is well thought of. The kind of mistakes underlings make aren't with signed authors; they're with unsolicited aspirants who they don't give a shit about.

paul a'barge said...

Let's do reparations.

$1 million USD plus one one-way ticket to anywhere in Africa. And you have to renounce your American citizenship.

Bring. It.

Mike said...

"We don't notice that are right in front of us."

Loosely translated, what you're saying is no one read his stupid books very closely and only now are they interesting for their content that refutes his present "story" of his life.

Christy said...

Okay, I'll bat at the shiny object dangled over my head.

Obama is a snob, no question. In many, perhaps most circles African born blacks are higher status than American born blacks. Obama always chooses the higher status option.

Stupid stuff gets said all the time and people don't bother to correct it. I really don't see this as a big deal, but somehow I cannot look away.

Valentine Smith said...

He really is a cipher: a zero; a code; a secret; a secret way of writing.

He gets to de-cipher any way he wants, hence the composites, compressions, and outright lies that further the image of the moment. He's the ghost he projects onto everyone around him. Only he claims it's the people projecting onto him.

He has no idea who the fuck he is, in effect a zero. I'd feel sorry for him except his identity shopping among what passes for his friends is maiming every institution in the country.

starboardhelm said...

In isolation, this bio could be a 'mistake'. But given that his 2008 campaign website claimed he'd held a Kenyan dual citizenship, that his relatives in Kenya had been primed to claim he was born there, and were confused when that was suddenly a bad thing in 2008, and that most if not all literary bios come from and are validated by the writer -- well, walk like a duck, quacks like a duck. He's vain. Being an authentic African pampered his vanity, and he foresaw no harm in it.

MayBee said...


But using the same phrase for the twenty years before the last four years was no big deal. At least not in New York literary circles, where maybe they're not as hung up on racial issues as the rest of the country.


Snort.


And AJ Lynch- exactly.

james conrad said...

...it has been reported that when Obama was running for the Senate, the issue of his birth in Kenya came up during a debate with Alan Keyes and Obama acknowledged that he was born in Kenya. If that turns out to be true, how does that square that it was a "mistake" by others.

I think that the Alan Keyes story is an urban legend.


That could be that the Keyes story is not correct however I find it very hard to believe that a "literary agent" was the originator of Obama being born in Kenya. That makes no sense at all, lets just face it, at best, Obama is guilty of lying about his country of birth for whatever reason. This is starting to look very much like the Eliz Warren fraud. Why Obama would do this misses the point entirely.

Larry J said...

''Black tells you about skin color and what side of town you live on. African-American evokes discussion of the world.''

I can appreciate them not wanting to be called black. After all, why should they be identified by the color of their skin. I would respect their opinion more if they didn't turn right around and talk about "whites". A little consistency would be nice.

I remember sitting in a discussion during graduate school about the term African-American. Some said the old terms were offensive and shouldn't be used. I asked if the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) should change its name. How about the United Negro College Fund? Or the Congressional Black Caucus? Should those and similar organizations change their names every time the accepted label changes?

Never got an answer on those questions?

Shantastik said...

The self deception is amazing here. How foolish Ann Althouse should feel when the truth comes out. HIS OWN BIO says born in Kenya and the spinning to create a reason for this is amazing.

Ann, you said it yourself... sometimes the truth is right in front of us.

Is it not at lease 1% possible that Barack Obama WAS BORN IN KENYA ?? WHERE HIS BIO SAYS??

Shantastik said...

sorry for the typo

Is it not at lease 1% possible that Barack Obama WAS BORN IN KENYA

should be

Is it not at least 1% possible that Barack Obama WAS BORN IN KENYA

TMink said...

What Gerry said at comment #2. But then those of us who have paid attention have known that for awhile.

Trey

james conrad said...

Yep, agrees, AT BEST, Obama is a liar, simple as that.

Calypso Facto said...

Truthiness. Close enough.

tim in vermont said...

It was obviously not a simple mistake by whoever wrote the bio. As has been noted, the Indonesia and Hawaii parts were correct. They didn't pull Kenya out of a hat. Obama lied then, or he is lying now.

Do we really have to go through a litany of Obama lies to establish that he is a liar?

"If you like your plan, you can keep your plan."

"Just some guy in the neighborhood."

I could go on for some time, but it is just sickening.

Zeb Quinn said...

Matthew Sablan @11:17

In 1991 Obama was pretty much a nobody looking to get a book deal. You seriously think he left his publisher's press bio totally up to a "flunkie," had no hand in it, and was unaware of its contents? Oh mannnn.... If he's anywhere near the narcissist he appears to be by nature, it ain't even close.

But, then, he also has a reputation for being lazy too, so maybe...

Amartel said...

There are cultural reasons why Obama might have claimed to be African-African, to be more international and/or exotic/other, but there might be a more mundane reason: money. Scholarship money for African-Africans. Or perhaps a leg-up in admissions. Which might be (one of many) explanation(s) why his college and law school records have not been released.

Fauxcahontas, meet Hannibal the identity cannibal.

Jack Burton said...

The much better question is who all in the media have known about this book for years and yet spiked the information to prevent it from becoming a hindrance to Obama's run for presidency.

Balfegor said...

But, then, he also has a reputation for being lazy too, so maybe...

I don't think it's that he's lazy as such. It just seems like he's easily bored, and hence lacks the intellectual stamina for detail work.

CWJ said...

Balfegor, ie: lazy.

MJW said...

(And I think that, even if he was, he's eligible to be President, since he was an American citizen at birth, being born to an American woman who happened to be traveling.)

That's incorrect. If, hypothetically, Obama had been born outside the US, he wouldn't have been a US citizen at birth. And whatever "natural-born citizen" means, it at a minimum it requires citizenship at birth.

Citizenship at birth is determined by the law in effect at the time of birth (see, for example, Rodriguez-romero v. INS, 434 F.2d 1022). Between 1952 and 1986, a child born to a US citizen and a non-citizen outside the US is a US citizen only if the the citizen parent had resided in the US for ten years, with at least five after the age of fourteen. Since Obama's mother was not yet nineteen, she did not meet the residency requirement.

Some have claimed the residency requirement was retroactively changed when the law was amended in 1986, but that's not true.

Greybeard said...

Bill Clinton lied UNDER OATH, and that was no big deal.
The only reason this IS a big deal is that O needs every single vote for re-election and there are, finally, some intelligent people out there noticing WAY too many loose ends.
(Open all the records!)
Ha.

KenyanBornObamAcorn said...

WOW, you obviously haven't researched the issue, why write about it then?

Learn the facts and get educated!

THE FACTS:
Obama literary agent claims Obama was Kenyan-born ~ Now DOZENS more articles confirm the same!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1grt5uehak

2012 Vetting Obama: 100% proof Obama is a USURPER ~ 100% sourced w/govt documents
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1DHZmeMXyE

2012 Vetting Obama ~ Kenyan Parliament ADMITS Obama is NOT a Native American
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_8PC3oKAvA

2012 Vetting Obama NEW EVIDENCE on Obama's Birth Place ~ Is this the REAL Certificate?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lar_bth5NOI

2012 Vetting Obama: BARRY SOETORO ILLEGAL PRESIDENT ~100% SOURCED W/ GOVT DOCUMENTS
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BTnJDuVNifQ

KenyanBornObamAcorn said...

MORE FACTS:
1862 Representative John Bingham, author of the 14th Amendment (Cong. Globe, 37th Congress, 2nd Session, pg 1639):

“All from other lands, who by the terms of [congressional] laws and a compliance with their provisions become naturalized, are adopted citizens of the United States; all other persons born within the Republic, of parents owing allegiance to no other sovereignty, are natural born citizens. Gentleman can find no exception to this statement touching natural-born citizens except what is said in the Constitution relating to Indians.”
http://memory.loc.gov/ll/llcg/059/0600/06811639.gif

The Civil Rights Act of 1866 failed to pass in the Senate until Lyman Trumbull proposed an amendment to the bill adding the words "That all persons born in the United States and not subject to any foreign power, excluding Indians not taxed, are hereby declared to be citizens of the United States;"
http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/reconstruction/section4/section4_civrightsact1.html

The bill then went to the House where Representative John Bingham (author of the "future" 14th amendment), confirms the understanding and construction the framers used in regards to birthright and jurisdiction while speaking on civil rights of citizens in the House on March 9, 1866, in regards to Trumbull's amendment to the bill:
"I find no fault with the introductory clause [S 61 Bill], which is simply declaratory of what is written in the Constitution, that every human being born within the jurisdiction of the United States of PARENTS NOT OWING ALLEGIANCE TO ANY FOREIGN SOVEREIGNTY is, in the language of your Constitution itself, a NATURAL BORN CITIZEN"
MIDDLE COLUMN 3RD PARAGRAPH:
http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=llcg&fileName=071/llcg071.db&recNum=332

KenyanBornObamAcorn said...

The 14th amendment was introduced to render the Civil Rights act constitutional and amend it to the Constitution. It passed in the House, but failed in the Senate until Senator Jacob Howard's amendment to the bill (the citizenship clause) was introduced. In 1866 while while introducing bill H.R. 127 (14th Amendment) Jacob M. Howard (Author of the Citizenship clause) states:
"This amendment which I have offered is simply declaratory of what I regard as the law of the land already, that every person born within the limits of the United States, AND SUBJECT TO THE JURISDICTION THEREOF, is by virtue of natural law and national law a citizen of the United States."
http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=llcg&fileName=073/llcg073.db&recNum=11

MEANING that they changed NOTHING with the 14th Amendment, only that they were declaring what was already the law. The LAW he was referring to, was the Civil Rights Act of 1866 which had just recently passed and again states:
"Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That all persons born in the United States and not subject to any foreign power, excluding Indians not taxed, are hereby declared to be citizens of the United States;"
http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/reconstruction/section4/section4_civrightsact1.html

Everyone seems to forget the phrase "subject to the jurisdiction thereof", which is why the law/amendment went astray. If you look at the congressional records, while they were debating the Civil Rights Act of 1866 and the 14th Amendment, you will find the truth and see the 14th Amendment has been 100% perverted!

What exactly did "subject to the jurisdiction thereof" mean to the framers of the Fourteenth Amendment? Luckily we have Sen. Lyman Trumbull, Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, author of the Thirteenth Amendment, and the one who inserted the citizenship clause amendment to the bill, so I think he knew what HE meant::
"The provision is, that 'all persons born in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens.' That means 'subject to the complete jurisdiction thereof.' What do we mean by 'complete jurisdiction thereof?' NOT OWING ALLEGIANCE TO ANYBODY ELSE. That is what it means."
http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=llcg&fileName=073/llcg073.db&recNum=14

So this proves that "subject to the jurisdiction thereof" means the same exact thing as "not subject to any foreign power"

Senator Howard concurs with Trumbull's construction:
"I concur entirely with the honorable Senator from Illinois [Trumbull], in holding that the word "jurisdiction," as here employed, ought to be construed so as to imply a full and complete jurisdiction on the part of the United States, whether exercised by Congress, by the executive, or by the judicial department; that is to say, the same jurisdiction in extent and quality as applies to every citizen of the United States now."
http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=llcg&fileName=073/llcg073.db&recNum=16

KenyanBornObamAcorn said...

1814 Supreme Court Case, The Venus, Chief Justice Marshall cites Vattel in saying:

"The whole system of decisions applicable to this subject rests on the law of nations as its base. It is therefore of some importance to inquire how far the writerson that law consider the subjects of one power residing within the territory of another, as retaining their original character or partaking of the character of the nation in which they reside. Vattel, who, though not very full to this point, is more explicit and more satisfactory on it than any other whose work has fallen into my hands, says:"

"The citizens are the members of the civil society; bound to this society by certain duties, and subject to its authority, they equally participate in its advantages. The natives or indigenes are those born in the country of parents who are citizens. Society not being able to subsist and to perpetuate itself but by the children of the citizens, those children naturally follow the condition of their fathers, and succeed to all their rights."
http://supreme.justia.com/us/12/253/case.html
ORIG: http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=llfr&fileName=003/llfr003.db&recNum=632&itemLink=D?hlaw:1:./temp/~ammem_dtRA::%230030633&linkText=1

Supreme Court Minor V. Happerset:
"At common-law, with the nomenclature of which the framers of the Constitution were familiar, it was never doubted that all children born in a country of parents who were its citizens became themselves, upon their birth, citizens also. These were natives, or natural-born citizens, as distinguished from aliens or foreigners."
http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/cgi-bin/getcase.pl?court=US&vol=88&invol=162

KenyanBornObamAcorn said...

NBC in the Constitutional drafts:

June 18th, 1787
Alexander Hamilton suggests that the requirement be added, as: "No person shall be eligible to the office of President of the United States unless he be now a Citizen of one of the States, or hereafter be born a Citizen of the United States."
http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=llfr&fileName=003/llfr003.db&recNum=632&itemLink=D?hlaw:1:./temp/~ammem_7RJR::%230030633&linkText=1

July 25, 1787
(~5 weeks later)
John Jay writes a letter to General Washington (president of the Constitutional Convention):

"Permit me to hint, whether it would be wise and seasonable to provide a strong check to the admission of Foreigners into the administration of our national Government; and to declare expressly that the Commander in Chief of the American army shall not be given to nor devolve on, any but a natural born Citizen." [the word born is underlined in Jay's letter which signifies the importance of allegiance from birth.]
http://rs6.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?ammem/hlaw:@field%28DOCID+@lit%28fr00379%29%29:

September 2nd, 1787
George Washington pens a letter to John Jay. The last line reads: "I thank you for the hints contained in your letter"
http://books.google.com/books?id=z0oWAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA76&dq=%22I+thank+you+for+the+hints+contained+in+your+letter%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=yDs0T82yEOLm0QHclt2zAg&ved=0CEkQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=%22I%20thank%20you%20for%20the%20hints%20contained%20in%20your%20letter%22&f=false

September 4th, 1787
(~6 weeks after Jay's letter and just 2 days after Washington wrote back to Jay)
The "Natural Born Citizen" requirement is now found in their drafts.
Madison's notes of the Convention.
http://www.nhccs.org/dfc-0904.txt