Once upon a time….within the mythical halls of a fabled ivy-covered Law School named Hahvahd, there dwelt an ambitious young scion known as Barry Soetoro…err…I mean Barack Hussein Obama. He was known far and wide as the Editor of the Harvard Law Review.
The young “born leader” soon signed with a Literary Agency, for the purpose of marketing an upcoming book. The Literary Agency, Acton & Dystel, published a brochure in 1991 which included the following short biography of the young liege:
Barack Obama, the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review, was born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia and Hawaii.
The son of an American anthropologist and a Kenyan finance minister, he attended Columbia University and worked as a financial journalist and editor for Business International Corporation. He served as project coordinator in Harlem for the New York Public Interest Research Group, and was Executive Director of the Developing Communities Project in Chicago’s South Side. His commitment to social and racial issues will be evident in his first book, Journeys in Black and White.
Mysteriously, in 2007 his birthplace on that biography was changed from Kenya to Hawaii.
An explanation of this curious biography was given yesterday:
Miriam Goderich edited the text of the bio; she is now a partner at the Dystel & Goderich agency, which lists Obama as one of its current clients.
“This was nothing more than a fact checking error by me–an agency assistant at the time,” Goderich wrote in an emailed statement to Yahoo News. “There was never any information given to us by Obama in any of his correspondence or other communications suggesting in any way that he was born in Kenya and not Hawaii. I hope you can communicate to your readers that this was a simple mistake and nothing more.”
A copy of the booklet was published on Breitbart.com, under the headline: ” Obama’s Literary Agent in 1991 Booklet: ‘Born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia and Hawaii.’ It was part of the “vetting” of the president the site’s late founder, Andrew Breitbart, had promised.
Ms. Goderich still represents President Barack Hussein Obama.
Obama addressed the curious question of the location of his birth in April of 2011, by producing a less-than-satisfying copy of his long form birth certificate from Hawaii, which many Americans still think is a cut and paste job.
After refusing for more than two years to indulge the most corrosive of conspiracy theories questioning his legitimacy, President Obama finally decided that he’d had enough.
He was frustrated and annoyed that questions about where he was born — once the province of the political fringe and more recently fanned by showman and real estate mogul Donald Trump — had arisen even in an interview last week with ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos.
The “birther” question had become a distraction, one that was getting in Obama’s way as he tried to sell the country on his approach to long-term deficit reduction.
On April 19, Obama ordered White House counsel Robert Bauer to find out what it would take to retrieve a longer and more detailed version of his Hawaiian birth certificate, a document not routinely released by state authorities.
That set into motion several days of intense, secret maneuvering that culminated in an extraordinary moment Wednesday. The president appeared in the White House briefing room with evidence that he had indeed been born in the United States, as the Constitution requires.
In a six-minute statement, Obama alternately poked fun at the “sideshows and carnival barkers” that had made such a declaration necessary and pleaded for the media and political world to focus on the serious challenges that face the nation.
“We do not have time for this silliness,” Obama said. “We’ve got better stuff to do. I’ve got better stuff to do. We’ve got big problems to solve.”
Some of the president’s conservative critics have pushed the theory that Obama, whose father was Kenyan, was born in Africa, as a way to question his constitutional legitimacy and even his basic American-ness. It is a falsehood that has gained remarkable currency. The most recent CBS/New York Times poll suggests that about a quarter of Americans believe it to be true. Among Republicans, 45 percent said they think Obama was not born in the United States.
That number may be about to go up.
Here’s a short civics lesson:
Only native-born U.S. citizens (or those born abroad, but only to parents who were both citizens of the U.S.) may be president of the United States, though from time to time that requirement is called into question, most recently after Arnold Schwarzenegger, born in Austria, was elected governor of California, in 2003. The Constitution originally provided a small loophole to this provision: One needn’t have been born in the United States but had to be a citizen at the time the Constitution was adopted. But, since that occurred in 1789, that ship has sailed.
Was President Obama “telling a story” to that Literary Agency in 1991 or to the American people when he said that he was eligible to run for the Presidency in 2008?
A 16-year-old “fact checking error”? Gimme a break.