The WaPo’s Fact Checker gives Obama four “Pinocchios” for untruths in his campaign ad calling Romney at corporate raider.
Meanwhile, Jonah Goldberg catalogs some of Obama’s personal whoppers.
…Obama has been less than honest about many things. Some of his biggest distortions should be the subject of sustained soul searching on the part of the media. For instance, as New York Times reporter Janny Scott first reported over a year ago, Obama lied about his cancer-stricken mother being denied coverage for her preexisting condition. Yes, he was close to the Reverend Jeremiah Wright and former terrorist Bill Ayers. Yes, he was a member of the socialist New Party (as my National Review colleague Stanley Kurtz has documented).
In the spirit of charity, some of the lies can be chalked up, at least in part, to fanciful family narratives. Obama claims his maternal grandfather fought in Patton’s army and liberated Nazi death camps. He says his paternal grandfather was tortured by the British imperialists in Kenya. He’s claimed his Indonesian step-grandfather was killed by the Dutch while fighting for independence. None of that is true.
What I find more interesting are the lies Obama tells not so much about himself, but about society. In Dreams from My Father, Obama tells readers that he struggled with racism and racial alienation all his life. He wasn’t a starter on his high-school basketball team because he played “black” while his coach coached “white.” He confabulated a black friend in high school who, like himself, was shunned for racial reasons. He wrote of a “big fight” with a white ex-girlfriend who, after seeing a racially charged play, “started talking about why black people were so angry all the time.”
As Maraniss methodically shows, these and other tales of racial woe were false. His coach didn’t start him because he wasn’t good enough to start. His friend in high school was half-Japanese, not black, and neither of them was racially ostracized. The girlfriend, Genevieve Cook, never saw the play and never said anything of the sort. And so on.
The Barack Obama who wrote Dreams from My Father probably never dreamed of becoming president of the United States. That man was a product of campus culture — at Harvard, Columbia, and the University of Chicago — and his vignettes of racial struggle were in some respects the coin of his realm. Later, when he entered the national political scene, he discovered this currency was accepted by much of the mainstream media as well.
No doubt Obama experienced racial animosity in his life, but not enough to fill a memoir with true examples. No doubt life had been unfair to him, but not so unfair as to keep him from Harvard, the Senate, or the White House. He has lived a charmed life (more…)