Below is a partial transcript of the text (minus footnotes) of an article allegedly written by Barack Hussein Obama II in 1990, when he was president of the Harvard Law Review. The article was published in the April 1990 Harvard Law Revue, which is a parody produced by the editorial staff of the Harvard Law Review. As usual, Obama wrote about his favorite topic: himself. [Emphasis added.]
BETWEEN BARACK AND A HARD PLACE: MY FIRST HUNDRED DAYS
by Baroque Yo’ Mama
Lots of folks have asked me, “Baruch, what’s it like to be the first Jewish president of the Harvard Law Revue?” Oi! This has gone a bit too far. It’s true that my background is a bit convoluted, but let me try my luck at clarifying these matters once and for all. I was born in Oslo, Norway, the son of a Volvo factory worker and a part-time ice-fisherman. My mother was a backup singer for Abba. They were good folks. As you folks all know, I am extraordinarily mature, and at the age of fifteen I went off to California to enroll at Accidental College. After a couple of years, I decided to go to Colombia, but when offered a position as a judge in Bogota, I fled to Chicago. There I discovered I was black, and I have remained so ever since. But I don’t want to bore you folks with matters of background and ethnicity. …
The next section of his treatise was called Obamania. Just a few select excerpts:
[M]y mother is an anthropologist or something … I have come to depend upon … the use of apparently meaningless symbols to bewilder and befuddle … Giving interviews and granting photo sessions has been a large burden, but when the movie rights are finally bought up I believe it will all be worth it.
Mind you, this was written and published in 1990, years before the “Obamania” of 2008 and years before he made millions off his books about himself. (Interesting that he coined a phrase that Bill O’Reilly now uses on his TV show–Barack and a hard place.) Read once again the sentence beginning, “I was born.” Now compare it to this, which I cobbled together from various Obama quotes, and which is a synopsis of the creation myth that he tells:
I was born in Hawaii. I am the son of a black man from Kenya and a white woman from Kansas. He grew up herding goats, went to school in a tin-roof shack. My mother was a Christian from Kansas. My parents shared not only an improbable love, they shared an abiding faith in the possibilities of this nation. They would give me an African name, Barack, or blessed …
Sound rather familiar? The flavor is the same in both biographies–the parody versus the one we’re expected to believe. Only the details have been changed. The official version sounds very much like that first published autobiography about the ice-fishing factory worker and the backup singer for Abba. About as truthful, too. Obama was elected president of the Harvard Law Review, after a vote by other editors. The process for choosing the president and the editors, who could then become presidential candidates themselves, had recently been modified:
Until the 1970’s the editors were picked on the basis of grades, and the president of the Law Review was the student with the highest academic rank. … That system came under attack in the 1970’s and was replaced by a program in which about half the editors are chosen for their grades and the other half are chosen by fellow students after a special writing competition. The new system, disputed when it began, was meant to help insure that minority students became editors of The Law Review. Harvard, like a number of other top law schools, no longer ranks its law students for any purpose including a guide to recruiters.
Harvard no longer ranks law students for any purpose. Amazing. From context provided by the rest of the humorous publication, it appears that candidates supplied an autobiography during the presidential election process. How interesting it would be to see what Obama provided, especially considering that for nearly two decades Obama’s next publisher, Acton and Dystel, clearly stated that Obama was born in Kenya. The Acton and Dystel biography was first published in a booklet in 1991, only a year after Obama wrote this autobiographical joke. How interesting it would be to read his entry for the writing competition. Keep in mind that Jack Cashill believes that Obama’s memoir Dreams from My Father may have been ghostwritten by Bill Ayers. Did Obama write his own entry for the writing competition, or did someone else? Where is that item today? Given his “historic” election as the “first African-American” editor and president of the Harvard Law Review, one would think that the university would have kept it under glass, in a climate-controlled environment. But no. According to a poorly edited letter written by Obama himself, the entries were destroyed. Grades were considered for only those editorial candidates who chose to release them. Despite what the New York Times said, Obama claimed in 1990 that nobody ever knew upon what basis any person was chosen:
No editors on the Review will ever know whether any given editor was selected on the basis of grades, writing competition, or affirmative action, and no editors who were selected with affirmative action in mind. [sic]
(How amusing that he argued in the letter that the new selection process did nothing to lower standards.) Was Obama chosen upon the basis of his grades or solely upon the basis of “his” writing? Or was it affirmative action? Did Obama write that parody published in the 1990 Harvard Law Revue? Or was it written for him by the same person who ghost-wrote his memoir? It wasn’t long after Obama was selected president of the Harvard Law Review that publishers came knocking. He was first tapped to write what sounded like an anthology of essays on race relations, but he soon reverted to his usual favorite topic: himself. The result was his supposed memoir: Dreams from My Father. This book, of course, has recently been exposed as fabricated to an “alarming extent.” Was the parody the progenitor of the later fabricated, possibly ghost-written memoir? Another variation on a theme by Obama? Update 07/12/12: Here’s an excerpt from another page of the parody publication, which will be discussed in a future post. The page contained a profile of Obama, which read, in part:
Occupation: First African African-American President of a major law revue published outside of New Haven.
Chew on that one for a while.