Barack Obama Embellishes His Resume

on July 9 | in , Highlighted | by | with 63 Comments

Don’t get me wrong – I’m a fan of Barack Obama, the Illinois freshman senator and hot young Democratic Party star. But after reading his autobiography, I have to say that Barack engages in some serious exaggeration when he describes a job that he held in the mid-1980s.I know because I sat down the hall from him, in the same department, and worked closely with his boss. I can’t say I was particularly close to Barack – he was reserved and distant towards all of his co-workers – but I was probably as close to him as anyone. I certainly know what he did there, and it bears only a loose resemblance to what he wrote in his book.

Here’s Barack’s account:

Eventually a consulting house to multinational corporations agreed to hire me as a research assistant. Like a spy behind enemy lines, I arrived every day at my mid-Manhattan office and sat at my computer terminal, checking the Reuters machine that blinked bright emerald messages from across the globe. As far as I could tell I was the only black man in the company, a source of shame for me but a source of considerable pride for the company’s secretarial pool.

First, it wasn’t a consulting house; it was a small company that published newsletters on international business. Like most newsletter publishers, it was a bit of a sweatshop. I’m sure we all wished that we were high-priced consultants to multinational corporations. But we also enjoyed coming in at ten, wearing jeans to work, flirting with our co-workers, partying when we stayed late, and bonding over the low salaries and heavy workload.

Barack worked on one of the company’s reference publications. Each month customers got a new set of pages on business conditions in a particular country, punched to fit into a three-ring binder. Barack’s job was to get copy from the country correspondents and edit it so that it fit into a standard outline. There was probably some research involved as well, since correspondents usually don’t send exactly what you ask for, and you can’t always decipher their copy. But essentially the job was copyediting.

It’s also not true that Barack was the only black man in the company. He was the only black professional man. Fred was an African-American who worked in the mailroom with his son. My boss and I used to join them on Friday afternoons to drink beer behind the stacks of office supplies. That’s not the kind of thing that Barack would do. Like I said, he was somewhat aloof.

…as the months passed, I felt the idea of becoming an organizer slipping away from me. The company promoted me to the position of financial writer. I had my own office, my own secretary; money in the bank. Sometimes, coming out of an interview with Japanese financiers or German bond traders, I would catch my reflection in the elevator doors—see myself in a suit and tie, a briefcase in my hand—and for a split second I would imagine myself as a captain of industry, barking out orders, closing the deal, before I remembered who it was that I had told myself I wanted to be and felt pangs of guilt for my lack of resolve.

Barack was not promoted. Instead, he did the same thing that I did in my first job out of college: Volunteered for more interesting work (writing articles) than the work he was hired to do (copyediting a reference service). As far as I know, he always had a small office, and the only secretary in the company worked for Norman, the president. Barack never left the office, never wore a tie, and had neither reason nor opportunity to interview Japanese financiers or German bond traders.

Then one day, as I sat down at my computer to write an article on interest-rate swaps, something unexpected happened. Auma called. I had never met this half sister; we had written only intermittently…[several pages on his suffering half-sister] A few months after Auma called, I turned in my resignation at the consulting firm and began looking in earnest for an organizing job.

All of Barack’s embellishment serves a larger narrative purpose: to retell the story of the Christ’s temptation. The young, idealistic, would-be community organizer gets a nice suit, joins a consulting house, starts hanging out with investment bankers, and barely escapes moving into the big mansion with the white folks. Luckily, an angel calls, awakens his conscience, and helps him choose instead to fight for the people.

Like I said, I’m a fan. His famous keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention moved me to tears. The Democrats – not to mention America – need a mixed-race spokesperson who can connect to both urban blacks and rural whites, who has the credibility to challenge the status quo on issues ranging from misogynistic rap to unfair school funding.

And yet I’m disappointed. Barack’s story may be true, but many of the facts are not. His larger narrative purpose requires him to embellish his role. I don’t buy it. Just as I can’t be inspired by Steve Jobs now that I know how dishonest he is, I can’t listen uncritically to Barack Obama now that I know he’s willing to bend the facts to his purpose.

Once, when I applied for a marketing job at a big accounting firm, my then-supervisor called HR to say that I had exaggerated something on my resume. I didn’t agree, but I also didn’t get the job. But when Barack Obama invents facts in a book ranked No. 8 on the NY Times nonfiction list, it not only fails to be noticed but it helps elevate him into the national political pantheon.

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63 Responses to Barack Obama Embellishes His Resume

  1. KL Moore "The Voice of Reason" says:

    Wow, you sure are vitriolic for someone claiming to be a fan. But then, the people who hate us most sometimes wear the disguise of a friend… but usually that’s a female thing. As is the need to downplay other people’s role in an office environment or nit-pick their activities and tear them to pieces personally.

    Were you Obama? Then how do you really know what he did or who he was/is????? You say he was distant from everyone, then in the same space you claim you were as close to him as anyone. If that was true, you would have understood more about him and felt less need to slam him publicly.

    Um, he says he was the only Black man at a desk and you say there was a freakin’ “black mail room clerk” as if that’s the same thing. He says he talked to his sister, and you MOCK his sister in pejorative wording and then claim he actually didn’t talk to his sister but instead had to deal with copy… You are super bitter! There is no need to tear someone apart unless there is some lack in your own person.

    And you remember what he wore everyday? He never wore nice clothes to work? Hell when I worked in corporate america I had to wear nicer clothes than everyone else or be mistaken for a Mail. Room. Clerk. And how do you remember what he wore or what he was doing everyday??? A bit suspect especially with what we know these days about the truly faulty abilities of “Eye Witnesses” memories… and at least they’re working in current time. You’re remembering his clothes decades ago! Were you a stalker, a closeted “fan” of his warm smiling features? That’s why I recall that a hot guy I worked with wore a blue shirt at least twice a week and a pale pink one once – he was hot, so I remember.

    OH, and you were such a cool white guy, you hung out with the non-threatening black mail clerk and his son (nothing like seeing two generations that will never compete with you for a job to make sharing a beer sound great, hey!) but you never knew that Obama felt outcast, alone and lost????? Barak could NEVER have hung out and had a beer with those mail clerks because soon everyone would associate him with the mail clerks.
    Where you were “hanging out”, he would be lazy. Where you were having a beer, he would be exploiting his time at work to get drunk. Where you were the cool Boss Man, he would be asked to help them out in no time.
    Don’t act defensive, we’ve all seen it happen. Its been well documented. You associate with one black person, and suddenly the only people you like are Black people and you’re a difficult worker. I mean that happened anyway, as you say, he didn’t really hang out with his coworkers.
    To place it within the realm of organizational behavior, Barak was synechdocic of the Black community, and as such if he did anything off, he would be slammed all the more. I’m sorry, this is a complex argument, and according to your essay above, you only understand the simple.

    Oh yeah, and you two were real tight Mr:

    “I can’t say I was particularly close to Barack – he was reserved and distant towards all of his co-workers – but I was probably as close to him as anyone.”

    This is such claptrap!!!
    Mr. Armstrong, You have no idea what it was like to be the sole Black man with a professional positon in a corporate/business environment at that time!!! You still don’t and never will! I worked in a corporate environement and heard the same crap, “she’s so quiet and reserved, its so hard to get to know her” (…its called Mobbing, there are books on the phenomenon – check out Amazon.com)

    No one is above feeling threatened in America where race/class fight to divide us all the time, and white is told that black is the problem and asian is told they can do better than those hispanics… Even you are not exempt now and you weren’t then.

    And it appears you are still not exempt today where, instead of stating what you may know (that the company did not work as a multi-national per-se) you tear someone to pieces who was probably feeling pretty crappy the whole time you knew him.
    And you make me so angry at the balderdash being passed off as real reporting, that you propell me from Apathy to full blown commitment to the cause!!!
    So for that reason, thank you.
    For your ridiculous ability to (in spite of what must have been a good education somewhere) fall full face down into a big pile of old habits that should have been scooped up with a plastic bag and thrown away 20 years ago!

  2. Tristan says:

    You may not like Steve Jobs personality, but I hardly see how anyone cannot be inspired by the man who revolutioned every field that caught his interest.

  3. JR says:

    Perhaps the point is that regardless of the personal feelings one has about another person, it is never acceptable to represent a story as fact when it is not. If Barack Obama worked at a newsletter publishing company, then he did not work a multinational financier. If people wore jeans and drank at the office, then they did not wear three-piece suits every day. A few years ago, James Frey was skewered for misrepresenting facts in “A Million Little Pieces.” No matter how much someone liked the book, its meaning changes when you discover that the author/narrator is not always truthful and accurate. So why should Obama be given a free pass for fabricating the events of his life?

  4. bill millar says:

    Cathy Lazere calls Barack self-assured? That’s putting a nice spin on it. I found him arrogant and condescending.

    The thing is, I worked next to Barack nearly every day he was at Business International–on many days angling for possession of the best Wang word processing terminal.

    I had MANY discussions with Barack.

    I can tell you this: even though I was an assistant editor (big doings at this “consulting firm”) and he was, well, he was doing something there, he certainly treated me like something less than an equal.

    Funny thing… A journalism/political science major… Writing about finance… Pretending in his book to be an expert on interest rate swaps.

    I remember trying to explain the nuance of these instruments to him in the cramped three Wang terminal space we called the bull pen. In contrast to his his liberal arts background, I had a degree in finance and Wall Street experience, so I knew what I was talking about.

    But rather than learn from a City College kid, the Ivy Leaguer just sort of rolled his eyes. Condescendingly. I’ll never forget it. God forbid he leave the impression that a mere editor like myself knew more about something than did Barack.

    He was like that…

    But know what? I can forgive him for being immature–which is probably all that was at the time. Don’t we all believe we know everything at just around that age?

    That said…he was a lot older when he wrote his book. Mature enough by this time to realize that his account of his time at Business International could be described as embellishment.

    (Yawn)

    Best!

  5. Jeanne says:

    I worked with Dan and Barack at Business International. I too read Barack Obama’s account of his work at Business International and immediately thought this was not the same place I worked! It was not a high level consulting firm. As today’s NYT article states, it was hardly an upscale environment. And I laughed when I read in the book that he had his own secretary! The only one who had his in secretary in our group was the VP. There were some shared administrative resources, and I was one of them. I remember Barack as being quiet, bright, reserved, polite. He was indeed the only black male professional there, but it was hardly a swanky environment.

    Dan, I do indeed remember Barack interviewing someone for an article, and it may have been a German banker. I had to transcribe the tape for the interview. I remember being very nervous as I could hardly make out many of the words to transcribe (the interviewee’s accent and financial terms I was unfamiliar with). I do remember Barack being very kind to me then, and thanking me for doing the work. That’s my only memory of him. Heck, a year or two later I was interviewing a German banker!

    To the commenter who took exception with Dan remembering what Barack wore, if Barack had dressed in a suit and tie every day, it would have stood out. It just wasn’t that kind of office.

  6. karen says:

    Amused by the NYT piece. Back in the 80s, I worked at the rather quirky Business Int’l. Funny, when Barack first came on the local political scene, I remembered the unusual name, but nothing of the man. A bit of de-mythologizing is healthy for the soul.

  7. bill millar says:

    Jeanne? Karen? Cathy? Hey…it’s a Business International reunion!

    I tell ya’ what though…even though we weren’t a true consulting firm, a lot of what we did was highly influential. I know for a fact that at least MY work was having an impact because, for example, I got a plaque from the mayor’s office in Amsterdam thanking me for my work on Europe 1992. (I had contributed an article to some book–and this was their show of gratitude.) Unfortunately, it was destroyed by the horizontal rains of a remnant hurricane. (Once it could no longer be displayed with pride, too much green mold, into the bin it went.)

    So…who’s gonna’ write the history of Business International for Wikipedia? (What’s on their now doesn’t quite get it done.) I nominate Barry… Barry–you wanna’ perhaps collaborate? I doubt we’ll get much contribution from Barack…well…nothing accurate that is.

    Chit! I’m late for my call with that Latin financier. Jeanne, do you still do transcriptions? How’s your Portuguese?

  8. […] 30th, 2007 · No Comments … for any aspiring politician.  People remember what actually happened when you were young,not the story you feel like telling. […]

  9. Ksun says:

    Why would it take some “mixed race” person to communicate with all of America? Most politicians in this country have been white; and I presume they managed to communicate with much of their constituency. So do you think black politicians can only communicate with blacks? Did you ever inform the current governor of MA – – Deval Patrick – – of this fact?

    Also, many blacks in this country are of “mixed race” – – although not by our black slave ancestors’ choice. You have no idea just how insulting your “backhanded compliment” to Barack really is.

  10. John says:

    “If a civil rights lawyer walked into court and argued that fundamental civil rights should be denied solely for metaphysical reasons [religion] one could fairly wonder if he were a charlatan who found his law degree in a box of Cracker Jack. Legally, Obama’s position on civil marriage is intellectual rubbish. Audacity indeed!”

    See “Untangling Barack Obama’s audacious mumbo jumbo,” by John P. Mortimer, Bay Area Reporter 11/16/2006 at http://ebar.com/common/inc/article_print.php?sec=guest_op&article=73 .

  11. Beth says:

    Wow, so much BI today . . . and I hadn’t thought about the place in years until Barack announced his candidacy in February. By the way, it was Bill Looney (remember him?) who called it a “high school with ashtrays.” I remember well. And I remember Barack the same way Cathy does. I’m one of the people she’s probably referring to when she said he was “more mature and worldly than other people.” She supervised both of us — me, on ILT, and Barack, on FFO. Barack was very suave and debonair back then, as he is now. I saw him in August at a fundraiser for his campaign in Park City, Utah. He seemed to remember me and BI, and said, “Wow, it’s been a really, really long time.” Long enough for all of us to romanticize our early years . . .

  12. Rena Grossfield says:

    This has indeed become a BI reunion forum. It’s funny — a few years ago I tried to start a BI alumni blog/website, but I couldn’t find anyone to design it properly and not very many people weighed in. So after several months, I took it down. Maybe someone could try it now, as a “old boy and girl” network for former denizens of the place.

    Obama was at BI between when I left BI (after 9 years there) and when I started doing a lot of freelance there, so I missed knowing him. But Dan’s and others’ description of the working environment is spot on.

    I’m retired now — and a recent grandma — but would be interested in being in contact with former BI’ers. Last time I saw a lot of the folks was at Carol Kirschenbaum’s memorial gathering a couple of years ago.

  13. Chris says:

    I worked at BI for a couple of years in the early 80s. In fact, I think Obama was hired to replace me when I resigned but I could be wrong on that. I did, however, work on both FFO and BIMR. When I started there I worked for a French guy who used to wear make up. Dan’s description of the work environment and the position itself is dead on accurate. Low wages and lots of hours. Lots of fun, too. I still have a stash of fake Trina R memos as well as BIMR issues with fake headlines. Every once in a while we’d forget to change the fake headline and it would go to the printer. Cheap thrills running to the printer to stop production before the issue was sent to clients. Remember the guy who used to write the stories about the FASB rule changes? It was like the same story, week after week, year after year. Sometimes I’d have to wake the guy up when he would fall asleep at his desk and we were closing in on a deadline. Thanks for the memories. It was a great first job.

  14. Jeanne says:

    Wow! Great to hear see so many former BI folks here. Don’t know that I can manage a website just yet (may be able to tackle that in a bit). In the meantime, I’ve requested that a Business International Alumni group be created on Linkedin. I’ll post here when it’s available. If you’re on Linkedin, you can then join the group and see who else is in the group.

    I think Barack’s office was near the Wang workstations by the Poodle with a mohawk poster. http://www.flickr.com/photos/ladouseur/279609646/

  15. peter says:

    I read envy in the whole article!Could it be that you feel like it is you who should have risen to the heights that Obama has achieved? Please drop the “I am a fan crap”!

  16. Wow, everyone that personally met Obama has met at this one website to discuss that although they like Obama, he’s still a lying liar.

    Welcome to another episode of Internet’s Believe it or Not. We’ll be back after a word from our sponsors, The Heritage Foundation.

  17. Buzz Kerbox says:

    I worked at BI but don’t recall meeting Obama during my tour of duty there. Of course, we were smoking a lot of dope in those days; Obama could have been in the next cube over for all I know. I remember the poodle with the mohawk poster as well as the artists who worked in the subcellar. Anyone know where Bill Looney is these days? I think I still have some of his books on Canada.

  18. bill millar says:

    I didn’t say I liked him.

    In fact, I disliked him. Like I said, I found him arrogant and condescending.

    I dislike him even more now that I see he is a liar.

    (I didn’t know that about him then.)

  19. carolyn says:

    and you’re running for what now… making speeches and attracting how many people in one visit? hmmmm thought so.
    Step away from the hateraide ~ What are you doing with your life? How are you inspiring thousands of people to believe and hope again?… We live in a cynical, cynical world… this man is running for President of the United States and has become a viable candidate at that…

  20. Idetrorce says:

    very interesting, but I don’t agree with you
    Idetrorce

  21. Pearl says:

    I can’t say I worked with him. Someone will probably get heated for me even just voicing my opinion and shoot me down flat. It wouldn’t be the first time… most likely not the last either. However, I’m going to voice it anyway. Barack Obama is running for president. How many of you have even tried for a promotion you really wanted? So what if he embellished it a little? Are you trying to say you’ve never done just the same? If you do say that… then you’re a liar… worse then he is. I’m not saying its ok… but it’s human. Just because it wasn’t so glamorous and just because he didn’t dress in a three piece suit (according to you), doesn’t give you the right to ridicule him… why would you want to be cruel? You can call a person on something without acting so hateful or resentful. All my life, my mother always tells me, ‘If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all’. You don’t like him? That’s fine, but you don’t have to bash him needlessly do you? One consistency in all of these is that, while he seems to be arrogant or seems to come off that way, no one really knew him. He is described as polite repeatedly. He seems to have kept to himself according to most of you. So, I have to ask, have you never come off in a way that you aren’t? I’m not really an outstanding supporter of Obama but I am of morals. He was wrong to embellish. You are wrong for acting as you are. The thing that bothers me the most is that I’m so young compared to all of you… but I’m the one who is standing up again such things. I guess the only thing that will disappoint me more… is how you will respond to someone calling you on your actions. I’m going to step out on a limb and assume that you’re going to be upset with me. Perhaps I’ll even get insulted but, this is how I feel. So far, he is still a major candidate for my vote.

  22. Bob says:

    Ok. I worked there too. Until today I had no idea Obama worked there. I might have left before his arrival. Don’t be so hard on yourselves fellow BIers. There was a lot of good work done there, some client specific consulting and some of that probably even more valuable than the enormously more expensive work put out by the Bains and McKinseys of the world. Even the Roundtables in their day were deemed valuable by enough people to make them occasionally profitable. I valued my time there and met many good friends, not enough of which I stay in touch with these days. I was a CSO working for Bert McKee, John Tremlett and Bruce Beebe all nice folks. I had a window office and a shared secretary, Paz DeHaan. For what it’s worth, I called her MY secretary and she called me HER boss but, as you know, one can fool themselves into thinking they have authority when they don’t, so there WERE folks that had secretarys at my low level.

    I also would point out that, while I don’t remember African Americans at an executive level, I do remember a very high percentage of super talented women surrounding me and have very fond memories of one Shing Fung, a genius that came from relatively humble Hong Kong roots (am I imagining that?). So we did have people of color in high positions.

    Finally, I met Barack in Sacramento this fall and am so far inspired to vote for him. I suspect embellishment comes with the territory and watching The Hillster fake-bawl and play the “you ain’t MLK” card in the same day is at least as odious. I also met Edwards twice last summer who is a lightweight. Maybe Bloomberg is the answer! Cheers.

    As to Barack

  23. Kim says:

    Dan, thanks for sharing your experiences. Unlike some here who fail to notice that you have indeed since been inspired by Barack, you also don’t want to gloss over the truth in favor of downright worshiping the guy. That’s called religion. We only need a president.

    Best of luck to you.
    Kim

  24. Gene says:

    I have to say, I’ve read the posting as well as the comments. I have to I am disappointed in many of the responses. For those who wish for Obama to win the election, your comments disturb me greatly. I’m beginning to understand how James Madison perceived the general public. We all are free to vote as we wish. And with our freedoms come great responsibilities. There was a time when a person running for any office would automatically lose if he were caught in a lie. Today, we live in a world that makes its money through marketing techniques. The most popularly used techniques is to dress it up, identify with the buyers (voters), and ignore or deny any negative facts that may reduce sales. Think about tobacco companies. Whether you choose to believe the post or not is irrelevant. I’d hope that people would rather dismiss claims of this nature by seeking the truth, not by ignorance.

    The qualifications necessary to become president are clear. Must be of the age of 35, A citizen of the United States, and must have resided in the U.S. for at least 14 years. If you need to ‘lie’ or ‘fluff’ the truth to become president, then what else would you lie about? What if during the Saddam interrogation, when asked why he was so resistant to inspectors, leading to the current war, his answer was, “The United States knows why. It was their idea to stage the resistance so that Iran would think twice before planning an invasion.”?

    If he or anyone else wins this election through lies, then we’ve not only allowed ignorance to blind us, but we’ve let it enslave us.

  25. Donna says:

    That part of the book caught my eye because I write for a financial services industry weekly. I’m curious … where can I get some old copies of the newsletter(s) that Barack did research/writing/editing for?

  26. Most of you guys sound like a bunch of bitter people name dropping. I bet it makes for good conversation during happy hour. Oh, yeah… I knew the “O”. Perhaps when he takes the presidency, you’ll all wish that you had a position at the white house instead of BI skewed memories of the way we were… Come on… the mail guy… drinking beers in the back room… why not just do it behind the trailer park???

  27. PG says:

    Gene,

    “There was a time when a person running for any office would automatically lose if he were caught in a lie.”

    Really? When?

    Politicians have been exaggerating their accomplishments and hiding their missteps since polities first organized, and have succeeded in gaining office even after getting caught. People so ignorant of history as to believe that there once was a Golden Age of honest politicians still have a constitutional right to vote and to speak, but I wish they would read a book before doing either.

    As for the larger point of this post, I am afraid the author doesn’t understand the difference between embellishing your resume in order to get a job that you wouldn’t be able to get without that embellishment, and emphasizing certain details* for the purpose of an autobiographical narrative. We should worry when a politician claims he’s good at the job because of accomplishments that weren’t really fulfilled, as with Obama and nuclear leak legislation that never actually passed the Senate. If Obama’s legislative record proves to be weak, he’s a poor candidate for higher office. If he described himself as a “research assistant” instead of as a “rewriter” — maybe y’all have been in upper management too long to remember, but “research assistant” is hardly a glorified position — it’s no detriment to his candidacy.

    * You’re saying Obama NEVER had occasion to wear a suit for work? you’re saying he had NO secretarial assistance? and then there’s your misunderstanding of what he meant by his position giving pride to the secretarial pool — hello, he clearly meant that he was the only black man in a position that required a college degree.

  28. Jeanie says:

    Amazing how Obama supporters will justify anything Obama does; no matter how unethical or untruthful. They truly are no different than the neo cons that supported Bush during the WMD days.

    Obama’s campaign has his minions working the bloggs.

  29. Chris says:

    It amazes me how quickly KL Moore was to jump to the defense of Obama, and from the tone of it, based her arguments on race. “Wow, you sure are vitriolic for someone claiming to be a fan. But then, the people who hate us most”. Then wants to jump all over the author of this article and “nit-pik” what was written. “As is the need to downplay other people’s role in an office environment or nit-pick their activities and tear them to pieces personally. “”There is no need to tear someone apart unless there is some lack in your own person”. What does this say about your character KL? KL then states that in order to know what a person is doing you have to be that person, “Were you Obama? Then how do you really know what he did or who he was/is????? “. A supervisor or a manager will rate a person, based on performance that is seen, not because they “are” the subordinate. You can see what office mates are doing or in this case what they are not doing. Here you are attempting to defend Obama and you are perpetuating the persona that a black man in the mail room is non-threatning “OH, and you were such a cool white guy, you hung out with the non-threatening black mail clerk ” It was never stated in the authors comments that the feeling that the black man in the mail room was non-threatning. KL states “Barak could NEVER have hung out and had a beer with those mail clerks because soon everyone would associate him with the mail clerks.” But according to Obama in his book, quoted by the author he (Obama) was International, an exec so hanging out with “the non-threatning blackman in the mail room” would not have been a problem. KL you are obviously not a black man, so you also have no idea what it is like to be black man in the corporate world. “Mr. Armstrong, You have no idea what it was like to be the sole Black man with a professional positon in a corporate/business environment at that time!!! You still don’t and never will! I worked in a corporate environement and heard the same crap, “she’s so quiet and reserved, its so hard to get to know her” “. KL States “No one is above feeling threatened in America where race/class fight to divide us all the time, and white is told that black is the problem and asian is told they can do better than those hispanics”, what you failed to mention in this statement, is that you have individuals like Farekan publically stating that the problem is the white man, in his position to support Obama, and this also is based on Obama’s color not on his political position. You state “And you make me so angry at the balderdash being passed off as real reporting, that you propell me from Apathy to full blown commitment to the cause!!!. What “cause” does this statement not continue to perpetuate a form of rasism? If you had white folks making a similar statement in regards to a “cause” it would be considered rasist.
    For your ridiculous ability to (in spite of what must have been a good education somewhere) fall full face down into a big pile of old habits that should have been scooped up with a plastic bag and thrown away 20 years ago!” Why is it that you have percieved this article as being critical of the “black” race, as opposed to what it is, and that is the author has pointed out that Obama is falsifying (in writting) accounts of his life. You are stating that the author should have scooped up this pile of bad habits and thrown it away 20 years ago, when a good percentage of the black community also perpetuates this rasism that you have accused the author of this article of, whit these types of retorts and using phrases like “the cause”. Finally you claim to be “the voice of reason” what a crock.

  30. Mary says:

    it looks like people google BI and found this web-site! Very Interesting!

    This web-site confirms something that I suspected by reviewing Obama’s legislative record – – the issues he really got behind – in the IL state senate. There three that are commonly cited – police interrogations, campaign fiance reform/ethics, and something to do with Income Tax Credits for Children (don’t find much on the healthcare for children he mentions). These issues are not heavy duty on the money/number issues.

    The more I read about Barak, he seems like many many people I see in business who try to get ahead. Someone who works at developing a reputaion for being a visionary leader/ sales person who can grow something – but works hard at staying out of the details that are required to make the vision work.

    I have seen only two true visionary leaders in my multi decade business career – one really did understand the details and the numbers better than most – and when he got to the level he wanted to achive, he plateaed and quit working for more.

    The other was a wonderful person that anyone would follow – but he was let go because the business was in total disarray from a business standpoint. he was even a finance guy – but he still was more interested in the vision thing than the ability to sustain a business over the long term.

    I suspect that Obama is largely a marketing creation and I would be disappointed if he goes all the way to the presidency.

  31. lois says:

    I have not read Obama books. I am one African American (AA) woman who refuses to drink the kool-aid. Twenty years ago I would have jumped blindly on the Obama train solely because he was a black man…and making history was the goal. Well I have cast a many votes for AA candidates and when they did not deliver on their promises, they gave the same old excuse, my hands are tied. Older …wiser and gravely disappointed by the lack of achievements by my AA elected officials and race…

    I have changed my voting pattern because making history without progress is shameful and a waste of opportunity. It should be the ultimate goal for all Americans
    …AA…..Asian……..Hispanics …Native American and women of all nationalities to occupy the oval office. And we all should have a shot at it. However, I want a president that have an enormous intellectual capacity teemed with wisdom and compassion to govern our country and to be a shining example to the entire world. I’m reluctant to vote for Obama for the following reasons:

    In 1995 Chicago experienced one of the worse heat waves in its history. 739 elderly and poor people lost their lives, the majority of them on the Southside and Westside of Chicago. They died because no one came to their rescue…they slowly died…suffocated behind locked doors and sealed windows, out of contact with friends, family, and neighbors, unassisted by public agencies or community groups ( see Eric Klinenberg Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago). One of my friends living in Chicago contend that this should not have happened…that all the AA mega churches are air-conditioned and have huge commerical kitchen could have housed those who died. That someone could have appealed to the ministers to open up their churches to house these people during the 5-day heat wave. So, I ponder where was Obama? I mean once an activist always an activist. The activist that I know are always rallying around humanitarian efforts, it is what we do…roll-up our sleeves…wear out the sole of our shoes and get our hands dirty! Why wasn’t he inspired to use his grass-root influence to mobilize folks…big mega-churches to rescue those poor old people.. Perhaps if he saw his future on the horizon in 1995 he would have shown up. Maybe Jesse Jackson and his congressman son should have shown-up. I know the Roseland and Altgeld Garden communities where he worked as an activist.

    It is hard to wrap my brain around the fact that a progressive activist would waste energy and resources to save steel mill jobs when the demise of those plants were hard felt in the late 70s and early 80s. Since you read his books, did Obama attempt to inspire and influence his constituents to seek new opportunities in the field of technology. Did he create community centers where the young could come to be inspired by working on computers…or teaching them to express themselves via art…? Now that we know he has fund-raising skills… and so many black people believe in him….how come he could garner dollars for the cause back then? How about helping to start grocery co-ops…community gardens…clean-up the neighborhood…kill a rat…Lord knows Chicago has rats the size of toy dogs.

    After all, those displaced workers could have sought re-training under the State Unemployment Agency. Did they hook them up with workshops to show them how to take the advantage of existing programs…take them down to the unemployment office by carpooling…or by the bus loads. Seemingly, Obama and his organization were leading their constituents out of the world ass- backwards. The changes that he aspired to achieve were not felt by that community because he didn’t have the skills to make things happen. I’m sure that he is a visionary…but he doesn’t necessarily have the skills to layout a plan…to mastermind the activities to make things happen. I have quarreled heatedly with Chicago friends and family because I want proof other than his skin color that he is “the one”! I asked them, he is your senator but your public school system has failed your children… your schools are dilapidated… the Chicago public school system need money for an overall…from the floor up… your middle class neighborhood infrastructure is decaying … you need gang units…but the police need more to hire and develop a unit to get the gangs and drugs off the streets….on the Southside of Chicago…potholes are huge and deadly…. what has your senator done for you lately? No one could answer. Obama begin to run for President as soon as he reached the US Senate…he has not been present enough to make a difference…Personally I have a problem with a sitting senator, governor or US representative running for a higher office on company time. Neither Clinton nor Obama are taking care of company business…they email and chat by phone with their aides…but neither are showing up for work…yet they’re collecting a paycheck written by the taxpayers.

    Between the less or two evils I choose Hillary. I think she has what it takes….and it would better to have Bill as counsel and confidante to the inexperience Hill rather than Michelle trying to offer direction to Barack. I’m leaning toward voting democrat in November because the Supreme Court is up for grabs…three sitting justices Ginsburg…Souter and Stevens, all reliable liberal voters, and in their late 70s with health problems. As a democracy, I believe it is necessary to have a Supreme Court that reflects…conservative…liberal and independent points of view and interpretation of the constitution. We want them to be challenged…defend their points of views… stir it up a bit…and hopeful persuade their fellow justices not by party affiliation but by what would be best for all the people, and would keep our country progressive and compassionate. Therefore, I have not ruled out McCain because I like the idea that he is a seasoned politician… I like his military records and believe he is capable of doing the right thing…and working across the aisles.

    I appreciate your viewpoints and memories of your stint at BI. I just I could have been a fly on the wall :).

  32. tessa says:

    to KL Moore, I usually like to read responses to articles like the one above, but you lost me in the first paragraph. In stereotyping females in a negative light, you completely negate anything you have to say. I suggest that if you want interested persons to read what you have to say, you choose your words wise enough to not alienate those whom might agree with you.

  33. A. Zarkov says:

    Many law schools warn their students not to “embellish,” exaggerate or misrepresent their resumes in any way. It’s a serious breach of legal ethics to do so and can come back to haunt you. While resume distortion is unfortunately a common practice, it’s much for serious for a lawyer to do it, especially when that lawyer wants to become a US president. If someone says they worked at an upscale restaurant, but really worked at a hotdog stand, that’s more than a mere embellishment. If you say you wrote a paper on a technical subject, but really just copyedited it, that’s a misrepresentation. No ethical technical professional would do such a thing. Of course BHO didn’t claim a false authorship of a specific paper, so he has some wiggle room here. But that’s what manipulative and fundamentally dishonest people like the Clintons do all the time. They don’t quite cross a line, but they go right up to it.

  34. Cheryl says:

    First, regardless of the presidency or obama, the people who worked at BI certainly have a right to write about their own lives n experiences. We all have the right to our opinion. But an opinion that says these people don’t have that right is wrong. Those who say ‘you don’t know what its like to be obama’ are right. But, they don’t know what its like to work with him, to work at BI, nor even what its like to know him personally so surely these people can’t really believe some of what’s been said here. I have a right to talk about my life. If i were to have worked with someone who was running for any important position, much less the presidency, and knew they’d lied as much as these ppl say he has, i’d feel compelled to let it be known. And if he were rude and arrogant to me personally i’d feel a natural dislike, and the desire to say so. I’d be horribly insulted by anyone who wasn’t there tellin me i’m wrong to say it, and angry at anyone who said i had no right to be angry at someone who treated me badly.

  35. Cheryl says:

    Donna said wonderfully what i’ve been tryin to articulate to people i know. Also i’m about sick of being accused of being racist if i have anything against obama. I believe very strongly in equality, and in color BLINDNESS. Also, Tessa is my hero, she makes wonderful points. Any oba-maniacs ready to call her racist? And these ppl are talkin about obama because they worked with him. If any of them had the same type of experience with hillary, or mccain, etc, they’d tell it. Finally, just because politicians are known to lie doesn’t mean its ok nor that we should justify it. N its true they always have, as well as that it once took much less than this to ruin a politician. This type of info is simply more widely available now due to the Internet. People once thought their leaders somethin a cut above- that’s how the myths about the honesty of washington and lincoln came about. Clinton was impeached for somethin the legendary jfk did regularly. But the people didn’t know, the media didn’t tell, was no internet.

  36. William Taylor says:

    Just another politician telling lies. Typical. What scares me about obama, and I was thinking about voting for him, is relationship with his hate speaking Pastor, jeremih Wright Jr. , Rashid Khalioi, Tony Rezjo and his wife, Louis Farrakhan, and the London Times story of where he got the money to buy his Chicago mansion, and last his work as a paid director of the Woods Fund, 2000, 2001. Also I noticed at event when te Pledge to the flag was going on, everyone except Obama had his hand over their heart, the comment that his wife made about being proud of America for the first time in her life, and the latest story out f South America about his ties to the Rebels that columbis attacked. He may not be Muslim, but he has sure surrounded himself with radical Muslim asociates. I will not be voting for him. He keeps saying change, I don’t think he is honest, and I don’t think his version of change many Americans will like.

  37. Steve Kraye says:

    You must have worked fro Frost & Sullivan!

  38. Winghunter says:

    Thank you Obama co-workers, one and all, for sharing the truth and your opinions…they will receive the appropriate attention, I’ll make sure of it.

    For the mentally challenged who attack the messenger because they don’t like the message…pound sand or grow up, those are your only choices.

    For those who vote for a US president on the basis of skin color…’shame on you’ doesn’t even come close to addressing treason inspired, taught and perpetuated by bigoted racism.

    Obama Defends Rev. Wright, Blasts Imus
    http://www.newsmax.com/insidecover/obama_wright_imus/2008/03/19/81557.html?s=sp&promo_code=4795-1

    Obama’s Silver Tongue is Forked by Ken Blackwell
    http://www.townhall.com/Columnists/KenBlackwell/2008/02/21/obamas_silver_tongue_is_forked

    Obama and the National Anthem
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=Fwog6E08CFU

    Obama: Most Liberal Senator In 2007
    http://nj.nationaljournal.com/voteratings/

    When Obama, Clinton and McCain Decisively Agreed By Terence Jeffrey
    http://www.townhall.com:80/columnists/TerenceJeffrey/2008/02/13/when_obama,_clinton_and_mccain_decisively_agreed

    Obama Minister’s Hatred of America By: Ronald Kessler March 6, 2008
    http://www.newsmax.com/kessler/obama_minister_wright/2008/03/06/78440.html

    Barack Obama Embellishes His Resume by several of his previous co-workers
    http://www.analyzethis.net/blog/2005/07/09/barack-obama-embellishes-his-resume/

    Finally, for those who refuse to live within reality;

    “At the core of liberalism is the spoiled child – miserable, as all spoiled children are, unsatisfied, demanding, ill disciplined, despotic, and useless. Liberalism is the philosophy of sniveling brats.” – P.J. O’Rourke

  39. James Perrin says:

    Thank you for that. Sorry that not everyone can just listen to what others have to say without attacking the writer, but what can be expected when the followers of his Holiness claim to support him for his talk of change and not politics as usual, while running exactly the same type of campaign he rails against. Only change I see is the Democrats losing their shot at the White House in March over petty bickering.
    ;)

  40. Chyrl says:

    The Voice of Reason? I think not. Actually I see a lot of nonsense in your comments to the article. One major non-sense, your comment to the writer that he “You have no idea what it was like to be the sole Black man”. Well, either did Obama! Obama is multi-racial, a father who was African and a mother who was caucasian from Kansas, middle America! I get tired of seeing that comment over and over.

    The fact is Obama probably was a loner, not because he was Black, but because he was “multi-racial”. He was not raised in the Black world, he was raised by his Caucasian mother & Grandparents. Have you read any of his books? They give you insight of the man. He states, “As the child of a black man and white woman, born in the melting pot of Hawaii, with a sister who is half-Indonesian, but who is usually mistaken for Mexican, and a brother-in-law and niece of Chinese descent, with some relatives who resemble Margaret Thatcher and others who could pass for Bernie Mac, I never had the option of restricting my loyalties on the basis of race or measuring my worth on the basis of tribe.”

    During his childhood times, multi-racial children were not fully accepted by any racial group. So the fact is “Voice of Reason”, you have no better knowledge of what it was like to be Obama then the writer you are being so judgemental about.

    That said, its not that important to understand what it was like for Obama growing up any more than how Clinton or McCair grew up. The fact is, Obama is running for the highest office of this Land, and you better know everything about him, his choices, his actions, his decisions, and his record before you go into the booth and turn that switch. His choices in both the IL legislation & the US Senate our public record and most is available online. You will be hard press to find any experience in any major legislation during those years. His books reveal a lot about this man. Have you read any?

    The facts are, Obama is not experience enough to hold the highest office of this nation in the time of War. Just that simple. Of the three running, although IMO we don’t really have that much to chose from since they all come from Congress who have not done ANYTHING for this country in I don’t know how long, McCain & Clinton are the most experience. Obama needs a few more years under his belt, some sort of key legislation record would be nice, before he takes the highest office of this land. Obama makes beautiful speeches, but actions speak louder than words and from what I see, he’s has little experience on the actions portion.

  41. KansasGirl says:

    Hussein Obama is a dangerous man. Also, he will not win the election.

  42. Maria (Stathis) Batty says:

    Hey, Dan! I heard you and Beth on NPR last week–or maybe the week before (we were in NOLA last week). What a blast from the past! I still have that bed&bkfast book you gave me, though I never did open one. It’s funny: BI made me so miserable for so many years, but it sure has upped my cool quotient among the suburban Atlanta moms! You’re still in NY? Married, one boy? Mine’s 13. I’ll keep an eye out for the LinkedIn thing. Meanwhile, I’m off to Google Beth! Keep in touch–
    Maria

  43. Buzz Kerbox says:

    Where is Eugene Chang and Bill Looney?

  44. […] (?), Barack Obama Embellishes His Resume, Analyze This, July 9, […]

  45. […] Barack Obama Embellishes His Resume […]

  46. […] New York job was considerably less glamorous than he makes it sound in Dreams. He was a copy editor at a newsletter […]

  47. […] Do tell: Don’t get me wrong – I’m a big fan of Barack Obama, the Illinois freshman senator and hot young Democratic Party star. But after reading his autobiography, I have to say that Barack engages in some serious exaggeration when he describes a job that he held in the mid-1980s.I know because I sat down the hall from him, in the same department, and worked closely with his boss. I can’t say I was particularly close to Barack – he was reserved and distant towards all of his co-workers – but I was probably as close to him as anyone. I certainly know what he did there, and it bears only a loose resemblance to what he wrote in his book. […]

  48. […] have happened rather than how they actually happened.  And maybe the caution is justified.  Analyze This compares Obama’s account of his days at a “consulting firm” with his own […]

  49. […] of his post-Columbia work at a “consulting firm” in Dreams from my Father, and an account  published by an un-named source who claims to have worked at the same company, which I believe […]

  50. […] he later inflated into something almost unrecognizable.  Don’t take my word for it.  Take his co-workers, who are calling Obama out for being a […]

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