September 15, 2008

More Obama Resume Inflation: His Days at Business International

Sweetness & Light (S&L) has the goods (HT Michelle Malkin) on yet another instance of resume enhancement in a Barack Obama book.

It is also yet another example of something an inquisitive media has failed to discover in the 21 months since an Obama presidential run became likely.

It’s too bad. It’s clear, from an underlying 2005 post at Analyze This, and other information S&L gathered, that had anyone in the media undertaken an effort to speak to Obama’s co-workers at Business International, the firm where he worked after earning his bachelor’s degree from Columbia, they would have found that the reality of that job differed sharply from how Obama described it in his best-selling Dreams from My Father.

Here are just three of many examples from S&L, comparing how Obama characterized his job and the reality described at Analyze This:

(Per Obama)

Eventually a consulting house to multinational corporations agreed to hire me as a research assistant.

(Per Analyze This)

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.

(Per Obama)

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.

(Per Analyze This)

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.

(Per Obama)

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 …..

(Per Analyze This)

If Barack was promoted, his new job responsibilities were more of the same – rewriting other people’s copy. As far as I know, he always had a small office, and the idea that he had a secretary is laughable. Only the company president had a secretary. Barack never left the office, never wore a tie, and had neither reason nor opportunity to interview Japanese financiers or German bond traders.

Another commenter at the Analyze This post corroborated the post’s content. “bill millar” in part wrote (bold is mine):

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…

Apparently not; or, he didn’t care, as long as it would help him get to where he wanted to go. Also, go figure: The Analyze This author nonetheless describes himself as an Obama fan.

Speaking of embellishment: When is Oprah Winfrey, who famously dressed down James Frey in early 2006 for the fabrications in his book, “A Million Little Pieces,” going to go after Barack Obama for:

  • Omitting, and thus not dealing with, the sordid elements of his father’s life?
  • Creating composite characters instead of describing real people — in an autobiography?
  • And now, inflating the importance of his first job out of college to the point where co-workers don’t even recognize it?

As to traditional media outlets, Tom Maguire at Just One Minute, writing on another matter (Obama, Bill Ayers, and the Annenberg Challenge) has a good prediction as to when they’ll get around to questioning the accuracy of Obama’s books: “after they resolve open issues about Ms. Palin’s 4-H dues from 1971.”

Cross-posted at

Blogging on Borrowed Bandwidth; Quote of the Day

Filed under: Health Care,Taxes & Government,TILTpatBIDHAT — Tom @ 7:35 pm

First, intense appreciation goes to Matt at Weapons of Mass Discussion and Doug the Producer for providing access to their palatial abode and its advanced high-tech facilities this evening. Power has yet to be restored at the BizzyBlog bunker; I don’t know when it will return.

But, for a few hours tonight, there is life.

At the mirror of this Sunday BizzyBlog post at NewsBusters, commenter “picnic” had the best response I’ve seen to those who are criticizing John McCain for not making use of the most adaptive technologies:

The point is that people with disabilities have the right to exercise their choice in whether to use adaptive equipment or not– I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker working with young children with developmental disabilities. In McCain’s case, we are not talking about adaptive equipment that is essential to sustaining life: positioning to prevent aspiration while eating or to support respiratory function; or even equipment that facilitates the capacity to “communicate” in the broadest sense, or other adative devises that can allow a person to interact with or physically negotiate the physical world outside their bodies. Many people choose the low-tech/no-tech way of adapting to physical limitations- for instance, some people prefer not to use a prosthesis-it can be more intrusive and cumbersome than not using one. Some people choose to speak as best they can as opposed to using augmentative communication devises. To me, we need to honor the choices people make and not label his personal choice as a wholesale insult to those that have made different choices.

When a person has been born with or acquired physical disabilities, the element of choice and control are crucial issues. Yes: they should have full and informed disclosure of their options in dealing with same, they should have access through their health insurance to utilize these options- but the decision is always a personal one.

The Obama ad was a wholesale insult to any person, of any age, of any “ability”, that exercises their right to use technology or not, or to use it in a way that is “different” than the mainstream way. The inference from the ad was clearly that McCain just didn’t understand what the heck the internet/email was-as if he were too cognitively impaired to even be aware of it. It was a cheap shot, a misleading and insulting ad on so many levels.

This from the self-described party of compassion.

Probable Non-Blogging Alert

Filed under: General — Tom @ 9:08 am

As you may have seen or read, high winds in Metro Cincinnati have left hundreds of thousands without power, and yours truly is among them.

This situation may put a 24-hour or so halt to further blogging.

Positivity: Little Girl Meets Cop Who Saved Her Life

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:56 am

From Conway, New Hampshire:

Sept. 11, 2008

One week after a fire in New Hampshire left three families homeless, a 6-year old girl thanks the man who ran in and saved her.

Emma McManus hid in her bedroom from the smoke that filled her home, while everyone else made it out.  Officer Mike Boucher was one of the first on-scene and immediately ran in and grabbed Emma.