DC Trawler

Obama wasn’t born in Kenya, except when he claims he was born in Kenya

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When the whole Birther thing started, I wanted to know more. You might say I was Birth-curious. But then a thought occurred to me, and it’s one I can never shake anytime somebody brings up the topic: “If this is true, why aren’t we talking about President Hillary right now? With all her money and all her oppo-research experts, none of them turned up any evidence of this in time to do her any good?”

I’m still skeptical of the whole thing, but then, I don’t work for Obama’s literary agency. Joel Pollak at Big Government is reporting:

Breitbart News has obtained a promotional booklet produced in 1991 by Barack Obama’s then-literary agency, Acton & Dystel, which touts Obama as “born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia and Hawaii.”

The booklet, which was distributed to “business colleagues” in the publishing industry, includes a brief biography of Obama among the biographies of eighty-nine other authors represented by Acton & Dystel.

Either Obama was born in Kenya or he wasn’t. I remain skeptical that he was. The question is, then: Why did he claim to be? What advantage did he think it gave him at the time?

Maybe Elizabeth Warren can tell us…

Update: Acton & Dystel were still using that bio until a couple of months after Obama launched his ’08 campaign. Weird.

Update: Literary agent says 1991 booklet was a mistake. Getting a client’s country of birth wrong seems like quite a mistake. And apparently we’re not supposed to ask how and why it happened. Maybe they misheard Obama when he said, “Can ya update my bio?”

Update: Huh. Weird how people kept getting the wrong idea. Maybe they, I dunno, read his bio?

Update: As for the literary agency’s “whoopsie!” statement, Pollak noted the following in his original story:

According to the booklet itself, the text was edited by Miriam Goderich, who has since become Dystel’s partner at Dystel & Goderich, an agency founded in 1994. Breitbart News attempted to reach Goderich by telephone several times over several days. Her calls are screened by an automated service that requires callers to state their name and company, which we did. She never answered.

Then the story came out and suddenly Goderich had her non-explanation ready to go. Well, let’s just give her the benefit of the doubt because it’s about Obama.