Sunday, June 28, 2009

Jack Cashill marshalls more evidence of an Ayers-Obama collaboration on "Dreams"

Jack Cashill has not abandoned his dogged diligence in digging up suggestive evidence that Bill Ayers played a significant role in President Obama's 1995 book, Dreams from my Father. His suspicions have been corroborated by a couple of other investigative journalists. A sampling of the newest discoveries:
Rather astonishingly, as Mr. West points out, at least six of the characters in Dreams have the same names as characters in Ayers' books: Malik, Freddy, Tim, Coretta, Marcus, and "the old man." ...

In one instance, Obama reflects on his own first days as a ten year-old at his Hawaiian prep school, a transition complicated by the presence of "Coretta," the only other black student in the class.

When the other students accuse Obama of having a girlfriend, Obama shoves Coretta and insists that she leave him alone. Although "his act of betrayal" buys him a reprieve from the other students, Obama understands that he "had been tested and found wanting."

Ayers relates a parallel story in Parent. He tells of a useful reading assignment from the 1992 book, The Kind of Light That Shines on Texas, by black author Reginald McKnight. The passage in question deals with the travails of Clint, the first black student in a newly integrated school, who repudiates Marvin, the only other black boy in the school. Upon reflection, Clint thinks, "I was ashamed. Ashamed for not defending Marvin and ashamed that Marvin even existed." ...

Both authors link Indonesia with Vietnam. In each case, clueless officials - plural -- with the "State Department" try to explain how the march of communism through "Indochina" will specifically imperil "Indonesia." The Ayers account, however, at least sounds vaguely real. The Obama account sounds like an Ayers' memory imposed on Obama's mother. She allegedly discussed these geo-political strategy sessions in Indonesia with her pre-teen son. ...

Ayers is fixated with faces, especially eyes. He writes of "sparkling" eyes, "shining" eyes, "laughing" eyes, "twinkling" eyes, eyes "like ice," and people who are "wide-eyed" and "dark-eyed."

As it happens, Obama is also fixated with faces, especially eyes. He also writes of "sparkling" eyes, "shining" eyes, "laughing" eyes, "twinkling" eyes, and uses the phrases "wide-eyed" and "dark-eyed." Obama adds "smoldering eyes," "smoldering" being a word that he and Ayers inject repeatedly. Obama also uses the highly distinctive phrase "like ice," in his case to describe the glinting of the stars.
Taking inspiration from another man and actually allowing him to ghostwrite for you are two very distinct things. Refuting the possiblity that only the former occured and definitively showing that the latter took place are going to be Jack and company's biggest challenges. Two of the three Ayers' books they use as primary sources of comparison were written after Dreams was published, including Fugitive Days, the work that shows the most striking similarities with Obama's putative autobiographical account. Pointing out that Audacity of Hope is sophomoric and cliched in comparison to Dreams is not enough to prove Ayers wrote Obama's first book.


Steve Sailer said...

I read the first chapter of Ayers' subsequent "Fugitive Days." The tone is not terribly similar to "Dreams from My Father." Ayers's book is much more in your face, starting with the 12-letter obscenity in the first sentence.

Cashill would make himself more plausible if he backtracked and said:

Obama has a talent for writing lucid prose, as his essay questions for the U. of Chicago Law School suggest. However, a variety of evidence suggests he received some sort of help finishing his autobiography from William Ayers, which casts serious doubts on his frequent downplaying of his relationship with Ayers.

Neuroskeptic said...

Really, is this any more intellectually respectable than picking out Bible verses that "foretold" current events?

bgc said...

Have you seen this?

Moldbug makes the excellent point that our prior hypothesis for a political memoir should be that it has been ghosted.

There needs to be enough counter evidence to overturn this prior hypothesis of ghosting.

Given that 'Dreams' is regarded as well written - is there anything else of Obama's which is similarly well written?

I must say that for me 'the dog that didn't bark' is Obama's failure to publish while editor of the Harvard Law Review.

Anybody who is 'a writer' would have published when given such a golden opportunity.

Secondarily, his failure to publish any scholarship in more than a decade as a lecturer at Chicago - one of the great research universities in the world.

My current assumption is that either Obama cannot, or will not, write.

OneSTDV said...

I think Cashill has, at the very least, proven Ayers made significant contributions to Dreams. The similarities are too striking to be mere coincidence.

Further, Obama has not shown any other sample that compares to the literary talent exhibited in Dreams. It's also telling that Obama was not able to finish an initial draft on time. The publisher probably forced him to seek out help in order to produce an actual book. He went to an ideological Chicago peer: Ayers.

Anonymous said...

Using "Coretta" as a pseudonym for a black girl doesn't mean much. Obama - or Ayers, if you prefer - probably had Coretta Scott King in mind.


David said...

My opinion of Obama is changing all the time.

Audacious Epigone said...


I trust your judgment.

Yes, Jack favors sensationalism over caution in his investigative work. On the one hand, it brings attention to an otherwise obscure angle he is pursuing alone or alongside a small number of other media outsiders, but it also raises the expectation that the gun be smoking, not just found in the room where the murder occured.

It does seem curious, though, that as you've pointed out, Obama has been remarkably assiduous in ensuring he left no paper trail, except for one glaring exception that you have so thoroughly deconstructed. Why the lapse in discipline on Obama's part?


Intellectually, probably not. But practically, it is, potentially.

I admit, though, it's just a curiosity that I've posted about in part because Jack has solicited help in getting it some exposure. I know, I know, I'm an owned man, but I don't have much of an opinion (or the knowledge needed to convincingly hold one) on the issue and find the comment threads that result to be personally edifying.


Right. Jack has written the same--the assumption should be that Obama's books, like those of so many other celebrities and politicians, were ghost-written. It is the downplaying of the Obama-Ayers relationship that makes the potential of Ayers' heavy hand interesting.

al fin said...

Obama's speechwriters have created an illusion in the minds of most voters. Obama the man is not the same person as Obama the speech sayer.

His speechwriters (and ghost writers) achieved the White House for Obama. But what does he do with it now? Make a great hash?

And so he does.

I wonder who wrote Obama's U Chicago essay questions? If there were a way to cheat on essay questions, have faith that Teleprompter BO could find it.