Tuesday, May 22, 2012

2004 Headline: Kenyan-born Obama Set for US Senate

Maggie's Notebook

Maybe a Botswanan newspaper cannot be considered legitimate news on American politics, but the AP took the report and ran with it. Big headline: Kenyan-born Obama all set for US Senate. 
In 2004, the AP was not so interested in hushing up the origins of Barack Obama. The photo used for the article is the photo below:



Barrack Obama

The Sunday Standard, June 27, 2004 (read the entire report here):
Kenyan-born US Senate hopeful, Barrack Obama, appeared set to take over the Illinois Senate seat after his main rival, Jack Ryan, dropped out of the race on Friday night amid a furor over lurid sex club allegations.
An Obama bio printed and circulated by his literary agent surfaced last week (see it here), claiming their client, Barack Obama, the author of the book they were promoting at the time, was born in Kenya. The agency, Acton and Dystal, promoted their booklet identifying Obama as Kenyan-born. The editor of the text at the time, Mariam Goderich (now a partner at Dystel & Goderich – which currently represents “Obama the author” says she misidentified his birth country. Doesn’t know why or how. “…nothing more than a fact checking error…” As with any U.S. President, the first thought would be that he was born in Kenya – right?
The promo booklet was 36 pages long, costing the Agency thousands of dollars, and included numerous celebrity-types (politicians and athletes) – not insignificant. Is it plausible to think Obama did not know a Kenyan birth was part of his bio? I doubt it.
The booklet hearlding a Kenyan birth stayed in circulation from 1991 until two months after declaring his presidential quest in February 2007. From the Acton and Dystel website archive:

BARACK OBAMA is the junior Democratic senator from Illinois and was the dynamic keynote speaker at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. He was also the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review. He was born in Kenya to an American anthropologist and a Kenyan finance minister and was raised in Indonesia, Hawaii, and Chicago. His first book, DREAMS FROM MY FATHER: A STORY OF RACE AND INHERITANCE, has been a long time New York Times bestseller.

In April 2007, the bio was changed to say Obama was born in Hawaii. Thanks to FaultlineUSA for the link to the Sunday Standard article.