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FP: Was your thesis ever confirmed?
Cashill: Yes, in Christopher Andersen’s book, Barack and Michele: Portrait of an American Marriage, which was published in September of 2009. A celebrity biographer with impeccable mainstream credentials, Andersen based his account of Dreams’ creation on sources within Hyde Park. As Andersen tells it, Obama found himself deeply in debt and “hopelessly blocked.” At “Michelle’s urging,” Obama “sought advice from his friend and Hyde Park neighbor Bill Ayers.” What attracted the Obamas were “Ayers’s proven abilities as a writer” as evident in his 1993 book, To Teach. Noting that Obama had already taped interviews with many of his relatives, Andersen elaborates, “These oral histories, along with his partial manuscript and a trunkload of notes were given to Ayers.” Andersen was reviewed in every major periodical. Not one so much as mentioned his Ayers’s revelations.
FP: When did you begin to doubt the story that was told in “Dreams”?
Cashill: I had steered clear of the “birther” business. The fever swamps surrounding Obama’s citizenship were swallowing reputations whole, and so I stuck to literary analysis. It was the poem “Pop,” allegedly written by the 19-year old Obama, that got me interested. Virtually all reviewers of consequence said the poem was about “Gramps,” Obama’s maternal grandfather. In fact, as was obvious, it was about Obama’s Hawaii mentor, the poet, pornographer and CPUSA member Frank Marshall Davis. This poem begged the question–why “Pop”?–and opened the doors on Obama’s murky past.
FP: Your own personal belief on the birther issue? Do you think Obama was born in the United States?
Cashill: Yes, but when strategist David Axelrod first combed through the official Obama records—the grades, the SAT and LSAT scores, the college theses, the passport, his parents’ marriage license, the college applications, the birth certificate—he likely saw more red flags than in his parents’ May Day parades and so decided to bury them all. I think there is something on the birth certificate that will throw the much told nativity story of Barack Obama into doubt, quite possibly the date of birth or even the place. Unreported so far by the media, little Barry spent the first year of his life in Washington State.
FP: What are your feelings about Obama’s second book, “Audacity of Hope”?
Cashill: To credit Dreams to Obama alone, one has to posit any number of near miraculous variables: he somehow found the time; he somewhere mastered nautical jargon and postmodern jabberwocky; he in some sudden, inexplicable way developed the technique and the talent to transform himself from stumbling amateur to literary superstar without any stops in between. To credit Audacity to Obama alone, one has to posit at least two additional variables: one is his adoption of a modified and less competent style, and the second is his ability to write such a book given the punishing schedule of a freshman senator.
Whoever wrote Obama’s speeches wrote large sections of Audacity, perhaps all of it. We found 38 extended passages from stump speeches in 2005-2006 that made their way into this book virtually word for word. Easily the best candidate for authorship is Obama’s wunderkind speechwriter Jon Favreau.
FP: What happens from here?
Cashill: It was scandalous that JFK won a Pulitzer Prize for Profiles In Courage, a book that he himself did not write. Imagine if the book had been written not by Ted Sorensen but by Alger Hiss. That is the kind of scandal we are looking at here. I need the help of our friends in the conservative media to get the story out.
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