15 Sep 2008

Obama Embellished His Resume

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According to a former co-worker, in his Autobiography, Barack Obama seriously inflated the status of the company he worked for many years ago, and the scope of his responsibilities.

It’s a fairly trivial issue, of course. Most people remember this sort of life episode in a manner advantageous to their own egos. But it does remind us all of the necessity of taking Barack Obama’s testimony about his life and accomplishments with a grain of salt.

Steve Gilbert found all this published way back in 2005.

Like I said, I’m a fan. His famous keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention moved me to tears. The Democrats – not to mention America – need a mixed-race spokesperson who can connect to both urban blacks and rural whites, who has the credibility to challenge the status quo on issues ranging from misogynistic rap to unfair school funding.

And yet I’m disappointed. Barack’s story may be true, but many of the facts are not. His larger narrative purpose requires him to embellish his role. I don’t buy it. Just as I can’t be inspired by Steve Jobs now that I know how dishonest he is, I can’t listen uncritically to Barack Obama now that I know he’s willing to bend the facts to his purpose.

Once, when I applied for a marketing job at a big accounting firm, my then-supervisor called HR to say that I had exaggerated something on my resume. I didn’t agree, but I also didn’t get the job. But when Barack Obama invents facts in a book ranked No. 8 on the NY Times nonfiction list, it not only fails to be noticed but it helps elevate him into the national political pantheon.

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