An Interview With David Freddoso, Author Of The Case Against Barack Obama
Last week, I interviewed David Freddoso about his new book, The Case Against Barack Obama: The Unlikely Rise and Unexamined Agenda of the Media’s Favorite Candidate. What follows is a slightly edited transcript of our phone conversation. Enjoy!
…You did an appearance in Chicago and bizarrely, Barack Obama had his supporters call in to jam the lines and complain. He seems kind of thin skinned. Any thoughts on that whole episode and did any members of the mainstream media criticize Obama for trying to keep the facts about his record from getting out?
Some of them did. The Chicago Tribune blogged it. It showed up in a few other places. Probably, what I would I point to is David Mendell’s biography of Obama which describes him precisely the way you did: thin skinned. Mendell actually says he is arrogant and that he is very, very upset when criticism comes. So, that’s very typical of Obama.
The joke, by the way, was on his people because it was a pre-taped debate between an Obama supporter and me. I was already in Washington by the time all the calls started coming in — but, at least I got the badge of honor of being called — what did they say — I have “made a career out of dishonest, extreme hatemongering.”
Whatever they want to say, it doesn’t bother me, but it seems that Obama could be a little more grown-up about it. I think if I were in his position, I would rather call me names than try to answer the charges in the book — namely, that he has worked against agents of positive change, worked against bipartisan reform — which is exactly the opposite of what he has portrayed himself as during this campaign.
One issue that admittedly looks pretty shaky, but has not quite died down in the blogosphere is the Obama birth certificate issue. Have you looked into this? Are you very comfortable that this is a complete dead end?
Yes, it is a dead end. A lot of the emails about this suggest things that are factually false, such as Obama was born in Hawaii when it was a territory. He was not. He was born in Hawaii when it was a state. There is no question about Obama’s citizenship. He is a United States citizen. There is no more reason to doubt his citizenship than there is to doubt mine. So, yes, I do think you’re going down a blind alley there. For example, the fact that there is a false birth certificate floating around on the internet is not proof that the real birth certificate has something shady about it.
What’s the most significant piece of legislation that Barack Obama played a central role in passing during his time in the Senate?
Well, he didn’t exactly play a central role in passing Tom Coburn’s Google-for-Government bill, but he did at least co-sponsor it and I would say that is the one piece of legislation he has been involved in that was a good piece of legislation and passed into law.
On the other hand, as far as bills go that he has written himself, there’s one bill. I think it’s the Democratic Republic of Congo Security Act or something? That’s the only one. Obama deliberately kept a low profile when he came into the Senate. That’s part of his strategy according to Mendel’s book, which is called From Promise to Power. It fits the mold of someone who is very ambitious, has very high hopes, had already become a very big star in the Democratic Party and I think, was already eyeing a run at the presidency very early on in his Senate term.
Now, you’ve said that, “(Obama) wrote a completely fictitious account of his first election in 1996 in his (2006) book The Audacity of Hope.” Can you give us a short synopsis of what he says happened and what really happened?
In the prologue to the The Audacity of Hope he talks about how he went around Chicago’s South Side, giving this speech about how people had been let down by politicians before — but don’t get cynical about politics. If we all work together for the common good and set aside our petty self interests, we can effect real, positive change. He said he didn’t know if people liked the speech as much as he did, but either way, they liked him and his youthful swagger enough that he made it to the Illinois legislature. Full stop there. That’s the story he tells, period.
That is a fictional account because what actually happened is that he threw all of his opponents off the ballot on technical grounds, by challenging all their petition signatures. He had his campaigners go in and do this. They would update him nightly on their progress and tell him how many voters’ signatures they disqualified and some of them were disqualified legitimately, some not…He threw an incumbent state senator off of the ballot. He threw all of the no-chance candidates off the ballot, too, so he could run unopposed.
What’s really interesting is how embarrassed he is by this. It’s to the point where he would write a fictional account of his own election in his memoir.
Now I want to ask you an opinion question about something many people find genuinely puzzling about Barack Obama. What I am about to read you is a quote from a column you wrote for National Review,
“By what criteria does a man choose his friends and associates and end up with the likes of Tony Rezko, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and Bill Ayers? Given that he had a choice of political allies, why would he align himself with and endorse in elections the worst perpetrators of Chicago’s crooked machine politics? Why would he choose as campaign and outreach advisors two men (Robert Malley and Mazen Asbahi) who have since had to resign over alleged ties to Hamas, as well as others who advocate reparations for slavery (Charles Ogletree) and praise Hugo Chavez as a champion of democracy in Venezuela (Cornel West)?”
So, here is the question: how is it that Obama has ended up associated with so many shady characters? Typically politicians tend to stay away from people like that, don’t they?
…The most charitable interpretation of this situation is to say that Senator Obama’s judgment is very bad. We criticize President Bush now, and rightly so, for saying he looked into Vladimir Putin’s eyes and saw his soul, and saw a friend, when in fact, Putin wasn’t the sort of man who could be trusted.
If you look at his political history, Barack Obama looks in every shady character’s eyes and basically says, “I can trust this guy or there’s nothing wrong here.” There’s nothing wrong with attending a church for the better part of 20 years that subscribes to this garbage theology of James Cone with a pastor who’s constantly throwing bombs. Don’t tell me Barack Obama didn’t know about Jeremiah Wright. The very first sermon he heard him give, Wright blamed white people for world starvation.
Tony Rezko, a guy who spent his entire career ripping off taxpayers, both legally and illegally — Obama saw nothing wrong in that relationship. Every time one of these problematic relationships comes to an end or is exposed, he says this isn’t the Reverend Wright I’ve known for 20 years. This isn’t the Tony Rezko I’ve known for 15 years.
At some point, is he going to go into a room with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the President of Iran, and a few years later are we going to hear, “This is not the Mahmoud Ahmadinejad I negotiated with, who seemed like such a nice guy, but is now developing nuclear weapons and bombing Israel?”
This is the kind of judgment he has. When you think about the kind of diplomacy he would conduct, the kind of appointments he would make, it does matter.
Excellent. David, I really appreciate your time!