We have had a field day with the Tuzla Dash and the exposure of Hillary Clinton as a fabulist over the last few days, although I have been writing about this since December. In truth, though, finding a Clinton untruth is something akin to shooting fish in a barrel. At this stage, political investors have, as they say in Wall Street, factored dishonesty into the Clinton stock price.
However, Barack Obama has promised a new kind of politics. Unfortunately, he has the same problems with calculating birth dates as Hillary does. In his speech commemorating the 42nd anniversary of the march on Selma, Alabama, he credited the march with his existence — even though he was almost 4 years old at the time:
What happened in Selma, Alabama and Birmingham also stirred the conscience of the nation. It worried folks in the White House who said, “You know, we’re battling Communism. How are we going to win hearts and minds all across the world? If right here in our own country, John, we’re not observing the ideals set fort in our Constitution, we might be accused of being hypocrites.” So the Kennedy’s decided we’re going to do an air lift. We’re going to go to Africa and start bringing young Africans over to this country and give them scholarships to study so they can learn what a wonderful country America is.
This young man named Barack Obama got one of those tickets and came over to this country. He met this woman whose great great-great-great-grandfather had owned slaves; but she had a good idea there was some craziness going on because they looked at each other and they decided that we know that the world as it has been it might not be possible for us to get together and have a child. There was something stirring across the country because of what happened in Selma, Alabama, because some folks are willing to march across a bridge. So they got together and Barack Obama Jr. was born. So don’t tell me I don’t have a claim on Selma, Alabama. Don’t tell me I’m not coming home to Selma, Alabama.
The first march on Selma took place on March 7, 1965 (there were three of them). At the time, Barack Obama was three and a half years old. Now, Obama also mentions the Birmingham march as part of this speech — but that took place in May 1963. Obama would have been 20 months old when Dr. King led that demonstration.
That’s not the only bit of fabulism here. Obama’s birthdate is August 4, 1961. It doesn’t take a doctor or a math whiz to calculate his conception as sometime in 1960 — before John Kennedy took office. In fact, it might have taken place on Election Day, when Kennedy won the presidency. That would tend to indicate that Mom and Dad met sometime before the African airlift that Obama credits for his birth.
So what does that mean? It could mean that his father and mother found hope in America even before the election of John Kennedy. It might mean that hope and change had already started because a broad class of Americans had already found racism intolerable and had started working to end it. It certainly doesn’t mean that Obama owes his existence to the marches on Selma and Birmingham, and his appropriation of those marches reeks of something other than hope, change, or “new politics”.
Perhaps the Democrats need to add positions to the staff of presidential candidates, just to handle the difficult task of calculating birth dates and world events. Between Obama’s Selma conception and Hillary’s Mount Everest naming, the Democrats look hopelessly inept at history on both a global and personal scale. (h/t: HA reader Stoo)
Update: Jim Geraghty reminds me that he caught this a year ago…
Update II: Baldilocks notes in the comments:
Kennedy Airlift issue resolved here and here. The Kennedy Foundation provided the money to bring Obama’s father and my father and dozens of other Kenyans to American to receive higher education. This happened before JFK became president.
Noted, as well as Baldilock’s assessment that liars like to mix small amounts of truth in with their BS in order to fool the rest of us. Also, if you read the reference to the White House and “John” in his speech, he made it sound as if it happened under the John Kennedy White House.