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LINK The Barack Obama Memoir: Don’t Trust the Process

"If journalism is history’s first draft, administration memoirs are its second.

Freed from the daily scrum that comes with being a high-ranking leader, officials use memoirs to justify their choices and, they hope, rewrite history from their point of view. Memoirs are thus not especially interesting for what they reveal about the goings-on of a particular administration — the truth won’t come out until the documents do — but for what they say about how a person hopes to be remembered.

And given the sheer number of memoirs released since they left office, the Obamanauts are anxious about how they’ll be remembered. You can read Samantha Power’s The Education of an Idealist; Valerie Jarrett’s Finding My Voice; Ben Rhodes’s The World as It Is; Susan Rice’s Tough Love; Pete Souza’s Obama: An Intimate Portrait; Alyssa Mastromonaco’s Who Thought This Was a Good Idea?; Dan Pfeiffer’s Yes We (Still) Can; or Pat Cunnane’s West Winging It. In various ways, these books retell stories from the Obama White House as they attempt to explain how an administration meant to augur a new type of post-partisan politics paved the way for Donald Trump.

But in the final analysis, these books are a sideshow — what everyone really wants to know is what the big kahuna himself thinks about things. Finally, after four years of waiting, we can start to answer that question by reading Barack Obama’s 768-page doorstop, A Promised Land, the first of a planned two-volume memoir for which the president received a $65 million advance, far eclipsing Bill Clinton’s record-setting $15 million payday for his 2004 autobiography.

For socialists, A Promised Land is undeniably frustrating. The book adopts a circular form: Obama claims his horizon is the left-wing position; details how any particular goal was impossible to achieve; and argues that his compromise solution was therefore a small but necessary victory on the road to progress.

As this suggests, Obama, who never lacked for confidence, is satisfied with his accomplishments in office. He’s certain that he did his “very best,” especially because he followed the process. And it is the process that provides the lodestar for Obama’s presidency."

WilliamCharles 8 Apr 7

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Bullshit. Obama was a sellout from the beginning and never made an honest effort to accomplish anything progressive, instead blaming the big bad Repubs even when he had a supermajority in both houses to start his administration. Hell, he didn't even try to get something as simple as card check passed to aid unions in organizing, and that would have been a simple task when he had the supermajority, and far less of a battle than the ACA.

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