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The Case Against Barack Obama: The Unlikely Rise and Unexamined Agenda of the Media's Favorite Candidate Hardcover – August 4, 2008

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Editorial Reviews


Obama a Lefty, Not a Reformer

The first serious negative biography of Senator Barack Obama casts the Democratic nominee as a fake reformer and a real liberal.

The Case Against Barack Obama by National Review's David Freddoso, blasts Obama for failing to take on the Chicago machine, for listening to "radical advisors," and for backing "doctrinaire liberal" causes from teachers unions to abortion rights.

It does not, however, compare him to Paris Hilton, or dwell at length on his religion or race - making the substance of The Case Against Barack Obama sound a bit unfamiliar amid a campaign cacophony of hyperbolic web ads, alleged race cards, and viral smears.

Freddoso says John McCain's campaign and Republicans at large are making the wrong case against the Illinois senator.

"I don't think you beat Obama by saying that he's Paris Hilton," said Freddoso, a reporter for the conservative magazine National Review, referring to McCain's latest advertising campaign. "The more important thing is really to look at is he who he says he is? Is he really this great reformer?"

Freddoso's book, released today by the conservative publishing house Regnery and provided exclusively to Politico by the publisher, occupies a small island in the often-shrill sea of criticism of Obama. As a range of conservatives suggest that Obama is a closet radical, and as McCain's campaign aims to disqualify him from the White House on the grounds of his international fame, Freddoso makes a case that conservatives should look at the presumptive Democratic nominee's record.

His thesis: "It's not that Obama is a bad person. It's just that he's like all the rest of them. Not a reformer. Not a Messiah. Just like all the rest of them in Washington. And just like all the other liberals too."

Freddoso's is one of two new books harshly attacking Obama. The other, by Jerome Corsi, reportedly covers some of the same territory as the viral emails that have plagued the Democratic candidate, making much of his slender connections to Islam and his teenage drug use.

Freddoso opts largely for a fact-based critique, and writes that the viral and overt smears have allowed Obama to evade substantive criticism.

"Too many of those criticizing Obama have been content merely to slander him," he writes. False rumors about Obama's religion and ancestry have produced, Freddoso writes, "an intellectual laziness among the very people who should be carefully scrutinizing Obama."

His book comes with Republican popularity at a historic low, amid widespread disenchantment with Republican ideals of limited government and hawkish foreign policy. Many - including, apparently, McCain's strategists - doubt a Republican can win a policy face-off. But as the real campaign hones in on the character of the candidates, Freddoso's book attempts to build an alternate case against Obama. Freddoso's argument begins in Chicago....Though Obama's first political steps were in Hyde Park's reformist politics, Freddoso focuses on the smooth accommodation he made to the machine.... -- Politico, Ben Smith, August 4, 2008


Here's Looking at You, Kid

If find yourself believing that "we are the ones we've been waiting for", or that "this is the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow" or even, tout court, that "yes we can", the chances are that you are suffering from a severe case of Obamamania.

Tens of millions of Americans and an even larger number of Europeans have fallen victim to the syndrome, which involves a belief that a young black senator from Chicago can cure the world's ills, in part because of his race, in part because of his obvious intelligence and rhetorical skill; but in no part because of any record of achievement in the past. Fortunately, an inexpensive remedy is at hand.

It comes in the form of a new book by David Freddoso, The Case Against Barack Obama. Unlike the authors of some of the cruder attacks on Mr. Obama, Mr. Freddoso works for a well-respected organization, the online version of the National Review. Although it is a conservative publication and the author makes no secret of where his political sympathies lie, this is a well-researched, extensively footnoted work. It aims not so much to attack Mr. Obama as to puncture the belief that he is in some way an extraordinary, mould-breaking politician.

The Obama that emerges from its pages is not, Mr. Freddoso says, "a bad person. It's just that he's like all the rest of them. Not a reformer. Not a Messiah. Just like all the rest of them in Washington." And the author makes a fairly compelling case that this is so. The best part of the book concentrates on Mr. Obama's record in Chicago, his home town and the place from which he was elected to the Illinois state Senate in 1996, before moving to the United States Senate in 2004. The book lays out in detail how this period began in a way that should shock some of Mr. Obama's supporters: he won the Democratic nomination for his Illinois seat by getting a team of lawyers to throw all the other candidates off the ballot on various technicalities. One of those he threw off was a veteran black politician, a woman who helped him get started in politics in the first place.

If Mr. Obama really were the miracle-working, aisle-jumping, consensus-seeking new breed of politician his spin-doctors make him out to be, you would expect to see the evidence in these eight years. But there isn't very much. Instead, as Mr. Freddoso rather depressingly finds, Mr. Obama spent the whole period without any visible sign of rocking the Democratic boat.

He was a staunch backer of Richard Daley, who as mayor failed to stem the corruption that has made Chicago one of America's most notorious cities. Nor did he lift a finger against John Stroger and his son Todd....Cook County, where Chicago is located, has been extensively criticized for corrupt practices by a federally appointed judge....

Take a break from the hugs, hopium with a good read

If what you want from Sen. Barack Obama's historic Democratic convention speech on Thursday night is to give yourself up to profound emotion and to join others in common passion and release, then guzzle some hopium and enjoy. Or you can enrich the experience by reading The Case Against Barack Obama: The Unlikely Rise and Unexamined Agenda of the Media's Favorite Candidate by David Freddoso. Freddoso's book, on the best-seller lists, is the anti hopium. It is the pin of reason to the Obama balloon.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 298 pages
  • Publisher: Regnery Publishing; First Edition edition (August 4, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596985666
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596985667
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (222 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #793,105 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

The book is well written and a very fast read.
Janet L. Gomez
IT also shows ow Obama has been elected and how he has paid his way to the nomination.
Kenneth D. Gartrell
The book is a must read for anyone wanting to know the true facts about Barack Obama.
Quentin Allen

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

310 of 364 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Baker on August 5, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Too many reviews have dismissed this book as "propaganda" or a "smear" without any clear evidence to back up those labels. Rather than debate Freddoso's carefully constructed, well-researched contentions, these "reviewers" (almost all of whom, I assume, have never even read the book) resort to baseless mudslinging.

In reality, I found this book incredibly well-documented and surprisingly objective. As Freddoso himself notes on many occasions, the book does not try to make any of the sensational claims bandied about by some. It does not attempt to "out" Obama as a closet-Muslim or claim that an Obama presidency would bring about the end of America. It merely attempts to dull the blinding sheen that the media has placed on Obama and his vapid message of "hope and change".

Those who take the time to read this book with an open mind will be in for a revealing look at Obama's meteoric rise. Freddoso carefully documents Obama's close connections with the seediest elements of Chicago politics, the myriad occasions on which he passed up opportunities to denounce "politics as usual" as a state legislator, and his Clinton/Rove win-at-all-costs mentality.

What results from this analysis is a picture of Obama that is much less sparkling than the one painted by his many admirers in the media. Beyond the lofty promises of "hope and change" lies the unremitting ambition of a "reform" candidate who has failed to reform or stand up for anything in his political career.
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128 of 150 people found the following review helpful By Alyssa A. Lappen TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 21, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Before reading this book, I had no idea that Barack Obama had gone to such great lengths to challenge hundreds of signatures on the ballot petition of his Democratic Illinois State Legislative opponent---enough so that she was disqualified and did not run.

The long and the short of that effort was that Illinois voters did not have a choice. I would not think that is the kind of change one ought to be proud of. A genuine one-candidate ballot, in a nominally Democratic nation.

The same might be inferred from Barack Obama's run for the U.S. Senate, in which his Republican opponent was suddenly smeared on a grotesque personal level---with facts that were indeed available to Obama's staff---two weeks before the election. Until that point, the candidates were running neck and neck. After, however, the Republican withdrew from the race, and no one took his place. Obama ran unopposed, once again. For the U.S. Senate.

In other words, Obama's political career has been more or less unvetted by the voters. He is, as he has said himself, a clean slate onto which idealists can project anything they like. And that is a huge problem.

For Obama's slate is apparently not so clean as the general mainstream press would have Americans believe.

Politics is very dirty indeed, but in Chicago Illinois, it is possibly dirtier and more corrupt than in any other U.S. locality. The Democratic machine rules. And Barack Obama is an ingrained part of Mayor Daley's corrupt, wasteful Democratic machine. Committed Chicagoan Democrats and Republicans alike have objected.
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494 of 597 people found the following review helpful By H. B. Baker on August 4, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you ever had any doubts about the glib deviousness and empty rhetoric of Barack Obama, elaborations on these meticulously researched and documented items in this book should convince you he's the most dangerous candidate ever to run for the presidency in the history of America:

- How Obama won his first election (to the Illinois State Senate) by having his lawyers knock all his opponents -- including the black, female incumbent -- off the ballot on technicalities, so he could run unopposed.

- How Obama voted to deny medical care to babies born alive after abortion -- a bill too extreme even for Nancy Pelosi (Freddoso has an exclusive interview with the nurse central to the case).

- A story Obama would like to stay buried in Chicago: How he used his clout as a U.S. Senator to save the corrupt Cook County Political Machine when reformers of both parties tried to challenge the entrenched political bosses.

- How Obama's wife Michele's salary nearly tripled in 2005 -- the same year he was sworn in to the U.S. Senate and began earmarking funds for her employer.

- How Obama's friendship with the hate-spewing Reverend Jeremiah Wright was no accident -- but a carefully thought out personal and political decision.

- Why Obama thought his association with '60s-era terror-bomber Bill Ayers wouldn't matter -- an exposé of the insular radical chic of Chicago's Hyde Park politics.

- How state Senator Obama was paid more than $100,000 for legal work -- then helped his client's company get $320,000 in taxpayer grants.
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751 of 947 people found the following review helpful By Judah Levi VINE VOICE on August 5, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Since Obama himself is so obtuse about his background, beliefs, accomplishments (are there any?), etc., it is imperative that someone actually do the research to find out about the true Obama before handing him the highest office in the land. As a person who employs other people, I would want much more information than what is on Obama's thin public resume.

This book does that research for you and comes up with the fact that Obama's resume IS thin. He decided after only 143 days in the US Senate that he was ready to step up and be President. He has the most liberal voting record in the US Senate. He attended a racist church for twenty years and then only quit the church when it became a political liability. He was a community organizer in Chicago whose main accomplishment was getting asbestos removed from a single apartment house and even then they didn't remove all of it. This is the experience you need to run the country?

America is ready for a man or woman of any skin color, ethnicity, religion to be President but they must at least meet the minimum qualification of being "experienced" in executive management. Obama has never run anything in his life other than a campaign. We don't need another Jimmy Carter no matter what skin color he is.

Buy the book and actually do some research before voting. [...]
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