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Barack Obama: The Original 'Birther'

Mark Steyn: Obama let his rep promote the 'Kenyan birth' notion
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted May 19, 2012 3:31 PM CDT
Barack Obama: The Original 'Birther'
This photo released by Obama for America shows a Barack Obama teaching at the University of Chicago Law School.   (AP Photo/Obama for America, File)

(Newser) – So the earliest "birther" of all was actually—President Obama! Or at least his literary rep, who promoted the notion of a Kenyan birth up until 2007. To Mark Steyn, it's a clear case of postmodern self-invention: "To 99.99 percent of people, Hawaii is a luxury-vacation destination and nothing else," he writes in the National Review. "Whereas Kenya puts you at the heart of what ... was a bitter and violent struggle against the white man’s rule. Cool! The composite chicks dig it, and the literary agents."

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Steyn sees little harm in it the practice, which is fairly common "in the circles in which Obama hangs." Case in point: Elizabeth Warren, trumpeted by Harvard Law School as its first hired "woman of color," is actually "the whitest white since Frosty the Snowman fell in a vat of Wite-Out. But she 'self-identified' as Cherokee, so that makes her a 'woman of color.'" To Steyn, Obama is equally invented: "When just being who you are anyway is an incredible accomplishment, Obama managed to run and win on biography almost entirely unmoored from life." (Read more President Obama stories.)

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