Thursday, May 29, 2008

Obama as Fiction Writer

Lawrence Henry shares my take on Obama.

Obama is not making "gaffes." He's been a myth-maker from the first. Isn't that the message of his books? He is basically nothing, with a mother who's a total flake and a father who's as absent as a father can be, no real other family to depend on. So he uses his brains (he has some), and he turns to literature of various kinds to assemble an identity.

...He's Gatsby, he's the King (or the Duke) from Huckleberry Finn, he's Philip Roth's carefully constructed professor from The Human Stain. He is, in short, a creature of American literature, not really an organically developed person at all

It's an interesting way to run a campaign. Bill Clinton got away with it for the most part--but that's because Bill Clinton was an 'extraordinarily good liar.'

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