In checking to see how David Maraniss's new biography, Barack Obama: The Story, was faring on Amazon's bestseller list, I came across an intriguing reader review, an excerpt of which follows:
And as if to spike the ball while putting the final nail in the coffin of the Birthers theory, Mr. Maraniss interviews nurses and other disinterested people who worked the maternity ward in Hawaii's Kapi'olani Maternity and Gynecological Hospital at the time Stanley Anne Dunham was giving birth to America's first black President: Barack Hussein Obama was born there on Friday, August 4, 1961, at 7:24 pm, in Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii, USA.
This was precisely what I was hearing from the mainstream chattering classes in the build up to the book's release on June 19. The only problem, of course, is that it is not true. In fact, it is opposite of true.
Although the book is otherwise exquisitely detailed, Maraniss does not talk to anyone who had anything even remotely to do with Obama's birth. The reader has no idea how his mother got to the hospital, who accompanied her, how difficult was the labor, how big was the baby, who took her home, or where she went when she left the hospital.
The only confirming detail comes from a former teacher of Obama's. She told Maraniss that sometime after the birth a doctor told her that he had heard on the grapevine that "Stanley had a baby," it being unusual that a "Stanley," as in Stanley Ann Dunham, would have had a baby. She is alleged to have remembered this anecdote for nearly 50 years before tying it to Obama and presumably settling the birther issue. I do not know how an anecdote this sketchy could have made it by the editor.
The book is not performing nearly as well as the publishers might have hoped. It is too honest for the left and not honest enough for the right. Despite a huge PR boost from the media, Barack Obama: The Story is currently 40th on Amazon's bestseller list. Ed Klein meanwhile, who can't buy time on the networks, has the compensation of seeing his Obama book, the Amateur, at number 8 on that list, despite being out a month longer.