Haven't I seen you somewhere before?
"He did not write a blurb for his book," Burton said. "He did not."
So said Obama spokesman Bill Burton, specifically denying what Zombieboy had to go out and specifically track down.

Here's the picture.

Of what Barack Obama absolutely Did Not Write.

obama_ayers_review.jpg

While I'm at it, I figured I might as well scan page 82 of the book I so cherish owning:

Ayers82_s.jpg

("Hey, Barack! Since our paths have crossed, how about if I mention you in my book, and and you can write a glowing blurb!")

Noting that Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs also denied that Obama had written the blurb, Ed Morrissey opined that lying about a revelation like this is worse than revelation itself.

this wouldn't be an issue if the Obama campaign would stop lying about the nature of his relationship with Ayers. They've continually fibbed about it when the public record is pretty clear that they formed a political alliance meant to boost Obama's electoral career. Their inability to be honest about this relationship is what makes these lesser revelations more significant than they should be. A modest blurb on an obscure book would have no meaning at all absent the fact that Team Obama lied about it on two separate occasions.
Via Dave Price, who asks a good question:
Does anyone think they'd be ignoring this if McCain had given a glowing blurb to a book by Eric Rudolph or Timothy McVeigh?
Hell, they be going ape if McCain had written even a tepidly warm blurb to a book by G. Gordon Liddy!

I'm wondering about another overlooked detail also noted by Dave Price. It appears that Obama and Ayers worked in the same building for years. Not just any building, but a small architectural charmer. The kind of place where there'd have been no way for the two of them not to bump into each other on a daily basis.

Geez. People might not be taking this seriously, but at least Ayers is evolving. From "a guy in the neighborhood" to "a guy in the neighborhood in whose book I was mentioned and whose book I blurbed and with whom I shared a work address for a few years...."

"Crossed paths"?

Um, maybe just a little....

UPDATE: Incredibly, an anonymous commenter is quibbling over the definition of "blurb" -- arguing that in order for a blurb to be a blurb, it must appear somewhere on the book being blurbed. Nonsense. Blurbs are merely words of praise accompanying the release of a book, which can be placed anywhere -- the idea being to encourage readership and sales.

The word "blurb," while colloquial in nature, is rather old and the definition is well established:

Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1)
[...]
1. a brief advertisement or announcement, esp. a laudatory one: She wrote a good blurb for her friend's novel.
-verb (used with object)
2. to advertise or praise in the manner of a blurb.
[Origin: 1910-15, Americanism; allegedly coined by F. G. Burgess]
Websters New International Dictionary (Second Edition -- which is considered sufficiently authoritative to be used in court) defines it pretty much the same way:

blurb.jpg

I'm wondering why there is such resistance to a very simple concept

What is quoted underneath Obama's picture is a brief, extravagant, commendatory notice.

A blurb.

If I were defending Obama, I too, might try to argue that he didn't write the blurb. One way to do this would be to point out that the news copy only states that Obama was reading the book, and that the blurb might well have been a standard blurb already written for the book's release by persons unknown. This might be seen by Obama supporters as rhetorically shifting the burden of proof to those claiming Obama actually wrote the blurb. (Then again, it might be seen as legalistic quibbling.)

But to say it is not a blurb is, I think, unreasonable.

posted by Eric on 10.21.08 at 01:22 PM










Comments

You call that building "an architectural charmer"---??? It looks like a crematorium.

lbphilly   ·  October 21, 2008 4:44 PM

I don't see the "lie" here. (I know you didn't use that word but you do imply it.) Burton says that Obama didn't write a blurb for Ayers' book. What Zombieboy found is a review by Obama of Ayers' book. These are different things.

Of course Obama now wants to minimize his associations with Ayers but Ayers seems to have been a reasonably acceptable person in Chicago politics. Perhaps the Obama campaign has lied about Ayers but I haven't seen a good example of it. Not that I've looked that hard -- Ayers just isn't that important.

Foo   ·  October 21, 2008 9:32 PM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blurb

A blurb is a short summary or some words of praise accompanying a creative work, usually referring to the words on the back of the book but also commonly seen on DVD and video cases, web portals and news websites.
The above is a blurb.
Eric Scheie   ·  October 21, 2008 10:07 PM

Great, now we get into "It depends on what the meaning of 'is' is" territory.

So the argument is, one, Obama didn't lie about Ayers, two, Ayers hasn't set any bombs since Obama knew him, and three, none of it matters anyway so the fact that they did lie is not relevant. Oh, and four, how dare you bring race into this discussion?

Yes, Ayers is important.

Steve Skubinna   ·  October 22, 2008 7:24 AM

Steve & Eric

"Yes, Ayers is important."

Just keep telling yourself that. Don't let anyone distract you with two wars, an economic crisis, and an approaching energy crossroads. You keep your eyes on the prize, fellas.

Dr. Nobel Dynamite   ·  October 22, 2008 6:10 PM

The funny thing is I was going to quote that definition of "blurb" but I didn't think it was necessary! Let's apply the definition.

Yes, Obama wrote "words of praise" for Ayers book that appeared in a book review in a newspaper. But, did any of these words appear with the creative work in question -- namely Ayers book? For example, was an excerpt from this review printed on the back of Ayers book?

It should be pretty easy to clear up. If the words appear with the book, Burton lied. If they don't, he didn't.

Foo   ·  October 22, 2008 9:30 PM

While the wiki article says "usually referring to the words on the back of the book," that does not mean "always referring to the words on the back of the book"!

Blurbs are merely words of praise accompanying the release of a book, which can be placed anywhere -- the idea being to encourage readership and sales.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/blurb

Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1)

1. a brief advertisement or announcement, esp. a laudatory one: She wrote a good blurb for her friend's novel.
–verb (used with object)
2. to advertise or praise in the manner of a blurb.
[Origin: 1910–15, Americanism; allegedly coined by F. G. Burgess]

This is a fairly well established definition, and there is no requirement that the blurb be located anywhere on the book!

I've also copied the definition from my Webster's dictionary and posted it above.

Eric Scheie   ·  October 22, 2008 10:40 PM

The first definition that you posted (from Wikipedia) specifically says "words of praise accompanying a creative work".

Yes, in some dictionaries the definition of "blurb" is so broad that this review (or "quote" might be more accurate) by Obama that appeared in the newspaper does fit the definition. But, three of the five results returned from the link to dictionary.reference.com that you give above specifically mention book dust jackets. And, by your logic blurbs don't even have to be laudatory.

If Burton, when he said that Obama hadn't blurbed Ayers book, meant that Obama hadn't given Ayers a quote to use on or with the book he was using an acceptable definition of the word "blurb".

Foo   ·  October 23, 2008 11:44 PM

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