White House’s Embarrassing Redo: Obama’s Additions to Prez Bios Distanced

-By Warner Todd Huston

A month ago the President had his tech lackeys add a little something to a host of past president’s biographical webpages on the official White House website causing eyebrows to be raised across the country. At that time team Obama thought would be a great idea to add sections at the end of many presidential bios touting how great Obama is, too. In an admission that they overstepped propriety and now that the outrage has died down, the White House web team has gone back into these pages and pulled the Obama horn-tooting out of the bio proper and put them in a separate area.

In May, many Americans were aghast at the arrogance displayed by Obama for having the temerity to insert himself into so many bios of our illustrious past presidents. Obama added bits touting his own wonderful policy ideas into the bios of such presidents as Lyndon Johnson, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, Calvin Coolidge, and many others.

Obama was widely criticized over the move and the imprudence was said to have shored up the perception that Barack Obama is President Me, Me, Me. It all embarrassed the White House, as well it should. Even ABC News’ Jake Tapper looked askance at the move saying that the additions are not “historical, but rather something else entirely.”

That something else is arrogance.

GOP Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney released a statement at the time slamming the president for his swelled-headed additions.

I do know that when the president ran, he said that this election would be the turning point, that the oceans would recede, that the world would shift because of him being in office. There seem to be people around him, as well as himself, who have a very grand view of what he will accomplish . . . and we’re still waiting to see that. I think the American people have been disappointed. The promises were grandiose and extraordinary, and the deliverables have been disappointing at best. I think it is one thing to try to rewrite your own history — it’s something different altogether to rewrite that of all your predecessors. . . . I can commit: I will not be trying to rewrite the biographies of former presidents.

Obviously Obama was embarrassed by the whole incident and this week the White House has moved to try and put salve over that wound. Of course, Obama has decided to try and correct that arrogance without admitting just how wrong he was by removing the horn-tooting entirely not to mention doing this quietly, without fanfare, in the hopes no one notices.

Originally the Obama notations were added right into the other presidential bios as an actual part of them. Now those plaudits have been removed from the bio proper and placed in a separate box at the bottom of the bio page, distancing the Obama laudations from the presidential bio pages on which they appear.

This, of course, is marginally better, but the fact that Obama went into these many bio pages at all to add his little campaign spiel is appalling whether as a separate box or not. Especially since the chief reason for these bio pages is for school kids to use when looking up information about American history. Obama obviously aimed his back patting at our kids.

It would be a far better move to remove this unnecessary campaign rhetoric entirely, certainly, but at least excising them from the actual bios themselves was done. And so Obama tries to send another embarrassing move on his part down the memory hole.
“The only end of writing is to enable the reader better to enjoy life, or better to endure it.”
–Samuel Johnson

Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer. He has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and before that he wrote articles on U.S. history for several small American magazines. His political columns are featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart’s BigGovernment.com, BigHollywood.com, and BigJournalism.com, as well as RightWingNews.com, RightPundits.com, CanadaFreePress.com, StoptheACLU.com, AmericanDaily.com, among many, many others. Mr. Huston is also endlessly amused that one of his articles formed the basis of an article in Germany’s Der Spiegel Magazine in 2008.

For a full bio, please CLICK HERE.

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