Barack Obama’s personal recording of the audio version of his memoir could provide critics with ammunition to target the Democratic presidential candidate.
“I think the audio version makes a much more immediate impact” than the print version of his 1995 book “Dreams from My Father,” said conservative talk radio host Hugh Hewitt, who has played excerpts from the audio book on his syndicated program.
“It turns out to be very jarring to many ears to hear Obama talking about his youthful adventures, his attitudes on race,” he told Politico.
The abridged audio version of the book was released in May 2005 after Obama entered the Senate. It won the 2006 Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album, but contains passages that opponents could now use against the candidate in the presidential race, according to Politico.
For example, in recalling his high school days in Hawaii, Obama declares: “I kept playing basketball, attended classes sparingly, drank beer heavily, and tried drugs enthusiastically … If the high didn’t solve whatever it was that was getting you down, it could at least help you laugh at the world’s ongoing folly.”
In another passage, Obama quotes extensively from the first sermon he heard from his longtime pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, whom he renounced during the primary campaign.
Obama calls the sermon “a meditation on a fallen world.”
In a passage Hewitt has played on his radio show, Obama mimics Wright’s voice and repeats portions of a sermon attacking a society “where white folks’ greed runs a world in need.”
Obama is also heard swearing and quoting others using racial slurs.
In the preface to the audio book, Obama acknowledges that “certain passages have proven to be inconvenient politically, the grist for political commentary and opposition research.”
Conservative activist Floyd Brown, a creator of the Michael Dukakis-bashing “Willie Horton” ad that helped George H.W. Bush win the White House in 1988, said he plans on using excerpts from the audio book to attack Obama.
“I expect to use his words a lot in the ads I do,” Brown told Politico. “And I would highly encourage other independent efforts — or the [McCain] campaign itself — to do the same thing.”
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