Tarkenton: Klein Book Raises Questions About Obama’s Ability to Lead

Wednesday, 13 Jun 2012 06:16 PM

By Fran Tarkenton

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Fran Tarkenton’s Perspective: You can only learn by opening yourself up to engage with different sources of information. How can you learn something if you never see it, read it, or hear it? That’s why I believe it is so important for everyone to take a look at Ed Klein’s new book about Barack Obama, “The Amateur.”

This year, it is important for all Americans to know about our president, Barack Obama. They ought to know what he believes, who he trusts, and what his top priorities are. They ought to know how effective he is as a leader behind the scenes. But even though we are in his fourth year in office, plus the time he spent campaigning for election, most people really don’t know much about him.

The New York Times Bestseller “The Amateur,” written by Ed Klein, former editor of the New York Times Magazine, is one of the best books I’ve read. It does an admirable job at filling in many of those gaps and showing a more detailed picture of the president than most people have ever seen. I was very impressed by Klein’s in-depth reporting and presentation.

Watch Fran Tarkenton's interview with Ed Klein by clicking here. You'll find shorter clips on Fran's Youtube page.

He made sure to answer all the relevant questions any American ought to have about a political candidate, and did so by going straight to the people who personally know and have worked with President Obama.

Quoted sources range from the president’s former pastor, Jeremiah Wright, to his colleagues at the University of Chicago, to leaders in the African-American business community. It wasn’t an extended, biased editorial without the facts. Everything is in the first-person words of the sources themselves.

All Americans, of any political persuasion, owe it to themselves to read this book. Whether you support the president or not, the book raises questions that must be answered about Barack Obama’s ability to lead our country.

I have never considered myself a card-carrying member of either political party. I approached the book with an open mind and found it very persuasive. But even if you still support Barack Obama after reading this book, you must at least be able to acknowledge and respond to the issues that Ed Klein’s reporting have found.

Ignoring facts does not make them go away.

But while I was blown away by the book, I have been shocked and disappointed by how the mainstream media have ignored “The Amateur.”

Despite topping the non-fiction sales charts ever since its release, “The Amateur” has scarcely been mentioned by the legacy media. At most, there might be brief, dismissive mentions, but in most cases they pretend it does not even exist.

That is a travesty, especially for a book on such an important subject. I think everyone should know about Ed Klein’s work, and to that end, I visited him in New York.

We sat down for an afternoon and talked about his book, and filmed those discussions so that more people will be able to hear about the findings of “The Amateur.”

I wish there were more books like this taking such a detailed look at all of our would-be leaders, instead of just the banal or even outright irrelevant reporting we often see. Reward good reporting, and find out more about Ed Klein’s book.

Fran Tarkenton is the Founder and CEO of OneMoreCustomer.com, a web resource for Small Business Advocacy and Education. After his Hall of Fame football career, Fran had a successful career in television and then turned to business. He has founded and built more than 20 successful companies and now spends his time coaching aspiring entrepreneurs.

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