Donald Trump told Sean Hannity that Bill Ayers wrote Dreams of My Father, TPM recently reported.
During the Hannity interview, Hannity and Trump speculated that Obama’s real birth certificate might contain information he does not want the public to see, such as information stating that he was a Muslim. Trump then segued into questioning Obama’s whole background.
“Look, he was born ‘Barry Soetero.’ Somewhere along the line, he changed his name,” said Trump — referring to the surname of Obama’s mother’s second husband, Lolo Soetoro, whom she married four years after Obama was born. “I heard he had terrible marks, and he ends up in Harvard. He wrote a book that was better than Ernest Hemingway, but the second book was written by an average person.”
“You suspect Bill Ayers?” said Hannity.
“I said, Bill Ayers wrote the book,” Trump replied.
Trump also added during the discussion: “He was best friends with Bill Ayers. Bill Ayers was a super-genius. And a lot of people have said he wrote the book. Well recently, as you know last week, Bill Ayers came out and said he did write the book.”
“Barack Obama wouldn’t be president — and, you know, I wrote many best sellers, and also, number one bestsellers including The Art of the Deal. So I know something about writing. And I want to tell you, the guy that wrote the first book didn’t write the second book [The Audacity of Hope]. Obama made a big mistake when he wrote the second book. Because the second book was not Ernest Hemingway, it was about 37 classes below. So, the first book is Ernest Hemingway-plus. The second book was written by somebody that was much more average.”
Trump might be referring to how Ayers has responded multiple times to this conspiracy theory by joking that he did write the book — and wants some royalties.
I’ve read Art of the Deal, and I have to concede that Trump is every bit the writer he says he is. When I got to the part of the book where he fixed up the Wollman ice skating rink after everyone else had failed I remember thinking, “This guy is not only a killer businessman and the kind of take-charge guy who should run for president; he’s a brilliant writer too.” But then I looked at the cover and noticed that Trump had a credited co-writer, Tony Schwartz. So who’s the genius, really?
As for Trump’s literary judgment, that Bill Ayers is Ernest Hemingway-plus, that he is a “super-genius,” I have to wonder. Glenn Beck says Ayers is a disreputable radical who is better forgotten; now Trump is telling me that he is like one of America’s literary treasures only better. I looked at some of the books that have been published under Ayers’s own name, like Fugitive Days: Memoirs of an Anti-War Activist and Sing a Battle Song: The Revolutionary Poetry, Statements and Communiques of the Weather Underground, 1970-1974 to confirm Trump’s judgment and I don’t quite see it the way that he does. But as Trump would undoubtedly point out, my books haven’t sold anything like his and my bank account is a lot smaller, so what do I know? Anyway, here’s a brief excerpt from Ayer’s introduction to Sing a Battle Song. You can judge it for yourself:
The Weather Underground, born Phoenix-like from the ashes of a terrible explosion that killed three of our leaders in Greenwich Village, New York, on March 6, 1970, stormed fleetingly across the landscape at the tail end of that mythical and iconic age now simply called the sixties. Originally a militant formation inside Students for a Demotcratic Society (SDS) , the catalytic radical student group of its day, the Weather Underground rose, hot and angry, to—in our own terms—smite the warmongers and strike against the race-haters. We went over the top. By the mid-1970s, the American war in Vietnam had ended and the organization had effectively flamed out. Individuals made their twisty ways, singly and in small groups, upward and onward as best they could.
A palimpsest—a ghostly smudge—remained, however, as a reminder that the phenomenon had once come to life, that it had indeed existed—vital, wild, and animated—that there was something more to find and to see beneath the authorized story.
How funny that, the same week Ron Rosenbaum revealed that James Joyce is overrated, Donald Trump is out there trumpeting Bill Ayers’ genius. We live in amazing times.