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The conning of Barack Obama

Business Times - 14 Oct 2011


The conning of Barack Obama

A controversial new book claims that the idealistic president has been systemically thwarted in his reform programmes

By LEON HADAR
WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT

EVEN in the age of 24/7 news when the most recent gossip in the blogosphere can ignite never- ending debate on cable TV news shows, forcing a politician to resign from office or produce a diplomatic row, the printed pages of that most archaic form of 'dead-tree-ware' - the Book - can still upstage the Web page and make a difference in Washington's online media-saturated universe.

Indeed, every once in a while, excerpts from a soon-to-be-published non-fiction book (which critics immediately denounce as, well, fiction) are circulated among officials and journalists, creating a 'buzz' and, in the process, redefining the political discourse and resetting the policy agenda.

For example, a series of books by prominent investigative reporter Bob Woodward that provided…