The Blurb Heard Around the World
By Bill Press / huffingtonpost.com
Feb 16, 2016

It's the kind of publicity every author dreams of: In the heat of the 2016 primaries, a leading candidate for president mentions your new book in a nationally-televised debate. Unfortunately, it involved a Democrat, attacking her Democratic opponent for endorsing it.

That happened to me last Thursday, when Hillary Clinton accused Bernie Sanders of writing "a foreword for a book that basically argues voters should have buyer's remorse when it comes to President Obama's leadership and legacy."

I'm torn between sending Secretary Clinton flowers for all the free publicity or criticizing her for misrepresenting the facts.

The truth is: Senator Sanders did not write the foreword for my book, Buyer's Remorse: How Obama Let Progressives Down. He only provided a blurb for the back of the book. So did Congressman Keith Ellison and former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich.

The truth is: While giving him credit for the good things he's done, my book is, indeed, critical of President Obama. But Senate Sanders' blurb is not. In it, he merely repeats a point he makes in every campaign speech:

 

 

Bill Press makes the case why, long after taking the oath of office, the next president of the United States must keep rallying the people who elected him or her on behalf of progressive causes. That is the only way real change will happen. Read this book.

 

 

The truth is: I wrote this book because, as a liberal, and as a member of the White House Press Corps, I remembered what Obama said on more than one occasion. In September 2008, for example, as a candidate for president, he urged his supporters: "I want you to hold our government accountable. I want you to hold me accountable."

It's an argument he repeated, once in the Oval Office. "I want you to hold all of Washington accountable," he told an Annandale, Virginia, town hall in April 2011. "There are powerful lobbies and special interests in Washington. I want you to hold me accountable."

The truth is: When you do hold President Obama accountable, his record is a mixed bag. There are many good things President Obama has accomplished, for which I duly give him credit right up front: Obamacare; ending Don't Ask, Don't Tell; supporting same-sex marriage; two (and, hopefully, soon three) outstanding appointments to the Supreme Court; the Iran nuclear deal; and re-establishment of relations with Cuba, among others.

But the truth also is: There are many areas where he has let progressives down. Most likely, he will end his eight years in office, for example, with no comprehensive immigration reform, no serious new measures to curb gun violence, no new restrictions on out-of-control campaign spending, and the infamous prison at Guantanamo Bay still open.

Okay, maybe you can blame his inability to deliver on those issues on recalcitrant Republicans in Congress. But there are other areas of disappointment where Obama acted on his own: embracing NSA's wholesale domestic spying; unleashing hundreds of killer drones; forcing through the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, over the objections of organized labor and Democrats in Congress; pursuing journalists and whistle-blowers for reporting the truth; failing to prosecute one single Wall Street executive for the illegal trading that caused the crash of 2008. And, at a time when the economy needed more stimulus, he spent years trying to craft a "Grand Bargain" with Speaker John Boehner that would cut social programs, instead.

To paraphrase Hillary Clinton in the PBS debate: These are the kind of actions you expect from a Republican in the Oval Office, but not from a Democrat.

By highlighting both what is good and bad about the Obama administration, from a progressive point of view, Buyer's Remorse may be tough on President Obama. But that's contained in the book, not the blurb. For any criticism of Obama, blame me; don't blame Bernie.

Follow Bill Press on Twitter: www.twitter.com/bpshow

3.7 ·
2
Trending Today
How Comedy Can Disarm Bullies
3 min · 4,296 views today · As long as you're funny, it can get you out of almost anything - even getting mugged, as co-founder of Between Two Ferns Scott Aukerman recounts. Unfortunately, not everyone...
How a Lack of Touch Is Destroying Men
Mark Green · 3,352 views today · Why Men Need More Platonic Touch in their Lives
Immigrants For Sale (2015)
33 min · 2,868 views today · The detention of migrants has become a multi-billion dollar industry in which immigrants are sold to the highest bidder and traded like mere products. The Corrections...
Globalization Makes No Sense
Chris Agnos · 2,029 views today · When I lived in San Francisco, I often would marvel at the movement of goods through the ports across the bay in Oakland. Full container ships would enter the bay one after...
Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed (The Real Reason For The Forty-Hour Workweek)
David Cain · 1,751 views today · Well I’m in the working world again. I’ve found myself a well-paying gig in the engineering industry, and life finally feels like it’s returning to normal after my nine months...
Proof of Evolution That You Can Find on Your Body
4 min · 1,558 views today · Vestigial structures are evolution's leftovers — body parts that, through inheritance, have outlived the context in which they arose. Some of the most delightful reminders of...
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 1,160 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 983 views today · "The world is missing what I am ready to give: My Wisdom, My Sweetness, My Love and My hunger for Peace." "Where are you? Where are you, little girl with broken wings but full...
A Hauntingly Beautiful Short Film About Life and Death
5 min · 831 views today · The Life of Death is a touching handdrawn animation about the day Death fell in love with Life.
Compassion, the Antidote
Martin Doblmeier · 633 views today · Thich Nhat Hanh has published nearly 100 books and is one of the best-known teachers of Zen Buddhism in the world today. In the early 1960s his practice of what he termed...
Without Saying a Word This 6 Minute Clip From Samsara Will Make You Speechless
6 min · 630 views today · Can you put this video into words? It's a clip from the phenomenal documentary Samsara, directed by Ron Fricke, who also made Baraka.  If you're interested in watching...
How Wolves Change Rivers
4 min · 612 views today · When wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park in the United States after being absent nearly 70 years, the most remarkable "trophic cascade" occurred. What is a...
Touch Isolation: How Homophobia Has Robbed All Men Of Touch
Mark Greene · 589 views today · Homophobic prohibitions against male touch are hurting straight men as well.
Stunning Small Homes Form Part of a Communal Compound for Best Friends
Lighter Side · 529 views today · If you’re lucky enough to have longtime friends even as an adult, then you know probably already know how much it means to be able to spend time together. Maybe you even have a...
Where the Term "Redneck" Came From
15 min · 459 views today · If you don't know this story, you'll never look at the word the same again.  This is just a window into the sometimes shocking, subversive and untold history of the United...
The Foiled Bomb Plot in Kansas That Didn't Make Trump's Terror List
5 min · 381 views today · When a plot by a pro-white militia to bomb a Somali mosque in Kansas was foiled by the FBI last October, the aborted conspiracy received little national coverage - nor did it...
Those That Did Not Seek Revenge
Dr. Ann Russo · 331 views today · Dr. Ann Russo on violence, healing, and transforming justice.
10 Words Every Girl Should Learn
Soraya Chemaly · 288 views today · "Stop interrupting me."  "I just said that." "No explanation needed." In fifth grade, I won the school courtesy prize. In other words, I won an award for being polite. My...
DAPL Opponents Vow to 'Rise' From Ashes of Oceti Sakowin and Keep Fighting
Lauren McCauley · 264 views today · 'They cannot extinguish the fire that Standing Rock started,' Dallas Goldtooth declared
How to Be a Great Listener
5 min · 260 views today · There’s so much talking going on in the world with everyone trying to get their opinions and stories heard, but not a whole lot of listening. Yet, when we listen, we learn and...
Load More
What's Next
Like us on Facebook?
The Blurb Heard Around the World