State Department purchases thousands of copies of Obama’s book
Our literary president apparently has
a new book agent; the US State Department.
The State Department has bought more
than $70,000 worth of books authored by President Obama, sending out copies as
Christmas gratuities and stocking “key libraries” around the world with “Dreams
From My Father” more than a decade after its release.
The U.S. Embassy in Egypt, for
instance, spent $28,636 in August 2009 for copies of Mr. Obama’s best-selling
1995 memoir. Six weeks earlier, the embassy had placed another order for the
same book for more than $9,000, federal purchasing records
About the same time, halfway around
the world, the U.S. Embassy in South Korea had the same idea and spent more than
$6,000 for copies of “Dreams From My Father.”
One month later, the U.S. Embassy in
Jakarta, Indonesia, spent more than $3,800 for hardcover copies of the
Indonesian version of Mr. Obama’s “The Audacity of Hope,” records
A review of the expenditures in a
federal database did not reveal any examples of State Department purchases of
books by former Presidents George W. Bush or Bill Clinton. The purchases of Mr.
Obama’s literary work mostly, but not always, took place in the months after Mr.
Obama captured the White House.
Leslie Paige, a spokeswoman for
Citizens Against Government Waste, a watchdog group, said if the federal
government is looking to cut costs, eliminating purchases of Mr. Obama’s books
is a good place to start.
“It’s inappropriate for U.S. taxpayer
dollars to be spent on this,” she said. “This sounds like
I can just see some poor, benighted
Egyptian diplomat’s face when some State Department flunky pushes an Obama
autobiography on him. A look of horror mixed with shock, no doubt. And can you
see some very polite South Korean diplomat smiling and bowing while accepting
this “gift” and then putting it in the burn basket when he gets back to his
The White House probably didn’t know
about this but still, can’t we spend our propaganda dollars a little more