USA - VOTE 2008

Anti-Obama book becomes best-seller

The Democratic presidential candidate has garnered a lot of media attention, and many authors have written about him, in good and bad terms. But a slanderous book by a conservative author has become a real best-seller.


A book by a conservative author that claims to dish the dirt on Democrat Barack Obama is set to hit the top of the New York Times bestseller lists this weekend, the newspaper said Wednesday.

"The Obama Nation" is by Jerome Corsi, who made his name by co-authoring "Unfit for Command," which maligned 2004 Democratic nominee John Kerry's Vietnam War record and contributed to his defeat by President George W. Bush.

The new book's publisher, Threshold Editions, said it examined "why the extreme leftism of an Obama presidency would leave the United States weakened, diminished and divided, why Obama must be defeated -- and how he can be."

It queries whether Obama ever abandoned his youthful dalliance with soft drugs, claims he has "extensive connections with Islam and radical politics," and owes his rise to national prominence to corrupt Chicago politics.

The tome, whose subtitle is "Leftist Politics and the Cult of Personality," was released on August 1 and the New York Times said it would make its debut on the bestseller list for non-fiction hardcover books this Sunday.

Sales have been driven by hefty bulk orders, intense voter interest in Senator Obama and a major marketing campaign featuring interviews with Corsi by well-known conservative talk radio hosts across the country, the paper said.

The print run by Threshold Editions, which is also publishing the forthcoming memoirs of Bush's long-time counselor Karl Rove, stands at 475,000.

The New York Times noted that many of the book's claims "have already been challenged as misleading or false," and the Obama campaign said it would refute any "smears."

"This book is nothing but a series of lies that were long ago discredited, written by an individual who was discredited after he wrote a similar book to help George Bush and (Vice President) Dick Cheney get re-elected four years ago," Obama spokesman Tommy Vietor said.

"The reality is that there are many lie-filled books like this in the works cobbled together from the Internet to make money off of a presidential campaign," he added. "We will respond to these smears forcefully."

Obama is a Christian, and has written that he quit using marijuana and cocaine at the age of 20.

Some of Corsi's other claims, such as that the candidate was present in his Chicago church for racially hateful sermons by his former pastor Jeremiah Wright, have been debunked by schedules released by the campaign.

But as Kerry found to his cost in 2004, such attack books can take on a life of their own if they generate enough of a sales buzz, especially when combined with a sophisticated advertising push by related lobby groups.

Corsi's effort joins a clutch of other anti-Obama books that have come out recently from right-wing authors, including "The Case Against Barack Obama" by David Freddoso, which Wednesday was the 16th best-selling book on

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