Apparently, it’s not just rampant in the business world. Résumé fraud, according to this nicely detailed piece, is a problem (a problem since it’s being reported) for both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. The Obama episodes described in the report are amusing–crashing a press conference on a matter he had little to do with and receiving a dressing-down from his now fawning supporter Ted Kennedy–but also reveal that he is as crass and egotistical a politician as any of his peers in the Senate.
This contrast between the image of a holier-than-thou savior of American politics which he has tried to craft and the reality of a publicity seeking dilettante is striking and entirely a dilemma of Obama’s own making. Having devised a personality-based campaign premised on the notion that only he can rescue us from old-school politics, he now is an easy target for every story or political attack which demonstrates that– surprise–he’s a politician, and a not very accomplished one at that.
Clinton has her own problems in the accomplishment department, of course. As the piece points out, she too has “embellished” her accomplishments. But perhaps she benefits from the “soft bigotry of low expectations”–she, after all, never set herself out as the savior of American political culture.
So for now, John McCain can hang back and hope that the more voters learn more about his potential opponents, the less they will like either of them.