15 more tall tales told by politicians (Richard Blumenthal’s not the only politician with a “creative” resume)

by editor on May 24, 2010

Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said he served in Vietnam, but never left the safety of the United States. And he said that he was captain of Harvard’s swim team, but he wasn’t even a member of the team.

But he’s not the only politician who’s attempted to advance his career with a resume-enhancing tall tale or two. Just the latest.

For example:

1. The imaginary Obama-Kennedy connection


Sen. Barack Obama attempted to link himself to the Kennedy legacy when he said JFK’s family had “paid for his Kenyan father to travel to America on a student scholarship and thus meet his Kansan mother.”

But the Washington Post reveals the truth: “Contrary to Obama’s claims in speeches in January at American University and in Selma last year, the Kennedy family did not provide the funding for a September 1959 airlift of 81 Kenyan students to the United States that included Obama’s father. According to historical records and interviews with participants, the Kennedys were first approached for support for the program nearly a year later, in July 1960. The family responded with a $100,000 donation, most of which went to pay for a second airlift in September 1960.”

2. Obama’s parents met at the Selma Civil Rights March


On March 4, 2007 Barack Obama said, “But something stirred across the country because of what happened in Selma, Alabama… because some folks were willing to march across a bridge… so they got together and Barack Obama, Jr., was born….”

The President had to stop telling that tall tale when it was pointed out that the Selma march happened in 1965, but Barack Obama was born in 1961.

3. Michelle Obama watched the Olympics while sitting on her daddy’s lap


“Some of my best memories are sitting on my dad’s lap,” Michelle Obama told the International Olympic Committee, “cheering on Olga and Nadia, Carl Lewis, and others for their brilliance and perfection.”

As Michelle Malkin points out, “Mrs. Obama was 20 years old when Lewis first competed in the Olympics in 1984.” We can only hope she wasn’t really sitting on dad’s lap at that point in life.

4. Hillary Clinton was named after Sir Edmund Hillary

edmund-hillary-clinton-resume-lie In 1995, it was reported in the Houston Chronicle that, “The first lady said her mother had read about the famous climber and knew his name had two L’s. So when I was born, she called me Hillary and always told me, ‘It’s because of Sir Edmund Hillary,’ Hillary Clinton reported.”

Snopes.comnotes that Edmund Hillary was a relatively unknown beekeeper in New Zealand in 1947 when Hillary Clinton was born. He didn’t become the first man to scale Mt Everest until 1953.

5. Bill Clinton and the Arkansas church burnings

bill-clinton-church-burning-lieWashington Monthly tells both sides of the tale: “During a weekly Oval Office radio address on June 8th, 1996, Clinton told his audience that ‘I have vivid and painful memories of black churches being burned in my own state when I was a child.’ The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported the following day that there was no evidence available of a black church ever being burned down in Arkansas.”

6. Al Gore’s “Union Label” lullaby

Serial liar Al Gore used to claim that his mama used to sing him to sleep with a lullaby called “Look For The Union Label.”

Far be it from us to question a mother’s choice of lullabies, but it should be noted that this was the theme song in an ad campaign for the International Ladies Garment Workers Union and wasn’t written until Gore was 27 years old.

7. Bill Clinton didn’t inhale


“When I was in England,” Bill Clinton said, “I experimented with marijuana a time or two, and I didn’t like it. I didn’t inhale and never tried it again.”

No further explanation necessary.

8. Brave Hillary ran for cover in Bosnia

hillary-bosnia-resume-lieAhhh, Hillary, we miss your special brand of self-aggrandizement.

“I certainly do remember that trip to Bosnia,” Hillary said, “and … there was a saying around the White House that if a place was too small, too poor, or too dangerous, the president couldn’t go, so send the First Lady. That’s where we went. I remember landing under sniper fire. There was supposed to be some kind of a greeting ceremony at the airport, but instead we just ran with our heads down to get into the vehicles to get to our base.”

Hillary wasn’t alone on that trip. She was accompanied by daughter Chelsea, singer Sheryl Crow, and comedian Sinbad, and the Washington Post<reports that his memories of the trip differ slightly from Hillary’s.

As Sinbad put it: “What kind of president would say, ‘Hey, man, I can’t go ’cause I might get shot so I’m going to send my wife…oh, and take a guitar player and a comedian with you.'”

9. Joe Biden’s even braver than Hillary

“If you want to know where Al Qaeda lives,” Joe Biden bragged to the National Guard Association, “you want to know where Bin Laden is, come back to Afghanistan with me. Come back to the area where my helicopter was forced down, with a three-star general and three senators at 10,500 feet in the middle of those mountains. I can tell you where they are.”

joe-biden-afghanistan-lie As ABC’s Jake Tapper reports, it didn’t quite happen the way Biden recalls it:

In February 2008, Biden — along with Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., and Chuck Hagel, R-Neb. — was on a chopper that made an emergency landing in the mountains of Afghanistan.

A snowstorm had forced them down.

No one was injured, and the Associated Press reported at the time that “the senators and their delegation returned to Bagram Air Base in a motor convoy, and left for Turkey.

“The weather closed in on us,” Kerry told the AP at the time in a phone interview from Turkey. “It went pretty blind, pretty fast and we were around some pretty dangerous ridges. So the pilot exercised his judgment that we were better off putting down there, and we all agreed…We sat up there and traded stories.”

Kerry joked, “We were going to send Biden out to fight the Taliban with snowballs, but we didn’t have to do it…Other than getting a little cold, it was fine.”

10. Congratulations, Mrs. Biden. Young Joey just won a college scholarship


Newsweek reported the story of a videotape ”especially prized by Joe Biden’s rivals” in which Joe Biden told a campaign crowd that he attended law school on a full academic scholarship. He was later forced to ‘fess up that he had, in fact, received only a partial scholarship based not on academic achievement, but financial need.

Even funnier, Biden claimed that he ”ended up in the top half” of his class, but his law school records show that he actually finished 76th in a class of 85.

11. Al Gore invented the internet

“During my service in the United States Congress,” Gore said, “I took the initiative in creating the Internet.”

The granddaddy of political resume enhancers.

12. Hillary wanted to join the Marines

hillary-clinton-marines-resume-lieThe New York Times reports this whopper.

She told the group gathered for lunch in the Dirksen Office Building, according to The Associated Press, that she became interested in the military in 1975, the year she married Bill Clinton and the year she was teaching at the University of Arkansas law school in Fayetteville.

She was 27 then, she said, and the Marine recruiter was about 21. She was interested in joining either the active forces or the reserves, she recalled, but was swiftly rebuffed by the recruiter, who took a dim view of her age and her thick glasses. ‘Not Very Encouraging.’

“You’re too old, you can’t see and you’re a woman,” Mrs. Clinton said she was told, adding that the recruiter dismissed her by suggesting she try the Army. “Maybe the dogs would take you,” she recalled the recruiter saying.

This one’s even too much for the Times. As they note later in the same article:

…it did not seem to fit in with the First Lady’s own persona. After all, Hillary Rodham was an up-and-coming legal star involved with an up-and-coming political star. She had made a celebrated appearance in Life magazine as an anti-establishment commencement speaker at Wellesley College, where, as president of the student government, she had organized teach-ins on her opposition to the Vietnam War.
She was a Yale law school graduate who had worked on the anti-war Presidential campaigns of Eugene J. McCarthy and George McGovern.

Mrs. Clinton told friends that she had moved to Arkansas for only one reason: to be with Bill Clinton. Years later, she would tell Vanity Fair that she had stayed because “I didn’t see anything out there that I thought was more exciting or challenging than what I had in front of me.”

She and Mr. Clinton married on Oct. 11, 1975 in Fayetteville.

So, if she was talking to a Marine recruiter in 1975 before the marriage, was she briefly considering joining the few, the proud and the brave of the corps as an alternative to life with Mr. Clinton, who was already being widely touted as a sure thing for Arkansas Attorney General?

13. Hillary wanted to be an astronaut


Hillary Clinton claimed, “I wrote to NASA and said, ‘How do I sign up to be an astronaut?’ And they wrote back very politely and said, ‘We don’t take girls.'”

While it’s true that NASA didn’t have female astronauts in those days, Wall Street Journal columnist James Taranto notes that Sally Ride was less than four years younger than Hillary when she became the first U.S. woman in space, casting doubt on the validity of Clinton’s claim.

14. Hillary has always a Yankee fan

Even the Washington Post couldn’t stomach Hillary Clinton’s claim that she’d always been a Yankee fan.

hillary-clinton-yankees-resume-lie Clinton asserted that she’d “always been a Yankees fan.” Couric correctly challenged her, saying she thought the first lady, a native of Illinois, was a Chicago Cubs fan.

“I am a Cubs fan,” Clinton said. “But I needed an American League team … so as a young girl, I became very interested and enamored of the Yankees.”

No one other than Media Matters really buys this story, because no one had ever heard Hillary utter the words “New York Yankees” until she decided to run for the senate in New York.

15. We lied, too. We only have 14 resume enhancing tales.

But unlike all those politicians, we freely admit that we lied and apologize profusely for it. Now go out and vote for us.

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[…] his account. In 2008, Biden — then the chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee — he claimed that his helicopter had been forced down by Taliban fire over Afghanistan; the real cause was a […]


[…] Clinton once pandered to his base by waxing morose about his “vivid and painful memories” of black churches being burned down by racists in Arkansas while he was growing up. […]


The people of CT failed the nation when they elected this fraud, & they need to be reminded EVERY TIME he’s makes a complete ass of himself on Capital Hill.


You forget, “I did not have sex with that woman–Miss Lewinsky” and “There is no sexual relationship.” Of course it depends on what the definition of “is” is.


I invented the noclip dinglearm and the toggleball. Vote for me, in November. TWICE, if you can!


And people wonder why we think EVERYBODY should be voted the h%$# out and we need to start all over from scratch!


You can always tell when a politician is lying: Their lips move.


Didn’t Al Gore invent global warming?


Hey, somebody had to do it.


al gore talked about his father being a great civil right advocate, but in fact his father was a racist and voted against civil rights


there was another one that Rush once mentioned of Bill Clinton. Bill Clinton talked of a tale of when he was young, 8 something, that he went to the back of a bus to allow some black folks the front seat as solidarity to Martin Luther King.


you forget that al gore invented the internet


IHTM for president!!

LA Sunset

Did I ever tell you that my cousin plays lead guitar for The Who?