Making History: WH Ridiculed on Twitter for Altering Presidential Biography Pages

(Photo: AP)

It was reported yesterday that the White House has “amended” the biography of nearly every U.S. president of the past century, adding a “Did you know?” section at the end where they tied former presidents’ accomplishments to those of president Obama.

At the bottom of Reagan’s biography, for instance, the White House tried to plug the “Buffett Rule.”  Did you know, it asks, that “In a June 28, 1985 speech Reagan called for a fairer tax code, one where a multi-millionaire did not have a lower tax rate than his secretary. Today, President Obama is calling for the same with the Buffett Rule.”

The Calvin Coolidge connection is no less far-fetched.  “On Feb. 22, 1924 Calvin Coolidge became the first president to make a public radio address to the American people. President Coolidge later helped create the Federal Radio Commission, which has now evolved to become the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).   President Obama became the first president to hold virtual gatherings and town halls using Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, etc,” it explains.

(Photo: White House)

While the adjustments don’t reach back as far as Woodrow Wilson, only a modest link to FDR is mentioned: “On August 14, 1935, President Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act.  Today the Obama Administration continues to protect seniors and ensure Social Security will be there for future generations.”

The move is drawing ridicule in conservative circles, even inspiring a Twitter hashtag, #ObamaInHistory, that started trending worldwide.

Here are some of the best we found:

@stevenfhayward: In the beginning, God created the heavens and the Earth. And President Obama was there to say it was good. #obamainhistory

@huds_d: In Greek mythology, Narcissus gazed into a pond and saw Obama’s face #obamainhistory

@JohnSantorelli: Christopher Columbus discovered the New World in 1492 and Obama was there to apologize and bow to the natives. #ObamaInHistory

@CuffyMeh: In 1803, Jefferson bought the Louisiana Purchase for $233 million in today’s dollars, which Obama spent while you read this. #ObamaInHistory

@EthanMyers007: 30,000 Americans died on the Oregon Trail due to lack of health insurance. #ObamaInHistory

@iowahawkblog: #Obamainhistory Washington could not tell a lie, Nixon could not tell the truth, Obama can’t tell the difference

@red_red_head: Obama assured Henry Ford the Volt would be a great idea, but Ford wasn’t sold on the idea of exploding vehicles. #ObamaInHistory

‏@AllanRofer: Prior presidencies are merely the canvas upon which Obama’s administration masterpiece is writ. #ObamaInHistory

@syruss: If you can’t have good history, why not rewrite [others’?] #ObamaInHistory

(Photo: White House)

The Republican National Committee similarly summarized: “Obama in History — World Changing Events You Didn’t Know Obama Played A Part In.”

But White House defended its actions, saying: “No biographies have been altered…We simply added links at the bottom of each page to related content, which is a commonly used best practice to encourage people to browse more pages on a site.”

How can you add something, without altering the original?  And it’s clearly not just an effort to encourage people to “browse more pages.”

“Each one finds a way to tout an Obama administration policy or practice in the process,” Fox describes.

But this isn’t surprising to anyone who has followed presidential politics…After all, Barack knows that “we’re going to have to change our traditions, [and] our history.”