Thursday, May 7, 2009

Is This the Book the White House is Reading?

It was supposed to be a new slogan to mark the president's first hundred days in office. Speaking at his prime-time press conference on April 29, President Barack Obama promised to lay a 'New Foundation' for growth.

But this was three weeks after New York publishing house Atlantic Monthly Press released ULTIMATUM, a debut political thriller by Matthew Glass in which a Democratic president is elected pledging a 'New Foundation' for America.

'It may be coincidence,' said Glass's agent Ben Evans, 'but it does seem interesting that the phrase 'New Foundation' appeared in the president's speech so soon after ULTIMATUM was released.'

Refusing to reveal the true identity of Matthew Glass, which is a pseudonym, Evans added: 'This is a fantastic thriller with all the hallmarks of being written by a political insider. It wouldn't surprise me at all if people in the West Wing are reading it.'

The Obama White House has been remarkably free of the leaks that have plagued many previous administrations in their early days. Apart from one now notorious slip over the Special Olympics, the president's handling of the press has arguably been the slickest since Ronald Reagan.

But after the president used that phrase last week, it seems that he, or one of his staff, may have taken their cue straight out of the pages of a novel.

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