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Friday, March 30, 2007

Obama hits Chicago during 'Council Wars'

Bob Secter and John McCormick from the Chicago Tribune have written a four page, detailed article about Obama's days as a community organizer following his graduation from Columbia University up until his enrollment at Havard Law School.

Much has been made of Obama's ability to bridge feuding conservatives and liberals in Illinois, and before that at the Harvard Law Review, where in 1990 he became its first black leader. As a presidential candidate, he bills himself as a uniter who can usher in a post-partisan era where Washington fights less and gets more done.

The path to his party's nomination, though, runs through Democratic primary voters still chafing from years of conservative Republican rule. And what Obama highlights as an eagerness to plow common ground with political opposites, some voters may view as a sign that he lacks firm principles or an ability to stake and hold his ground.

Obama firmly rejected that notion. "There are a set of principles that I care about. And there are people I'm fighting for in this campaign," he said in a recent interview. If any Republican, or Democrat for that matter, opposes those principles, Obama vowed to "go after them with everything that I've got."

The art of working with one's enemies comes straight out of Community Organizing 101, the on-the-job course in human relations and activism Obama took in the mid-1980s alongside low-income residents in the Roseland community and the Altgeld Gardens public housing development.
It's an interesting look into what shaped the Obama we know today.

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