Barack Obama flashback

I came across an interesting article on Barack Obama that I thought I'd share with the folks at MyDD, so follow me below the fold...

What makes Obama different from other progressive politicians is that he doesn't just want to create and support progressive programs; he wants to mobilize the people to create their own. He wants to stand politics on its head, empowering citizens by bringing together the churches and businesses and banks, scornful grandmothers and angry young...

"The right wing talks about this but they keep appealing to that old individualistic bootstrap myth: get a job, get rich, and get out. Instead of investing in our neighborhoods, that's what has always happened. Our goal must be to help people get a sense of building something larger.

"The political debate is now so skewed, so limited, so distorted," said Obama. "People are hungry for community; they miss it. They are hungry for change.

What's interesting about these quotes is not so much what he's saying here, its that he was saying this in 1995.  12 years ago, the Chicago Reader profiled a candidate for the Illinois State Senate.  Barack Obama has had pretty much the same message for 12 years, that we can come together and work toward positive change.  The theme has broadened from a local, community theme to a national theme, but the vision is the same.  Its not a focus group tested, lieberman lite false bipartisanship that Obama traffics in, its a desire to bring positive change.  To reach out and bring together people from various backgrounds to affect those positive changes.  To rebuild the sense of "Us" in a world that has become dominated by the sense of "Me." 

And here's Obama in 2000, from another Reader article, covering some of his legislative record (this would be between 1996 and 2000, when Illinois was much redder):

Obama was a leader on an ethics bill that limited the gifts legislators can take from lobbyists and ended the practice of using campaign funds for personal use. (The senator's always been Paul Simon pure when it comes to taking gifts. He says he's one of "three or four" senators who won't let lobbyists buy him dinner.) He also worked to double the personal exemption on the state's income tax, figuring this would help low-income families. Republicans, who love tax cuts, willingly went along. Now Obama wants the state to institute an earned income tax credit for the poor. He also has introduced legislation to require drug companies to charge Medicare the same rates as their best customers, which would lower the cost of medicine for seniors. And he is asking the secretary of state's office to compile statistics on traffic stops, to see if minority drivers are targeted more than whites.

Anyway, the exact URL for the first article is here: 8/
The second article: 7/
And here's the Reader's archive of Barack Obama stories:

Tags: Obama 2008 (all tags)



Re: Barack Obama flashback

That's that same message I took from the Springfield speech (in person btw). Barack is not about bringing policies down from the mountain for all of us to worship. He wants to inspire us to get involved in making America better. That's what real leadership is all about...making your team-mates better.

by JoeCoaster 2007-02-15 12:53PM | 0 recs
Just makes me support him MORE if that's even

possible for me to do.  I really trust him to do what is best for our Country.  And if he makes a mistake he will admit it, own it and apologize for it.  I ain't seen nuthin' like this man yet.  Oh yea I have Bobby Kennedy!

Thanks for sharing this...

by Lorraine 2007-02-15 12:54PM | 0 recs
Great reads

Thanks for digging these up, they're terrific. I'm going to see if I can encourage some folks from the orange empire to read this diary...

by lapis 2007-02-15 03:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Great reads

"Orange Empire!" Ha!

The greatest (ok - one of) thing about Obama is that he speaks for himself.  He is sincere, smart, energetic, and right about so much (except merit pay for teachers!)

Anyway, I think this election will so much different than other elections.  Obama can stand on his own.  Watch him, listen to him, read his stuff.  Now that's Mission Accomplished! :)

by sick of it all 2007-02-15 05:14PM | 0 recs
Slam Dunk

You nailed it, Big Time.

I was listening to my local Chicago, somewhat normal, radio station.

And they said it was a mistake when Barak said, a lot of politicians make promises in a campaign, then don't deliver.

They missed it completly. What he was saying is, it is up to us to make sure by getting involved. Millions standing up to an issue can't be ignored.

I even had a talk with a Reich Wing buddy today that said, wow. He is for real. Said Barak Obama is what we need right now.  Not kidding at all.

So even if you Barak does not win out. Don't let that message die.  Barak gets people wanting to get involved in the process.  

Keep fighting and keep recruiting.

by rapallos 2007-02-15 07:06PM | 0 recs
This is very significant, I agree

It's one thing to be a recent convert to a position and another to have held one's fundamental views througout one's adulthood.  Barack Obama has held and stuck to his fundamental views about the importance of grass roots organization throughout his adulthood.

Would this approach to politics be useful, for example, in the heated of a pitched battle over the implimentation of national single payer health care, when industries where spending hundreds of millions of dollars to defeat a proposal that most Americans want?  Of course organizing and mobilizing Americans to lend support to the political programs they hold dear is a good idea!  It is essential, the sine qua non of national health care, and also of stopping the war(s)!

by francislholland 2007-02-16 12:30AM | 0 recs
Re: This is very significant, I agree

Have you considered Senator Obama as your first choice yet Francis?  The better thing just around the corner?  The future beckons us.

by Shaun Appleby 2007-02-16 11:58PM | 0 recs
Let Obama be Obama

I get inspired by this guy! He's not a panderer and isn't afraid to speak his mind despite who may be in the audience.

I couldn't believe the audience he attracted at George Mason Univ. last weekend. You would have thought the election was just days away instead of years.

by BlueCheese 2007-02-16 09:16AM | 0 recs
Re: Barack Obama flashback

I certainly would vote for Obama if only he were black.


by Homer 2007-02-17 05:03AM | 0 recs


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