January 28, 2007

"I was born in Oslo, Norway, the son of a Volvo factory worker and part-time ice fisherman."

"My mother was a backup singer for Abba. They were good folks.... [In Chicago,] I discovered I was black, and I have remained so ever since." So goes the satirical script, written by Barack Obama's Harvard Law School classmates.
He proved deft at navigating an institution scorched with ideological battles, many of which revolved around race. He developed a leadership style based more on furthering consensus than on imposing his own ideas. Surrounded by students who enjoyed the sound of their own voices, Mr. Obama cast himself as an eager listener, sometimes giving warring classmates the impression that he agreed with all of them at once.

Friends say he did not want anyone to assume they knew his mind — and because of that, even those close to him did not always know exactly where he stood....
Why did his fellow law review editors elect him to lead them, to serve as their "president" (most law journals say "editor-in-chief")?
The election was an all-day affair with the ego-crushing drama of a reality TV show. Inside Pound Hall, the editors picked apart the intellectual and social skills of the 19 contenders, eliminating them in batches. At the last moment, the conservative faction, its initial candidates defeated, threw its support to Mr. Obama. “Whatever his politics, we felt he would give us a fair shake,” said Bradford Berenson, a former associate White House counsel in the Bush administration.
Read the whole article. With all those lawyers to interview and all the jealousy Obama must have inspired with his success at Harvard, it's notable that nothing nasty comes up.

But then maybe this article -- in the NYT -- is a puff piece and some juicy quotes got clipped out.


Anonymous said...

"Mr. Obama spent much of his time alone, curtailing his dating life after his first summer, when he met his future wife, a Harvard Law graduate named Michelle Robinson who was working in Chicago."

....Call me pedantic - oh please do - but isn't there a delicious ambiguity about the 'curtailing' here? No doubt Hillary's people are on the trail.

PatCA said...

Speaking of satire, I do have to say that every time I hear Obama's life saga, I think of Steve Martin in The Jerk, "I was born a poor black child..."

Hamsun56 said...

His dad must have had a long commute since Volvo doesn't have any factories in Norway. At least they didn't place Oslo in Sweden.

vbspurs said...

Extract from the NYT piece:

A prankster posted a cast list for a movie version of his life, starring Blair Underwood. When Mr. Underwood visited the school, he questioned Mr. Obama for material for “L.A. Law.”

“People were always asking me, do young black attorneys really exist like that?” Mr. Underwood said in a recent interview. “I would refer to Barack.”

That's why many Americans don't take him seriously, in fact.

He's straight out of central casting.


Anonymous said...

I was really into this post until I read the second sentence.

What a letdown!

Anonymous said...

He loses major points with me for comparing Derrick Bell to Rosa Parks. I also do not quite believe Obama had to be convinced by classmates to run for the coveted EIC of Law Review. That sounds like a fabricated story to make it appear like he is less ambitious than he is.

A more interesting article would deal with Obama's grades and extracurriculars at Columbia, Occidental, and his private high school. We hear little of this and I for one would be interested.

I find it odd that you never hear of him being a great undergraduate student yet he got into arguably the top law school in country (come down Yale folks, I said arguably). I would be interested if that had to do with grades, LSATs, or some other intangable factor.

This article, gave me little insight into anything that I hadn't already read. To the media, I say do your job and stop writing puff pieces that recylce previous work.

charity bernhard said...

It will be great if nytimes found more funny text write by Obama

Nina permata sari said...