Portrait Of Obama As A Young Man
January 31, 2007

Via Tapped, I found this fascinating Chicago Reader profile of Obama from 1995, when he was making his first foray into elective politics as a state senate candidate. I highly recommend the whole article, but here's one short bit that quotes the then-34-year-old Obama at length: "Now an agenda for getting our fair share is vital. But to work, it can't see voters or communities as consumers, as mere recipients or beneficiaries of this change. It's time for politicians and other leaders to take the next step and to see voters, residents, or citizens as producers of this change.

What About Bob?
January 23, 2007

Ben Smith has a story in the Politico about Clinton's relative strength--and Obama's relative weakness--when it comes to appealing to black voters. It's a good piece, but there was one part of it that I didn't quite get. Smith makes a big deal of the fact that the Clintons spent a recent vacation in Anguilla schmoozing with Bob Johnson. Smith writes: Johnson--founder of Black Entertainment Television and owner of the NBA's Charlotte Bobcats--stands at the pinnacle of the black elite and embodies its longstanding ties to the Clintons.

Media Self Criticism Watch
December 24, 2006

In the midst of his front-page story on Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in today's Washington Post, Dan Balz takes time to note the following:   Even though neither has announced for president, Clinton and Obama have demonstrated the benefits of celebrity in a world of constant cable news and expanding Internet communities. That culture serves to reinforce the advantages of celebrity, repeatedly focusing attention on the celebrities (as this story is doing) rather than paying close attention to the doggedness of dark horses--at least until serious campaigning begins and the voters weigh in.

Race Against History
May 31, 2004

Joliet, Illinois—"Sloppy drunk" is not a term that warms the hearts of advance men, the people responsible for making politicians' events run smoothly.