Just four years agoVia Lang Whitaker's Slam Online post about the new American president, I came across this old feature on Barack Obama from four years ago, in the middle of his campaign for a U.S Senate seat and months before the speech that catapulted him to political superstardom. I was amazed at this tidbit, considering it was just four years ago:
Still loose and alert after a long day, Obama was sipping iced tea in a busy, Caribbean-themed restaurant in a small shopping center in Hyde Park. But he had already spent sixteen months running for the Senate—and seven years as a state senator—and he could ruefully sympathize with the political apathy of the average beleaguered citizen. Tonight, he had turned his cell phone off and dismissed his aides; he just wanted to get home for the bedtimes of his daughters, who are two and five. His wife, Michelle, is also a lawyer, and their daily lives are the familiar three-ring American family circus—even without the steroidal additive of Barack’s political career. Yet Barack had been reluctant to take even a semester off from teaching while campaigning, partly because he needs the income. To survive this campaign financially, the Obamas will take out a second mortgage on their apartment.
Jan Schakowsky told me about a recent visit she had made to the White House with a congressional delegation. On her way out, she said, President Bush noticed her “obama” button. “He jumped back, almost literally,” she said. “And I knew what he was thinking. So I reassured him it was Obama, with a ‘b.’ And I explained who he was. The President said, ‘Well, I don’t know him.’ So I just said, ‘You will.’ ”
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The story so farSeptember 2004