157 Days Remaining!
We normally don’t think of a person’s good fortune as a reason not to vote for him or her. Sometimes, however, the way that good fortune comes leaves serious questions about what a candidate is willing to do in order to chalk one in the “Win” column. It seems more than appropriate to weigh such tactics, when evaluating the candidacy of someone who, as a boy, was known for yelling “Curang, Curang” (cheater, cheater) and who as a man, blames so much on others. The question, perhaps: Is this a politician who lives by the spirit of the law, the letter of the law, or by what moves him most effectively towards his own ends? Your answer may or may not leave you with a Reason Not to Vote for Barack Obama. It will certainly leave you with another piece of the puzzle answering: Who is Barack Obama?
A Charmed Life – Obama Glides into State Senate
There can be little doubt that Barack Obama has lived a charmed life. While apparently not from a particularly wealthy family, he was able to attend Punahou, an elite Hawaiian prep school and then move on to Occidental College in California, followed by Columbia University in New York and finally, after spending time as a Chicago community organizer, to prestigious Harvard Law School, where he was selected first black President of the Harvard Law Review. After being selected President of the Harvard Law Review, he was given a book contract with Simon & Schuster and an advance of $150,000.[i]
But, in 1995, on top of all this good fortune, Obama was given the gift that has kept on giving.
Popular Illinois State Senator Alice Palmer had decided to run for a seat in the U.S. Congress against Jesse Jackson, Jr. As a believer in Obama, Palmer encouraged him to run for her seat and endorsed him as her replacement. When things went bad for her in the Congressional race, her staff contacted Obama, requesting that he withdraw from the race and allow her to recover her old seat. Obama refused. Undeterred, Palmer obtained sufficient names on a petition to be placed on the 1996 ballot, running against Obama in the Primary.
According to David Mendell, author of Obama: From Promise to Power, “a volunteer for Obama challenged the legality of her petitions, as well as the legality of petitions from several other candidates.” All were disqualified and Obama finished the Primary unopposed. With Republicans not well represented in the contested District, Obama walked across the finish line with an easy win.[ii]
Truly a moment for Democracy – eliminating all of your opponents on a technicality!