Patterico's Pontifications


A Window Into Obama’s Constitutional Soul?? NYT Publishes Final Exams Obama Gave to Con Law Students at Univ. of Chicago Law School

Filed under: 2008 Election,Constitutional Law,Politics — WLS @ 3:56 am

Posted by WLS:

The NYT in this story out today has the final exam questions given by Obama to the Con Law III students at the Univ. of Chicago law school from 1997 to 2003. They make for some interesting reading, and left me scratching my head.

But the manner in which the problems are expressed suggest a huge liberal bias.

This post is simply an invitation to review them and discuss them in the comments section. After I have a chance to digest them further, I’ll have a few posts on individual exam questions that spark my interest.

63 Responses to “A Window Into Obama’s Constitutional Soul?? NYT Publishes Final Exams Obama Gave to Con Law Students at Univ. of Chicago Law School”

  1. The first question on the the marriage and adoption of a child by a homosexual male couple. (My comments are without taking sides on the social benefits or social harm.) The issue of gay marriage or adoption is a statutory issue and not a constitutional issue. Marriage is as we know today has been codified into statutory law (family law in most states) to provide certain protections, benefits, etc. to the family unit, to the children etc. To agrue that there is a constitutional right to a hetrosexual marriage is absurd. Likewise, to argue that there is a constitutional right to gay marriage under the equal protection act is also aburd. The granting of drivers license is a statutory right granted under the democratic process.

    Joe - Dallas (3f6913)

  2. The second question made me laugh – the idea that prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, color etc. can violate the 14th amendment is facially absurd.

    stuart (dbcae9)

  3. “While most colleagues published by the pound, he never completed a single work of legal scholarship.”

    Way to stick it to the man! I’m going to do the same thing today. Instead of working, I’m going to watch tv all day.

    Thanks for the great idea, Obama!

    Kevin (834f0d)

  4. “While most colleagues published by the pound, he
    never completed a single work of legal scholarship.”

    Wasn’t he a lecturer? I thought those didn’t publish and weren’t on the ‘publish or perish’ tenure track.

    These exams are going to be a weak window — you’re supposed to fully tease out both sides, not just say one is absurd.

    afall (40c156)

  5. afall, he evidently also wrote nothing during his time on law review.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  6. He was also an enigmatic one, often leaving fellow faculty members guessing about his precise views.

    And he’s doing the same thing to the American people today…

    And the governor of the “State of Utopia”? “Arnold Whatzanager”.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  7. SPQR – Wasn’t that Law Review thingie essentially titular, as there was nothing generated ? Plus, I like the word titular.

    JD (75f5c3)

  8. I only read the first test, but it seems to me that the bottom line is not the questions he asked, but how he evaluated the answers. He asks for strengths and weaknesses of different possible positions in regard to gay marriage. That’s actually (both pedagogically and philosophically) a pretty fair way of testing. It not only gets at the student’s views, but also his ability to argue the question.

    I had a lot of respect for a fairly liberal poli-sci prof. who gave me a high mark even though my paper disagreed with his view of China. I had a low view of another prof. who ridiculed any arguments that our government was a republic, not a democracy, and that there was an important difference. I hate to say it, but Obama sounds like the better professor… depending on how he graded those points of view that he disagreed with but which were well defended.

    Second point: that said, he creeps me out even more than usual. Am I paranoid, or just appropriately suspicious, of the care he took to avoid taking positions, not publishing, questioning but not answering? That’s great for a while in teaching – but eventually you’ve got to take a stand for something. Even Socrates did that. But Obama seems like an empty shell – a complete demagogue – a chameleon. He wants to be all things to all people. But that reminds me more of Abraham Lincoln’s words, “You can fool some of the people some of the time…”

    Don (b3de2e)

  9. Reading those it seemed like a bad parody on the leftist mantra. But then I remembered that students actually had to sit for those and course passage was predicatd on the proper response. I don’t know what Obama is using to induce mass hypnosis in support of his diabolical plan to rule the world (Yes, he can..!), but I am counting on the good guys destroying the power source and saving us all just before the final commercial break. (G’head, mock me, like there’s another explanation..??)

    Chris (c9c2a3)

  10. “Way to stick it to the man! I’m going to do the same thing today. Instead of working, I’m going to watch tv all day.”

    The article mentions he had 2 other jobs while also being a lecturer at the law school.

    “I only read the first test, but it seems to me that the bottom line is not the questions he asked, but how he evaluated the answers.”

    Read the ones with answer memos to see his evaluation of the issues — but again notice that in the exam he’s goign to want people to look at the major cases of the term and give the arguments from them, not just a simple yes/no answer.

    “afall, he evidently also wrote nothing during his time on law review.”

    According to the article, his work with a conservative author while editor was key to his getting his teaching position at Chicago. But I don’t know how much editors are expected to write.

    afall (8098e7)

  11. The article mentions he had 2 other jobs while also being a lecturer at the law school

    And would you pretty please tell me what those two jobs were?

    Scott Jacobs (fa5e57)

  12. One was as a State Senator, the other would presumably be “community organizer”.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  13. So that would be “barely did anything” and “no one has any idea what that job actually is”…


    Scott Jacobs (fa5e57)

  14. I read question#1 on the 2003 Final.

    In general instructions, it says “Do not cite case law.”

    How can one teach ConLaw without letting students cite cases to make their point?


    Scott Hornburg (b41866)

  15. “You may not use cases, articles … or any other material that was not discussed in class” for I am The Way and The Light.

    nk (c1e92f)

  16. “And would you pretty please tell me what those two jobs were?”

    The article says: “Mr. Obama was working two other jobs, after all, in the State Senate and at a civil rights law firm.”

    “How can one teach ConLaw without letting students cite cases to make their point?”

    I don’t see the instructions, but it could be that he doesn’t want citations, but wants discussion.

    afall (ae4236)

  17. Scott (#11) & Drumwaster (#12): The other two jobs, besides part-time lecturer at Chicago Law School, were as a part-time lawyer (associate and, I think, later “of counsel”) at the law firm then known as Davis Miner Barnhill & Galland, and a state senator in the Illinois legislature. I don’t have the link handy, but my recollection is that a partner from that firm was recently quoted as saying that Obama had worked on something like 40 cases and billed something between 4000-5000 hours in his roughly ten-year affiliation with the firm. Considering that firms like the one his wife Michelle worked at routinely expect 2000+ billable hours each year, that suggests to me that the lawyer gig was a very part-time job. As for the teaching: He generally taught an average of three courses or seminars per year, but those classes were held at odd hours to accommodate his need to travel to Springfield. Chicago Law School apparently doesn’t have summer school; and of course, in addition to teaching duties, tenure-track faculty members there would be expected to do the research and writing necessary to publish many law journal articles en route to tenure. So yeah: He had three part-time jobs. Whether that translated into more or less actual work than he’d have done as a full-time anything, I can’t say.

    The NYT article is the first place I’ve ever seen it asserted that Obama was actually once offered “tenure upon hire” if he agreed to convert to a full-time position, that being in 2000 after he’d lost his race for a seat in Congress. Everything else I’ve seen on that topic — including quotes from his friend and then-colleague Prof. Cass Sunstein and Chicago Law’s own post hoc press release retroactively blessing Obama’s calling himself a “professor” (small-p) even though he was never a “Professor” (term of art, part of several job titles he never had), all refer to him repeatedly being offered a “tenure-track position.”

    The NYT reporter is quite specific about the terms of the offer, but doesn’t disclose her sourcing or attempt to explain why her report is at odds with the other sources. But if, indeed, Chicago did offer Obama tenure — despite his failure to ever publish any academic writing anywhere, either as a student or a part-time lecturer, and despite his lack of other conspicuous post-JD legal qualifications (e.g., as an experienced prosecutor or a judge or even a judge’s law clerk), that’s quite remarkable. If true, it would considerably diminish my regard for that law school.

    WLS: I’ve read more than half of the exams, and the sample answers to the few that are still posted (some others having been un-posted by the NYT on grounds that they were merely the highest-graded student answers for some exams, and thus not so attributable to Obama himself, except indirectly through his grading). I don’t think I agree with you that his questions show an obvious leftie bias. Each of them does have a fictional party whose lawyers (or law students pretending to be their lawyers) could be expected to advance quite liberal legal theories that would only succeed before judicial activist judges. But that’s true of real life, and while I think it’s likely, I haven’t yet seen anything which positively confirms that Obama’s own preferences, were he a judge or policy-maker (same thing, for Dems), would deliver a win to that side. I’m willing to be persuaded by specific contrary examples, I suppose. But so far, my preliminary view is that these questions don’t reflect much of anything certain about Obama’s own views.

    Nor do the issues embedded in the hypotheticals for purposes of “issue-spotting” seem to me to be particularly objectionable — not if Obama was indeed teaching seminars explicitly themed on issues of race, or con-law courses whose main focus was on the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment.

    Beldar (0bd1bc)

  18. ‘“You may not use cases, articles … or any other material that was not discussed in class” for I am The Way and The Light.’

    Is this really something problematic for a take home exam?

    afall (7417a5)

  19. and billed something between 4000-5000 hours in his roughly ten-year affiliation

    Yeah, that works out to about one full day per week.

    VERY part time.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  20. [Comment deleted. — P]

    love2008 (1b037c)

  21. Re: only citing cases discussed in class.

    I obviously don’t know for sure what he intended but in the syllabus excerpt at The Caucus blog, Obama provided students with a required reading list and with an expanded reading list. Perhaps he wanted to assure students they did not have to include case cites from the expanded reading list unless the cases had been discussed in class.

    DRJ (8b9d41)

  22. “Perhaps he wanted to assure students they did not have to include case cites from the expanded reading list unless the cases had been discussed in class.”

    I think he means to keep people to the syllabus and not bring in outside sources. Standard thing, for a professor to demand that students stay within the things covered in the course.

    afall (3ec605)

  23. I’m not sure if we’re on the same wavelength, afall.

    The expanded reading list is on the syllabus and it’s common in law schools for professors to provide reading lists with far more material than students are required to read. The students who make A’s are often the ones who read the extra material and thus can offer more detailed or nuanced discussions and cites.

    My thought was that maybe Obama wanted to discourage the need for extra case cites but not the additional information made possible by the expanded reading. It’s a way to get students to read material without feeling like they have to remember details like cites.

    DRJ (8b9d41)

  24. Yes but relying on summaries by Derrick Bell, instead of the actual text of the opinion, or at
    least the holdings. If one doesn’t have a clear
    grasp of Slaughterhouse, or the Civil Rights Case of 1873; one can’t see how Plessy could be remedied without resorting to sociology rather than precdent in Brown.

    narciso (d671ab)

  25. The syllabus’ remarks which discourage discussion of additional cases beyond those mentioned in class is for three purposes: (1) It is “gunner prophylaxis,” which is to say, it’s intended to discourage those hyper-motivated and incredibly anal students who otherwise would use all of the allotted time, and be tempted to cheat by using even more, in dredging up long “string-cites” of cases from every federal circuit and Charlemagne’s courts of assizes. (2) It’s intended to reassure those students who might be tempted to act like gunners if they didn’t see that gunner-like conduct was already being discouraged. (3) It’s intended to spare the professor from the not-very-productive chore of going to look up any of those cases to see if they actually are on point and support anything that’s being said.

    Exception: If Obama,in his selection of class materials, had made as egregious an omission as the SCOTUS just did in Kennedy v. Louisiana with respect to the capital rape provisions under the UCMJ, then yeah, there would be a problem with a prohibition on going outside the course materials. I have no reason to think that happened.

    These are not first-year core curriculum courses. They’re seminars and follow-up courses. Open-book tests, take-home exams, and the like were common for such courses even in the Dark Ages when I was a law student and Jimmy Carter was president. By the time students take courses like these, they’re supposed to have already demonstrated their ability to “think like a lawyer” under pressure, typically in closed-book and tightly-timed exams. But even with first-year core curriculum courses, credible arguments can be made that tight, short deadlines and data-retention testing isn’t really the best way to evaluate law students.

    Bottom line: I have no fault to find with these pedagogical aspects of Obama’s teaching regime. They’re neither particularly loose or tight, neither particularly traditional nor enlighted. They’re just typical of what I’ve seen, and would still expect to see, at a good law school for courses like these.

    Beldar (0bd1bc)

  26. Love2008 (#20): Were you to leave a comment like that on my blog, I’d have no hesitation at all in deleting it and banning your IP. My only quandary would be whether I ought to also report you to the Secret Service and the FBI.

    Beldar (0bd1bc)

  27. Beldar, I know of a couple of posters who think it is amusing to accuse others of wanting to murder other people. For example, a Left of center poster I know from another blog would often say, about Right of center posters, “Why not just kill X? You know you want to.”

    I agree that sort of thing is offensive.

    It also seems to lead to “pixel threats” against other posters…often cloaked as sarcasm. My guess is that even the most bellicose of posters would suddenly get very quiet and demure in the presence of a genuine human being.

    Thus, I agree with your comment, even if Love2008 was trying to be silly or extreme. I have no idea of her/his motivations, but it was still a pretty rancid thing to write, in my opinion.

    Eric Blair (2708f4)

  28. Love2008,

    I agree with Beldar but I’m not where I can do anything about it right now.

    DRJ (8b9d41)

  29. Beldar #25,

    I took one of these electives in my third year too and I enjoyed it very much. Our professor gave us oral exams. In my case, I was prepared to discuss Plato and Shakespeare but he started with Robert Bolt’s “A Man For All Seasons”. He did not mind in the least when I used some of Nietzsche’s ideas to explain Henry VIII’s behavior and his relationship with Thomas More, even though Nietzsche was not in the curriculum, but he stopped me dead when I started to talk about Henry VIII having being a good king historically: “This was not a history class”.

    So I guess I kind of agree with your point.

    nk (c1e92f)

  30. Beldar – after taking a little more time to look through the material, and then viewing the tests in the context of a third year seminar course with a narrower focus than simply Con Law, I think I largely agree with you.

    When first looked at them my reaction was “This is what a Univ. of Chicago student gets tested on with respect to Con Law?” I was thinking that these were part of a first year Con Law course — not a third year seminar course.

    My comment about left wing bias mostly arose from the view of “What about the First Amendment”, “What about criminal procedures”, “What about Separation of Powers.”

    But if he only taught seminar courses narrowly tailored to Sub. DP and EP issues, then questions like the ones he used are going to be the bread and butter of most examinations.

    WLS (124833)

  31. “My comment about left wing bias mostly arose from the view of “What about the First Amendment”, “What about criminal procedures”, “What about Separation of Powers.””

    I don’t see how one thinks “left wing bias” from leaving those out.

    afall (8bb588)

  32. Prof. Randy Barnett’s analysis at the VC is pretty much on target, I think.

    If these materials are offered up as justification for the proposition that Obama deserved his popularity as a part-time lecturer on con law at a very good law school, I have no problem with that. I think they’re entirely consistent with Prof. Richard Epstein’s assessment in the parallel NYT article to the effect that “[Obama] was a successful teacher and an absentee tenant on the other issues,” and that “he was unwilling to put his name to anything that could haunt him politically.”

    In four words, his experience as a lecturer at Chicago tells us this: Smart guy, blank slate.

    So one must look elsewhere, and fortunately, there’s plenty of “there” there when one does. As I wrote yesterday over at my shop, the National Journal rated Obama as the single most liberal senator in America for 2007. TNR’s Josh Patashnik argues that under a different and (he thinks) better rating system, Obama’s only tied for tenth most liberal, but in any event “Obama clearly belongs to the party’s liberal wing rather than its centrist contingent.” And now that he’s his party’s nominee, he’s leap-frogged over anyone else who’s arguably more liberal to become, without doubt, the Most Dangerous Liberal in America.

    When he can divert people’s attention from his record, Obama is all things to all people, and thereby living proof that you can fool some of the people all of the time. But when you combine his hard-left liberal voting record with the hard-left company he keeps, mix in a boundless ego, and combine a degree of naïveté that makes young Jack Kennedy look like a mix of Dwight Eisenhower and Abe Lincoln, the result is profoundly frightening.

    Beldar (0bd1bc)

  33. Beldar who?….

    love2008 (1b037c)

  34. He comes from France.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  35. Oh. No wonder.

    love2008 (1b037c)

  36. #34
    Les personnes françaises sont habituellement gentilles. Celui-ci est un petit camarade fâché.

    love2008 (1b037c)

  37. Maybe I should have phrased it differently.

    He comes from France.

    *shakes head pityingly*

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  38. 36 you and urkel would fit right in over there with the cheese eating surrender monkeys. ribbit. google french military victorys

    madmax333 (0c6cfc)

  39. #37
    I denounce you madmax and your racism. May the One, (his name be praised) touch your heart and heal you from your anger. But you still stand denounced. 🙂

    love2008 (1b037c)

  40. On the “tenure on hire” point, the NYT reporter, Jodi Kantor, has posted more info:

    When the law school tried to hire Mr. Obama after his failed 2000 congressional race, it was for a tenured job, according to Daniel Fischel, the dean at the time. In our interview, I asked him if he meant “tenure-track,” and he said no. “He would be hired as a tenured professor,” he explained. The faculty would vote, but Mr. Obama already had their support, he added.

    Accordingly, a reader asks: “I’d like to know how unusual it is for an elite law school like Chicago to offer a tenured position to a professor who has not produced any academic writing.”

    Now over to John Eastman, for an answer:
    [Eastman:]What is unusual is the University of Chicago’s “promotion” of Senator Obama to the position of “senior lecturer.” As the law sSchool correctly points out on its Web site, that title is used for such long-established legal scholars as Richard Posner and Frank Easterbrook, both of whom continued to teach after their appointment to the United States Court of Appeals. Both were (and remain) extremely prolific scholars as well as teachers, and the “senior lecturer” title was acknowledge of that status and their judicial “day job.” Barack Obama never achieved such a scholarly stature—indeed, it does not appear that he engaged in legal scholarship at all. And to my knowledge, the title of “senior lecturer” has never been applied to someone who was basically an adjunct professor.

    Even more unusual is Chicago’s claim that Barack Obama was offered a fully tenured position. The University of Chicago is one of the most elite law schools in the country, and it would be extremely rare for the law school to offer a tenure-track position to someone without any legal scholarship, much less one with tenure. The course materials and examination questions prepared by then-Professor Obama demonstrate a deep and nuanced command of the law, but for that to have resulted in an offer to the tenured or even tenure-track faculty, the normal course (indeed, nearly the only course) is for that command of legal subjects to have first manifested itself into published articles.

    And now it all makes sense: Dean Fischel was smitten with the Chosen One’s aura when he made an offer of tenure without having obtained the faculty’s express advance authorization. He may or may not be right about whether the rest of the faculty was similarly already smitten — certainly there’s no hint of that in Prof. Epstein’s assessment! — but at a minimum Obama could have counted on support from his friends there who were “liberal constitutional law professors” like Cass Sunstein (since cherry-picked by Harvard) and Dem politico/former DC Circuit Chief Judge Abner Mikva.

    Or maybe a majority of the Chicago faculty (or whatever percentage is required to approve tenure grants) would have treated Obama’s proposed appointment with tenure like they would have any other unpublished lawyer/politician’s — with a belly laugh, politely suppressed, along with sincere best wishes and an invitation to continue lecturing and hanging out in the faculty accommodations.

    This inferentially reignites my suspicions that whoever wrote that press release, retroactively granting Obama the right to call himself a small-p professor so long as he didn’t spell out a formal job title like “Associate Professor of Law,” didn’t actually get the whole Chicago faculty on board for that either. My repeated, polite emails to the law school inquiring about the sourcing and internal approval process for that memo were utterly ignored. And I suspect that while Obama might win a faculty floor vote if the press release were debated and voted upon, the vote would definitely not be unanimous, and there are some folks who’d definitely rather not see the debate held or the cleansing sunshine of public scrutiny applied.

    Beldar (0bd1bc)

  41. Look, Love2008, I know Patterico has a high tolerance for well-behaved moonbats. Leave off the stuff about anybody shooting anybody in the head, though, whether it’s you threatening to do the shooting, or you imputing that sort of mentality to the decent people of all political persuasions who try to conduct a civil discussion here, will ya please?

    In other words, grow up.

    Beldar (0bd1bc)

  42. Please, show me something this guy [Obama] ever did that was not done in a calculated fashion to create and advance his own personal narrative? Something selfless, perhaps, just because it was the right thing to do?

    Every person I have talked to who worked at the Law Review at Harvard with him, or in the later part of his career, said the same thing: he was arrogant and self-centered. One person laughed, saying Obama wanted to be King of the World, that he was always running for something, never staying in one place long enough to amass accomplishments or be held accountable.

    Neo (cba5df)

  43. Man, I need to brush up on my Con Law.

    TLove (b8e7b4)

  44. Neo, you hit the nail on the head. Seems he’s been seeking this office for a while.

    Anti (e5c769)

  45. Tlove – You can brush up against me anytime 😉

    JD (e60f78)

  46. heheheheh. I feel so special.

    TLove (b8e7b4)

  47. Beldar — very insightful analysis at 39.

    But, I think the one underlying point not mentioned in the search for the reasoning about why Obama would have been offered a tenured position without demonstrated the kind of legal scholarship normally required is found in this passage from the NYT article:

    In his voting rights course, Mr. Obama taught Lani Guinier’s proposals for structuring elections differently to increase minority representation. Opponents attacked those suggestions when Ms. Guinier was nominated as assistant attorney general for civil rights in 1993, costing her the post. “I think he thought they were good and worth trying,” said David Franklin, who now teaches law at DePaul University in Chicago.

    And then this:

    Nor could his views be gleaned from scholarship; Mr. Obama has never published any. He was too busy, but also, Mr. Epstein believes, he was unwilling to put his name to anything that could haunt him politically, as Ms. Guinier’s writings had hurt her. “He figured out, you lay low,” Mr. Epstein said.

    Obama’s failure to publish was a conscious choice so as to not leave a paper trail that might get him “Borked” as had happened to Guinier. Dean Fishel understood this, and he understood that Obama was clearly destined for a political career, not a career as a law professor. But having Obama, with his likely bright political future, as a tenured member of the law school faculty was worth the price of making the completely unprecedented offer of a tenured position upon hire.

    I think Fishel understood he didn’t want to publish his views on legal issues of the day because they could damage his political prospects, and Fishel let him get away with it. But that’s not an admission that Fishel will publicly make now.

    WLS (26b1e5)

  48. JD…
    You’re being bad again…
    Please denounce yourself!

    Another Drew (8018ee)

  49. Yes, WLS, but also from the article (emphasis mine):

    Soon after, the faculty saw an opening and made him its best offer yet: Tenure upon hiring. A handsome salary, more than the $60,000 he was making in the State Senate or the $60,000 he earned teaching part time. A job for Michelle Obama directing the legal clinic.

    Your political career is dead, Daniel Fischel, then the dean, said he told Mr. Obama, gently. Mr. Obama turned the offer down. Two years later, he decided to run for the Senate. He canceled his course load and has not taught since.

    Dean Fischel simultaneously shows himself to be extraordinarily prescient about Obama’s potential rock-star quality, but spectacularly inept as a prophet attempting to divine the field in which he’d achieve it.

    As for Obama, I do think you’re absolutely right re Guinier, Bork, and the ruthless refusal to leave a paper trail that could haunt him.

    I’m thinking of offering a $1000 prize to the first person who can produce either a non-Photoshopped photo or video of Barack Obama smoking or any contemporaneous documentation as to how he escaped the student note-writing requirement at the Harvard Law Review. Of course, $1000 would be entirely insufficient. Hmmm. Maybe I should approach my long-ago client, Boone Pickens ….

    Beldar (0bd1bc)

  50. #40
    Beldar, you are too stiff. God! I guess you are the one who needs growing up here since you cant understand sarcasm.

    love2008 (0c8c2c)

  51. love2008,

    Please accept some friendly advice. Apologize for your earlier remark and for your subsequent snark with Beldar. He is unfailingly polite and always offers articulate and thoughtful contributions, while you are treating him like the new kid in class.

    DRJ (e4b6ac)

  52. #51
    He is unfailingly polite ??
    With all due respect DRJ, I dont think he has been polite. I think he needs to stay under your school of manners and be lectured by you on the basics of communication.

    love2008 (1b037c)

  53. Comment by Drumwaster — 7/30/2008 @ 7:49 am

    still better than if he had billed 30,000 hours.

    chas (fc0c5f)

  54. The no-cite edict was the rule when I was at law school. The idea is that profs don’t care that you can memorize random names related to the legal proposition, but want to know you understand the underlying ideas.

    That Obama hewed to this is entirely unexceptional.

    jpe (b7f2d7)

  55. Beldar — re Fishel’s comment about Obama’s career being over. I think it was generally accepted in South Side Chicago politics that Obama made a mistake in challenging the incumbent Rush rather than wait his turn. I don’t think Fishel was saying any more than that.

    But I think Fishel and others in Obama’s orbit among the faculty — especially the Clinton WH veteran Mikva who was something of a mentor to Obama – knew that any trail of scholarly writing that truly reflected Obama’s legal/political leanings would be an albatross around his neck for the rest of his life, and handicap any political career that might be in his future.

    He was clearly a political animal — the way he entered politics in his first run for office, and his decision to challenge Rush against all odds and contrary to the advice he was given.

    I don’t think anyone at Univ. of Chicago anticipated his 2004 Senate run because he sort of lucked into that when the GOP incumbent Patrick Fitzgerald (not the prosecutor) opted not to run for a second term, and the much stronger original GOP nominee Jack Ryan was forced to withdraw after the public release of his divorce file.

    WLS (26b1e5)

  56. Another Drew, I just caught an eyeful of TLove. I not only refuse to denounce JD, I concur! 😉

    Sorry, folks. (I’ve still got Sheila Kelley on the brain.)

    L.N. Smithee (ecc5a5)

  57. love2008,

    It’s easy to misunderstand sarcasm on the internet. That’s one reason Patterico links to his “I’m just kidding” post whenever he uses sarcasm and why commenters add phrases like “/sarcasm” when they post sarcastic comments.

    In reading your comments here, I think you have consistently represented yourself as an Obama supporter so I assumed your earlier comment was sarcastic. But that doesn’t mean all or even most people who read this blog know that or that everyone agrees with me. In addition, it’s offensive to imply or talk about killing someone, no matter how it’s intended.

    Thus, I think you are the one who needs to mend fences here.

    DRJ (e4b6ac)

  58. #57
    Alright. Anything you say me lady. For you I will do anything.
    I am sorry if my post was offensive.

    love2008 (0c8c2c)

  59. L.N….
    I too think TLove is one HOT lawyer.
    However, (as he gives a snide look, aside) the proprieties need to be observed.

    So, therefore, I denounce JD!

    Another Drew (8018ee)

  60. 1) love2008’s comment has been deleted.

    2) How does everyone know what TLove looks like? (Sorry, no time to read the comments lately.)

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  61. Never mind on #2.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  62. I decided that I am a terrible blogger.

    TLove (b8e7b4)

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