[T]he time between his first campaign for the Illinois State Senate in 1995 and his race for U.S. Senate in 2004-can fairly be called the "lost years," the period Obama seems least eager to talk about.But Obama wrote 40 columns for the Hyde Park Herald during those years, from which Kurtz extracts that Obama is "profoundly race-conscious" and "exceedingly liberal." I'm not so sure. Wasn't Obama saying what was politically advantageous for him to say at the time, in Chicago? And wasn't it good leverage for him to begin his climb to power in Chicago? I'm not convinced Obama is motivated by ideology.
IN THE COMMENTS: EnigmatiCore responds:
Would it be safe to say that he either:I agree that if he's motivated by ideology, he's liberal, though maybe not all that extremely. I think it's more likely that he's a politician seeking prestige and power, and I agree that we need to analyze how he would interact with a liberal Congress. But I do not assume that he will go along with a runaway liberal agenda. In fact, I'm concerned that McCain may be more oriented toward getting along with the Democratic Congress. Obama, unlike McCain, will want to be reelected, so he will take account of what the people want and establish his independence from the deeply vested interests of the congressional Democrats. McCain has a lifetime of strong ties developed within Congress, and Obama has scarcely spent any time in the place. So I'm thinking Obama will be more finely attuned to what is good for the country and less beholden to Congress.
* Is motivated by ideology, which evidence suggests is extremely liberal,
* Is not motivated by ideology but rather political expediency, and would be working with a Congress that is likely to be very liberal, meaning he would have to take non-expeditious stands in order to go against them?