Barack Obama wearing his professorial hat

July 30, 2008

There was a great article in the New York Times yesterday about Barack Obama's time as a faculty member at the University of Chicago Law School.‚  The timing was uncanny for me, as I had recently pulled some CD's out of our archive room and been listening to some appearances that Obama made as a guest on Odyssey, the talk show I used to produce here at Chicago Public Radio.‚  We had Obama, then a State Senator and Senior Lecturer at the Law School, on the program 3 times between 1998 and 2002.‚  When he joined us, he was more than willing to set aside his political persona and put on his academic hat.‚  He participated in discussions on the evolution of the right to vote, the politics of electoral redistricting, and the uneasy relationship between slavery and the constitution in early America. Here's an excerpt from the call-in segment for the Slavery and the Constitution show that aired in September of 2001.‚  The other voices you'll hear are the host, Gretchen Helfrich, and UIC historian Richard John. Barack Obama on WBEZ It's interesting to compare this academic side of Obama to the ways he articulates his political stances while campaigning for the Presidency in 2008.‚  I hear clear differences between now and then, but I think you can still hear some the Law School academic come through on the campaign trial.‚  What do you think?