The Amateur – Chapters 2 – 3


This continues the summary of Ed Klein’s fascinating read, The Amateur. It’s much better if you read it yourself of course.

Chapter 2

A Ghostly Presence

While under the wing of Chicago Law School Professor Baird, Obama was supposed to be writing a book on voting rights. Instead, he decided to switch to an autobiography. The Professor’s reaction was “I was astonished. He was all of 30 years old and he was writing his autobiography?”

Obama taught at the law school for 12 years. He was a ghostly presence on the faculty according to Klein – rarely seen and virtually never heard from.

He was not at lunch or workshops according to the future interim dean of the law school, Richard Epstein, who said, “I did not see any signs of intellectual curiosity or power. He did not have a way of listening to you that drew you in. But it was rarely the case that you could figure out what he thought…” Apparently, Obama never authored a scholarly article and was never tenured.

Epstein said Obama saw himself as a serious intellectual but Epstein did not.

Baird said he would have liked it if Obama was more involved. He said he was an excellent teacher and his students loved him.

He also said there was nothing in Obama’s experience at the law school that prepared him for a leadership role.

Chapter 3

You Keep Out of This

In 1996, Obama was elected to the Illinois Senate. Laura Anderson, the deputy chief of staff to the Republican leader of the Senate, said he rarely showed up, had no interest in the process or in learning how to be a good senator or even learning about government itself. He wanted to stand on the Senate floor and give speeches.

He did oppose a law that would have banned late-term partial birth abortions, a gruesome procedure.

A nurse, Jill Stanek, testified before the Health and Human Services Committee that babies were being aborted alive and allowed to die in soiled utility rooms. Obama was chairman of the committee and prevented the Live Baby Bill from even getting to a hearing. Post-birth abortions are apparently fine with him.

…to be continued…

Dr. Richard Epstein, Barack Obama’s Colleague –