Beyond his appearance, what set him apart was his approach to argument, the lifeblood of the law school and the constant occupation of the young lawyers-in-training. While other students were determined to prove the merits of their beliefs through logic and determination, Obama preferred to listen, seek others' views, and find a middle way.Or how about this one.
...his first and foremost goal, it always seemed to me, was to put out a first-rate publication. And he was not going to let politics or ideology get in the way of doing that.What I learned is - of course - that he's always been a pragmatist who is open to ideas over ideology.
I'd suggest that comes primarily from the time he spent while in college at Columbia thinking deeply about his own identity and the course he wanted his own life to take. As we've heard recently, this was his conclusion.
The only way my life makes sense is if, regardless of culture, race, religion, tribe, there is this commonality, these essential human truths and passions and hopes and moral precepts that are universal. And that we can reach out beyond our differences. If that is not the case, then it is pretty hard for me to make sense of my life. So that is at the core of who I am.I say all that because today Politico has published a pretty nasty article about how the Obama campaign has stumbled out of the gate when it comes to this election. Of course the hit piece is full of overheated nonsense. But this part expresses something we're hearing fairly often these days.
Some key Democrats say they have been dismayed watching Obama become a divider not a uniter...The DC village pundit crowd is into their "oh-no's" that the President is actually arguing a position and the poutragers are saying, "finally, he's dropped the bipartisanship and is fighting."
“This guy’s narrative is to be big,” complained one veteran of the 2008 campaign. “How do you capture that in a campaign when all anybody is focused on is the daily tit-for-tat?
All of them are falling into the same trap of either/or thinking I wrote about before. What they don't seem to be able to grasp is that a human being can be BOTH a negotiator AND a fighter. When it comes to President Obama's approach, that applies not only to foreign policy - but how he deals with Republicans. We can take these same words he spoke at his inauguration to foreign leaders and (perhaps with a bit of editing) apply them to domestic politics as well.
We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense. And for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken -- you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you...Or we can once again ask them to look at this video from way back in 2007 and suggest that President Obama has reached the "crush them" stage when it comes to dealing with Republican nonsense, but that his hand would still be extended to those who are "willing to unclench their fist."
To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history, but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.