The New Yorker has, I assume for a limited time, put on its website a 2004 profile of a young African-American running to represent Illinois in the United States Senate.*
I can’t imagine it was more fun to read then than now. Among the highlights: the prescient sentiment of all who had met him that he was destined for great things, and his alarmingly remarkable consistency.
To an outsider with only the broadest idea of Chicago politics, Obama’s victory in the Democratic primary actually looked like a victory over cynicism. He had not slimed his opponents. Nor was he the candidate of the fabled local machine. . .
. . . Obama, meanwhile, attracted legions of fervent volunteers. “People call it drinking the juice,” Dan Shoman, the political director of Obama’s campaign, said. “People start drinking the Obama juice. You can’t find enough for them to do.”
And about the Bush tax cuts:
Ryan told me that he will also be watching closely for contradictions between Obama’s statements in the primary campaign and what he is saying now to the general electorate. “Voters, in my view, have a high antenna for inconsistency,” Ryan said. He had already heard about shifts, for instance, in Obama’s position on the Bush tax cuts. Back when Obama was speaking to Democrats alone, he had called for across-the-board repeals—now he was talking about repealing only the tax cuts of the wealthiest five per cent. (The Ryan campaign was unable to document this alleged discrepancy.)
* I, of course, read it from my snazzy Complete New Yorker hard drive.