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July 7, 2008
Despite Rhetoric, Obama a failure as an organizer
This piece in today's New York Times on Obama's "experience" as a community organizer in Chicago back in the 1980's is indicative of Obama's penchant for talking big with little to back it up:More "Failure we can believe in..."
Mr. Obama's three-year stretch as a grass-roots organizer has figured prominently, if not profoundly, in his own narrative of his life. Campaigning in Iowa, Mr. Obama called it "the best education I ever had, better than anything I got at Harvard Law School," an education that he said was "seared into my brain." He devoted about one-third of the 442 pages in his memoir, "Dreams From My Father," to chronicling that Chicago organizing period.
In recent days, Mr. Obama has imbued those years with even greater significance, invoking them last week as inspiration for his plan to deliver social services through religious organizations. He told a conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church on Saturday that as a community organizer he "let Jesus Christ into my life" and "I dedicated myself to discovering his truth and carrying out his works."
It is clear that the benefit of those years to Mr. Obama dwarfs what he accomplished. Mr. Kellman said that Mr. Obama had built the organization's following among needy residents and black ministers, but "on issues, we made very little progress, nothing that would change poverty on the South Side of Chicago."
When he ran for the Senate in 2004, Mr. Obama told members of the community organization that had employed him that "when I left to go to law school, I couldn't tell exactly whether I had gotten more out of this than the people I was working with."
Hat Tip: Ed Lasky