Barack Obama - the early years

ABC's Jake Tapper reports  on a newly discovered 1993 video interview with a young law instructor and former community organizer, Barack Obama.  

The 16 year old video, shot by a recently graduated aspiring film maker for a potential documentary about African-American role models was resurrected and has now been repackaged as "Becoming Barack: Evolution of a Leader."   

The early thoughts of the young lawyer/community leader/law instructor/autobiographer foreshadow the thoughts and actions of today's president.   

"Politics does matter," Mr. Obama insisted in the 1993 interview. "It can make the difference in terms of a benefits check. It can make the difference in terms of school funding. Citizens can't just remove themselves from that process. They actually have to engage themselves and not just leave it to the professionals."

Describing his leadership of a voter registration drive the previous year focused on African-American voters, Mr. Obama says, "In a media age like this, you really have to reach out to young people and show that registration was hip, was popular, was trendy."


Obama describes how, in the midst of writing his memoir Dreams From My Father, he initially turned down the offer to work for Project Vote, though the Democratic nomination of Braun to the Senate changed his mind.

"At that point, I realized that this realized that this presented an opportunity in Illinois to enfranchise and engage a lot of African-American voters that previously had not been involved," he says. "Our task was simple. It was to get disenfranchised communities, minority communities, low-income communities, to turn out to vote."

A few years later, Obama ran for his first political elective office, Illinois state senator. 

And the rest, as they say, is history.