From a New Yorker profile of Obama in 2007:
A potential crisis in the Social Security system is a long way off. Why, then, would a new President spend political capital on yet another tax hike when he will almost certainly seek to undo the Bush tax cuts for more immediate demands, like universal health care? When I asked Obama about this, he smiled and leaned forward, as if eager to explain that my premise was precisely the politically calibrated approach that he wanted to challenge. “What I think youâ€™re asserting is that it makes sense for us to continue hiding the ball,â€ Obama said, â€œand not tell the American people the truthâ€””
I interrupted: “Politically it makes senseâ€””
He finished the sentence: “â€”to not tell people what we really think?”
And this is Ali Abunimah, also writing in 2007:
Over the years since I first saw Obama speak I met him about half a dozen times, often at Palestinian and Arab-American community events in Chicago including a May 1998 community fundraiser at which Edward Said was the keynote speaker….
The last time I spoke to Obama was in the winter of 2004 at a gathering in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood. He was in the midst of a primary campaign to secure the Democratic nomination for the United States Senate seat he now occupies. But at that time polls showed him trailing.
As he came in from the cold and took off his coat, I went up to greet him. He responded warmly, and volunteered, “Hey, I’m sorry I haven’t said more about Palestine right now, but we are in a tough primary race. I’m hoping when things calm down I can be more up front.” He referred to my activism, including columns I was contributing to the The Chicago Tribune critical of Israeli and US policy, “Keep up the good work!”
How completely predictable that Obama is eager to say what he “really thinks” when (1) what he “really thinks” is inaccurate and (2) it serves political power, but is not eager to do so when (3) what he “really thinks” is accurate and (4) it requires confronting political power. (Of course, god only knows what Obama truly believes about Israel/Palestine at this point.)
PREVIOUSLY: “Power was taking her son.”