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How Obama won over the University Of Chicago's Infamously Right-Wing Faculty

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TeamJordan23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 07:17 PM
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How Obama won over the University Of Chicago's Infamously Right-Wing Faculty
What the University of Chicago right thinks of Obama.

Jason Zengerle, The New Republic Published: Wednesday, July 30, 2008

In the spring of 2000, not long after Barack Obama was trounced in the Democratic primary for a South Side Chicago congressional seat, Daniel Fischel staged an intervention. Meeting with Obama in the main lounge at the University of Chicago Law School, where Fischel was then dean and Obama was a part-time senior lecturer, Fischel offered Obama some unsolicited advice. "I told him that it was obvious his political career was going nowhere," Fischel recalls, "and that he really ought to think about doing something else."

The particular "something else" Fischel had in mind was a full-time tenured professorship; to sweeten the offer, Fischel said the law school would even hire Obama's wife, Michelle, to run its legal clinic. Although the move would require Obama to give up his state Senate seat, Fischel tried to convince his junior colleague that Chicago professor might be a more natural role than Chicago politician for a cerebral guy like him. "I mentioned people who'd been faculty members like Scalia and Posner and Easterbrook and many others who had gone on to very distinguished careers outside of academia or in combination with academia," Fischel says. "I told him he could be a faculty member as well as a public intellectual."

Obama declined Fischel's overture, saying that he wanted to give elected politics another shot. And today, of course, it's hard to find any fault with the wisdom of that decision. Still, the episode is interesting not only as a counterfactual (how much does Hillary Clinton wish Obama had spent last December grading Con Law exams instead of stumping in Iowa?) but as a window onto Obama's relationship with those who don't share his ideology. The University of Chicago Law School, after all, is a famously conservative institution--the birthplace of the law-and-economics movement and the incubator of numerous conservative intellectuals; Fischel himself literally wrote (with Easterbrook) one of the fundamental books on law and economics, in addition to another book arguing that the government's prosecution of Michael Milken was unjust. Yet, eight years ago, there was something about Obama that made Fischel and other Chicago conservative legal scholars want Obama to be their colleague--and today, at least for some of them, maybe even their president.

Continue Reading: http://www.tnr.com/politics/story.html?id=86dd0277-c6ee...
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 07:20 PM
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1. Interesting. I've never heard of a dean meeting anywhere to woo
a part-time lecturer.
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 07:27 PM
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2. I remember some snark
post during the primaries on DU that stated that..no wonder Obama was so rw teaching at that rw, The University of Chicago.

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.
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Romulox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 09:02 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. Ummm...."As an expert witness, Fischel has testified on behalf of Charles Keating, Ken Lay...
and Jeffrey Skilling"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Fischel

From the link in the OP:

"I mentioned people who'd been faculty members like Scalia and Posner and Easterbrook..."

You realize that Daniel Fischel, Antonin Scalia, Richard Posner, and Frank Easterbrook are all unrepentant RW hacks, right??? :hi:
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 10:14 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Yes, but that doesn't mean
Obama is and that was point. First of all Obama is not rw and just because he taught there doesn't make him one.
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Romulox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 07:53 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. Obama has surrounded himself with RW Chicago school economists
"First of all Obama is not rw and just because he taught there doesn't make him one."

This board and the entire blogosphere has been howling about Obama's pivots to the right (FISA, NAFTA, Iraq war, etc.) Obama has appointed rightwing economists that support deregulation, globalism, and free trade to key staff positions. His chief economist during the primary season was the neoliberal Austin Goolsbee, U of Chicago professor as well as chief economist to the DLC. His current economic advisor, Jason Furman, is chiefly noted for his defense of Wal Mart.

He is a centrist, at best.
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KansDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 07:32 PM
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3. Man, that's one sweet offer!
The particular "something else" Fischel had in mind was a full-time tenured professorship; to sweeten the offer, Fischel said the law school would even hire Obama's wife, Michelle, to run its legal clinic.

Obama would have been set for life! Fortunately, his devotion to the common man will propel him to the White House--and common men everywhere will be all the better off...
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Muttocracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 07:35 PM
Response to Original message
4. nevermind - I guess this is next week's issue?
Edited on Wed Jul-23-08 07:42 PM by JoeIsOneOfUs
I like that last paragraph!
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