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Obama new video features 1993 never seen interview of Obama in Chicago

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A new video, "Becoming Barack: Evolution of a Leader" features a 12 minute, never seen 1993 taped interview of Barack Obama plus other footage of early interviews that have not surfaced for years. The video, to be released on Aug. 11, also includes interviews with Chicagoans who knew the now President Obama when he was a community organizer and later on, after Harvard Law School, with Project Vote.

Obama, in the 1993 interview, talks about how at first he rebuffed an offer from Project Vote's Sandy Newman to lead a Chicago area voter registration drive. Obama said in that interview he was too busy writing the book that would eventually become his memoir However, he reconsidered a few weeks later, he said, once Carol Moseley Braun won the Illinois Democratic Senate primary and became the nominee.

There is also little seen video from Chicago's WMAQ-channel 5 and a 1990 clip of Obama at Harvard.

Obama also strikes themes and uses language in the 1993 interview that will reappear in his campaigns for senate and the White House. He sounds the same in 1993 as he does now, but his hair is darker--and he has more of it!

Back in 1993, Obama did not see how fast his political career would move.

"My general view about politics and running for office is that if you end up being fortunate enough to have the opportunity to serve, it is because you got a track record of service in the community and I think right now, I am still building up that track record and if it, a point comes where I think that I might do more good in a political office" then somewhere else, "I might think about it, but that time is certainly in the future."

I write more about this DVD over at

Stuart Goldman and Little Dizzy Home Video produced the 55-minute project.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on August 4, 2009 6:28 AM.

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