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A President who thinks things through? Preposterous!

barack-obama2.jpgSure, the rhetoric and speechifying is great. But it’s because of stuff like this that Obama got my vote last month (This story comes from a long-time colleague/friend of Obama’s from the University of Chicago Law School):

Not so long ago, the phone rang in my office. It was Barack Obama.
On this occasion, he had an important topic to discuss: the controversy over President Bush’s warrantless surveillance of international telephone calls between Americans and suspected terrorists. I had written a short essay suggesting that the surveillance might be lawful. Before taking a public position, Obama wanted to talk the problem through.
In about 20 minutes, he and I investigated the legal details. He asked me to explore all sorts of issues: the president’s power as commander in chief, the Constitution’s protection against unreasonable searches and seizures, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the Authorization for Use of Military Force and more.
Obama wanted to consider the best possible defense of what Bush had done. To every argument I made, he listened and offered a counterargument. After the issue had been exhausted, Obama said he thought the program was illegal, but now had a better understanding of both sides. He thanked me for my time.
This was a pretty amazing conversation, not only because of Obama’s mastery of the legal details, but also because many prominent Democratic leaders had already blasted the Bush initiative as blatantly illegal. He did not want to take a public position until he had listened to, and explored, what might be said on the other side.
This is the Barack Obama I have known for nearly 15 years — a careful and evenhanded analyst of law and policy, unusually attentive to multiple points of view.

The whole article over at the Chicago Tribune is worth a read.

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Guy taught Constitutional Law. He has my vote.