I was listening to the podcast titled The Making of Obama last night on Spotify, and it was a fascinating tale of Obama's meteoric rise through politics from his humble community organizing beginnings.
This storytelling told unabashedly of Obama's doubts about his future and his growing ambitions as he wins a seat in the Illinois state senate, fails to beat long-time Representative Bobby Rush for a seat in Congress, and becomes convinced that a seat in the state Senate was the right direction for his future. Throughout the process, there are emotional highs and lows, stakeholders like campaign managers come and go, loyalties are questions, and lifelong friendships are made.
I've often wondered how politicians end up being politicians, and although Obama's motivation is more unquestionable, given his background as a community organizer, the strategic leaps and bounds required of someone pursuing a political career is remarkable. But maybe it's also humanizing, because all that political success is a macrocosm of individual success. Obama has to earn credibility, learn from his mistakes, and, most importantly, transcend and wield advantageously people's perspective of him ("My name is Obama. My dad's from Kenya, and my mom's from Kansas.").
The podcast was an edifying experience for me, and now it's time to read Michelle Obama's autobiography, Becoming, next!