Obama more liberal than he admits

Kenneth Vogel, Politico:

During his first run for elected office, Barack Obama played a greater role than his aides now acknowledge in crafting liberal stands on gun control, the death penalty and abortion– positions that appear at odds with the more moderate image he’s projected during his presidential campaign.

The evidence comes from an amended version of an Illinois voter group’s detailed questionnaire, filed under his name during his 1996 bid for a state Senate seat.

Late last year, in response to a Politico story about Obama’s answers to the original questionnaire, his aides said he “never saw or approved” the questionnaire.

They asserted the responses were filled out by a campaign aide who “unintentionally mischaracterize(d) his position.”

But a Politico examination determined that Obama was actually interviewed about the issues on the questionnaire by the liberal Chicago non-profit group that issued it. And it found that Obama – the day after sitting for the interview – filed an amended version of the questionnaire, which appears to contain Obama’s own handwritten notes adding to one answer.

The two questionnaires, provided to Politico with assistance from political sources opposed to Obama’s presidential campaign, were later supplied directly from the group, Independent Voters of Illinois – Independent Precinct Organization. Obama and his then-campaign manager, who Obama’s campaign asserts filled out the questionnaires, were familiar with the group, its members and positions, since both were active in it before his 1996 state Senate run.

Through an aide, Obama, who won the group’s endorsement as well as the statehouse seat, did not dispute that the handwriting was his. But he contended it doesn’t prove he completed, approved – or even read – the latter questionnaire.

“Sen. Obama didn’t fill out these state Senate questionnaires – a staffer did – and there are several answers that didn't reflect his views then or now,” said Tommy Vietor, a spokesman for Obama’s campaign, in an emailed statement. “He may have jotted some notes on the front page of the questionnaire at the meeting, but that doesn't change the fact that some answers didn't reflect his views. His eleven years in public office do.”

...
The answer sound Clintonian. Since the Clinton campaign was probably responsible for surfacing the document that adds to to the irony. What it really reveals as the story goes through the nuances of changes he has made in his positions on these issues is how calculating he has become at hading his liberalism and he still finds himself as the most liberal senator in Washington.

There is much more to this story. Hopefully the GOP will be taking notes.

Robert Novak
watches Obama run from the abortion question again at an appearance in Pennsylvania. The abortion issue is not one that favors Democrats in this election.

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