Barack Obama, The Audacity of Hope

Cover of "The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts ...

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Barack Obama, The Audacity of Hope, Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream, Vintage Books Edition July 2008

“Of course, we love Chicago,” as the comment on 1980’s famous band goes. When I first met Mr. Barack Obama on the occasion of City University school opening day on August 2, 1996, he was 32 and an elected congressman. With Ms. Michelle carrying a baby in her arm following him entering the college hall lobby, that was 16 years ago. In the autobiography of Barack Obama, the Audacity of Hope, Mr. Obama writes, “I met Michelle in the summer of 1988, while we were both working at Sidley & Austin, a large corporate law firm based in Chicago. Although she is three years younger than me, Michelle was already a practicing lawyer, having attended Harvard Law straight out of college. I had just finished my first year at law school and had been hired as a summer associate.”(p.386). Two young professionals with promising future came to the Big Apple, New York City, seeking advice of the senior members for the difficulty they were facing, and as I know that the Texas Governor George W. Bush and the White House couples Mr. and Mrs. Clintons, President and the First Lady, all offered their helps. Mrs. Hillary Clinton lived in Chicago when she was young. My graduate program adviser of Baruch Business School Ms. Mitchell, Tery was 34 at the time. It was said that two Michelles lapsed for only one year were appearing at the same time in the Harvard campus to be two of the few minority of African ethnics enrolling the prestige Harvard of law school and business school in their university days. Because the two schools were close they developed kind of affectionate emotion, therefore my adviser Ms. Terry Mitchell even wrote her doctorate thesis “America’s Problems and Needed Reforms: Confronting the Ethic of Personal Advantage” with a lot of law concepts(p.143, Ethics and Values, The Organizational Behavior Reader, Six Edition, 1996 & 1995 Prentice Hall, Inc., adviser Terry said the boy’s name “Terrence R. Mitchell” was printing error, she was Terry, diminutive of Theresa).

Of course, Obama loves Michelle, in page 402 he writes “In the end, I credit Michelle’s strength–her willingness to manage these tensions and make sacrifices on behalf of myself and the girls–with carrying us through the difficult times.” And Mr. Obama uses some paragraphs to depicting how he’s developing his character, in page 408, “There were men in my life–a step father with whom we lived for four years, and my grandfather, who along with my grandmother helped raise me the rest of the time–and both were good men who treated me with affection. But my relationships with them were necessarily partial, incomplete,” and “It was women, then, who provided the ballast in my life–my grandmother, whose dogged practicality kept the family afloat, and my mother, whose love and clarity of spirit kept my sister’s and my world centered. Because of them I never wanted for anything important. From them I would absorb the values that guide me to this day.” In the 1990’s avant-garde thinking of equality between the sexes, without the partisan taboo against subject of abortion right or gun control, a conception of emancipation would bring on the struggle between the two young professionals each other. Even the high school students in 1990’s date would go Dutch when they are dining at the restaurant after all. On the other hand, however, when the young couples Mr. and Mrs. Obama had decided to settle down, Mr. Obama would spend every evening when the congress was out of session, staying at home to baby-sit the baby himself. That is beyond generation X, Y or Z to be a new generation of good man. Their first child, described in page 400, “Then Malia was born, a Fourth of July baby, so calm and so beautiful, with big, hypnotic eyes that seemed to read the world the moment they opened.”

The 44th President of the USA, Mr. Barack Obama, has a military police grandfather who ever served in Patton’s army. Mrs. Hillary Clinton’s father Hugh Rodham used to served in Navy and they said that Mr. Hugh Rodham was a military police officer and proud to have a daughter like him. In Barack Obama autobiography, The Audacity of Hope, page 348, “…I explained that unlike some of the people in the crowd, I didn’t oppose all wars–that my grandfather had signed up for the war the day after Pearl Harbor was bombed and had fought in Patton’s army.” In 1994 Taiwan, there was an anecdote that the young Harvardman encouraged an African ethnic Canadian teacher Patrick Particular to marry the young USA sergeant Ms. Eva Ivory who served in the military police corps of Taiwan, but Ms. Eva Ivory declined the request.

There were some paragraphs about Obama’s family in Chapter 6 Faith, page 240, “I was not raised in a religious household. My maternal grandparents, who hailed from Kansas, had been steeped in religion as children: My grandfather had been raised by devout Baptist grandparents after his father had gone AWOL and his mother committed suicide, while my grandmother’s parents–who occupied a slightly higher station in the hierarchy of small-town, Great Depression society…” President Barack Obama is the Nobel Peace Award Laureate of 2006 November. President Obama also was the editor of Harvard University student magazine in his university years. Definitely President Obama is a Christian. But in the New York Times 2006 revealed that he had some Chicago Muslim connections. When I read the newspaper in 2006, I was thinking that would be some connections of social movement activists or election campaign organizing cadres.

In the autobiography of Barack Obama, The Audacity of Hope, there were introduction of law, politics, the Senate, the Constitution, the dividing and balancing of power, the Founding Fathers, the Congress and judicial system, the Supreme Court, etc. I checked out Barack Obama’s autobiography from library but found that it is a masterpiece, full of knowledge and worth keeping. We can read it in plain English with awe and complement our concepts in the shorts. In Chapter 1 Republican and Democrats, page 19, “The speaker’s voice may flare with passion; his arguments–about cuts to programs for the poor, or obstructionism on judicial appointments,” page 26, “endorsed George Bush, and delivered the blistering keynote address at the Republican National Convention–a no-holds-barred rant against the perfidy of John Kerry and his supposed weakness on national security. Ours was a brief exchange,” page 31, “That politics will need to reflect our lives as they are actually lived. It won’t be prepackaged, ready to pull off the shelf. It will have to be constructed from the best of our traditions and will have to account for the darker aspects of our past. We will need to understand just how we got to this place, this land of warring factions and tribal hatreds. And we will need to remind ourselves, despite all our differences, just how much we share: common hopes, common dreams, a bond that will not break.” Page 35, “But the country’s tectonic plates had shifted. Politics was no longer a pocketbook issue but a moral issue as well,” page 36, “As the child of a mixed marriage, my life would have been impossible,” page 38, “when my college friends and I stopped thinking and slipped into cant: the point at which the denunciations of capitalism or American imperialism came too easily, and the freedom from the constraints of monogamy or religion was proclaimed without understanding,” page 45, “So where does that leave us? Theoretically the Republican Party might have produced its own Clinton, a center-right leader who built on Clinton’s fiscal conservatism while moving more aggressively to revamp a creaky federal bureaucracy and experiment with market- or faith- based solutions to social policy.” Page 47 “Of course, there are those within the Democratic Party who tend toward similar zealotry. But those who do have never come close to possessing the power of a Rove or a Delay, the power to take over the party, fill it with loyalists…the need to raise money from economic elites to finance elections…John Kerry believes in maintaining the superiority of the U.S. military, Hillary Clinton believes in the virtues of capitalism, and just about every member of the Congressional Black Caucus believes Jesus Christ died for his or her sins.” In Chapter 7 Race, page 308, “Everywhere I went, I found immigrants anchoring themselves to whatever housing and work they could find, washing dishes or driving cabs or toiling in their cousin’s dry cleaners, saving money and building business and revitalizing dying neighborhoods, until they moved to the suburbs and raised children with accents that betrayed not the land of their parents but their Chicago birth certificates, teenagers who listened to rap and shopped at the mall and planned for futures as doctors and lawyers and engineers and even politicians.”

Dangerous. This the third autobiography which I read in English, ever since I bought Hillary Clinton’s Living History on October 23, 2003, driving my Toyota Altis 1.6 Break into Style hybrid sedan. That Toyota sedan had many problems. Although I purchased it all brand new from the local Toyota Assembly firm(also served as Toyota car dealer) via Toyota salesperson, I found that this car was assembled with an old, marked number engine(engine series number was rub off and carved new series number on the engine). After I sold this suspicious car within the same month after bumped into some killer covered by National Security Bureau in a lot witness occasion on July 13, 2004, I bought another autobiography of Bill Clinton’s My Life in August, 2005. This month I read Barack Obama’s The Audacity of Hope. I feel that reading these three autobiographies were like driving that Toyota sedan. I felt that dangerous. I think many people felt that before. But I wonder how people would feel when they have found out that we can do nothing about it.

David CK Chang, SSN057-86-4042,
July 18, 2012,
Internet Cafe,
New Taipei City


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