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Do you think anything that went on in his childhood affected his political policies of...

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changingthings | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 25, 2009 at 2:23 PM via web

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Do you think anything that went on in his childhood affected his political policies of the present?

like his experiences in new york, hawaii, kenya, and chicago--did anything that happened there impact his views as a president?

for example--his mother died with the lack of insurance being a main role, so he's a proponent of healthcare.

 

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted August 25, 2009 at 5:07 PM (Answer #2)

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This is a very powerful question about the President and helps to clarify a great deal about the President's Goals.  Certainly, President Obama's time as a Constitutional Law Professor at the University of Chicago impacted his understanding of the Constitution.  His mere mention of the word "empathy" upon nominating Justice Sotomayor evoked a national debate about the nature of Constitutional interpretation in a Supreme Court Justice.  Such an experience in teaching law helped to lay the groundwork in the President's articulation of his approach to the nomination of a Supreme Court Justice.

I think that the President's time in Chicago as a community organizer helped shape his idea that enlisting public approval has helped shape his approach in garnering support for health care.  Going out to different locations, meeting with individuals and talking about policies and procedures, as well as attempting to dispel myths and bring critical issues to light are all things he did as a community organizer and are being done now as President.

Finally, I would cite the President's remarks about the incident with Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and the Cambridge police.  In speaking openly and honestly about this situation, it was painfully evident that the President spoke from personal experience.  This was very telling when he discussed how he could not try to break into the White House.  He spoke with a great deal of personal relevancy and honesty, and while his remarks did cause a great deal of controversy, this is only testimony to how race in America is a very sensitive issue and one borne of personal experience on all sides- including the President's.  In addition to this, I would also submit that his hosting of the injured parties at the White House is something that had defined much of the President's experience as a legislator, when he would seek to bring consensus amongst individuals in both the procedural chambers or in a game of basketball or at the card table.  The idea of bringing consensus to different factions is something that the President made a habit prior to being the President.

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lrwilliams | College Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted October 22, 2010 at 5:50 AM (Answer #3)

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I think it is safe to say that President Obama's childhood has an influence on his political beliefs. All of us form our beliefs and opinions as children and then may change them as adults as we have different experiences

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