During the 2004 U.S. Senate race in Illinois, candidate Barack Obama, in a quiet, reflective moment, pondered his emerging place in history.
But his campaign manager, Jim Cauley of Pikeville, was thinking of something else, trying to keep Obama focused on the battle at hand.
"We were together in the old State Capitol in Springfield, in the office of Abraham Lincoln, where Lincoln had been a lawmaker for the state of Illinois," said Cauley, "and Barack, an introspective guy, looked around for a few minutes without saying anything and then asked me, 'Jimmy, do you ever wonder what Lincoln would think about a black man being in this position?'
"I told him, man, I don't think about that stuff. I'm just trying to get you elected." In 1990, Barack Obama became the first African-American to be elected president of the Harvard Law Review, maybe the most prestigious law journal in the country.
Jim Chen, today the dean of the University of Louisville law school, was the guy in the Harvard class whom Obama beat to become president of the Review.
"When Obama won, I recall that Ken Mack hugged him for the victory. Mack was a black law professor," Chen said.
"It made me realize that history was being made. I knew Obama was destined for greatness." On Tuesday, Cauley and Chen, along with the world, will watch Barack Obama be sworn into office as the first black president of the United States of America.
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