For a guy who spent two terms in the White House and had multiple books written about him, it’s surprising how little we know and how incurious the media is about any of it.
This is a typical example.
“Mr. Obama left Harvard with a blueprint for remaking American democracy. Written with Robert Fisher, a friend and former economics professor, the 250-page manuscript had the working title of “Transformative Politics.”“Life after graduation proved busier than either Mr. Obama or Mr. Fisher anticipated, and they never found time to whip their draft into publishable shape. As Mr. Obama became one of the most scrutinized figures on the planet, many of the manuscript’s pages gathered dust in Mr. Fisher’s basement. News of the abandoned book came to light only in 2017 after the publication of “Rising Star,” the historian David J. Garrow’s mammoth biography of Mr. Obama. Buried inside more than 1,000 pages of densely packed text, Mr. Garrow’s discovery attracted little attention. When I reached out to Mr. Garrow in the summer of 2019 for help getting a copy of the text, he told me I was the first person to ask.”
“Mr. Obama and Mr. Fisher’s plan hinged on recruiting blue-collar whites back into a reborn version of the March on Washington coalition. According to Mr. Obama and Mr. Fisher, these votes could be won over with a platform that appealed to both the values and the material interests of working people. That meant shifting away from race-based initiatives toward universal economic policies whose benefits would, in practice, tilt toward African Americans — in short, “use class as a proxy for race.”