Stint in OC inspired Obama to run?

Last month's edition of The Atlantic profiles Barack Obama in several articles. One of them, "Teacher and Apprentice," a must-read piece on the Obama-Clinton relationship by Marc Ambinder, contains a couple of theories about what lit a fire under the man's ass and made him decide to seek presidency.

One such theory involves our fair county:

Many Obama friends and advisers believe that the realization he actually could be president first hit Obama on December 1, 2006, which happened to be World AIDS Day. Obama appeared at the megachurch in Orange County, California, run by Rick Warren, the best-selling author of The Purpose Driven Life and an emerging force in national politics. Sam Brownback, the Republican senator from Kansas, spoke first. “Welcome to my house,” he said to Obama, as the crowd laughed. When Obama rose to speak, he replied, “There is one thing I’ve got to say, Sam: This is my house, too. This is God’s house.” Before an audience of socially conservative evangelical Christians, Obama then called for “realism” and advocated the use of condoms to control the spread of AIDS. As the next day’s Orange County Register described it, Obama received a “hearty standing ovation.” Could any other Democrat, Obama wondered, talk to evangelicals about condoms in Africa?

Read the entire piece here.


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