Why Did Barack Obama Write a Book Before He Ran for Office?

Barack Obama's Second Book The Audacity of Hope. Why did Obama write it before running for president?

Barack Obama’s second book written just prior to his bid for the Presidency of the United States of America

When Barack Obama attended Harvard Law School, he was elected President of the Harvard Law Review. This historic first for an African-American gained national attention and earned Obama a book deal to cover the issues of race relations. After graduating Harvard magna cum laude with a Doctorate of Law, Obama took a professorship with the University of Chicago Law School and worked as a civil rights attorney. During this time, he completed his first book, Dreams From My Father. The book introduced Obama to the public and demonstrated a deep understanding and appreciation of the issues of race in America. It positioned Obama as a thoughtful, intelligent and well-rounded person. The book won high praise.  The book “may be the best-written memoir ever produced by an American politician,” wrote Time columnist Joe Klein.

How Barack Obama's book Propelled Him to National Attention

Barack Obama’s first book–written while he was a Constitutional Law Professor at the University of Chicago

This first book launched Obama’s local political career.  He became active in state politics and won a state senate seat one year after the book’s publication. He served in the Illinois State Senate from 1996-2004.  In 2004, Obama won an Illinois seat in the United States Senate. Obama won that race in a landslide. With his landslide victory, his first book was re-released by the publisher and achieved far more impressive sales.

As a new rising star in the Democratic party, he was invited to speak at the 2004 Democratic National Convention where he was viewed nationally by over 9 million people. Obama wowed the convention. This new national fame lead to a contract for a second book. Obama then wrote and published The Audacity of Hope, which outlined his political philosophy on a national scale. The book is arguably an outline for his presidency. In fact, anyone who has ever read The Audacity of Hope completely understands President Obama’s actions throughout his campaign and presidency.  This book introduced the nation and the world to the type of leader Obama would be. Having such a sound political philosophy in place before Obama ran for president made it easy for his campaign to recruit students and volunteers to support his bid and the book helped make clear to voters exactly what they were voting for and why.

Obama’s main democratic opponent,  Hillary Clinton, was, of course, very well-known. Her husband had had a successful presidency and she was considered democratic royalty. Other candidates had been on the national scene much longer than Obama. By writing a book, Obama helped overcome his personal and ideological obscurity to become a serious candidate.  He first upset Clinton for the Democratic nomination and then beat a 50 year veteran of national politics, John McCain, to become president.

The power of a book to clearly outline a philosophy or agenda, introduce an idea or person, or cast a vision has been understood for years. Whether you agree with the philosophies of the leaders who have introduced themselves to the world through their books or not, one thing is certain, books have been responsible for many political victories. In fact, every candidate in the current Republican Primary has written a book about their ideals to help their followers better understand their views.  Some, such as Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain have even been accused of putting more effort into publicizing their books than in running for President.

A final thought on why Barack Obama would write a book before he ran for office: His name is Barack Hussein Obama. That name alone is enough to produce a staggering wave of prejudice and ignorance. His book about his life, history and journey of self-discovery served as a stone breakwater to that wave and a strong foundation for his assent in the world of politics.

Any person seeking to be heard by the public can gain a similar benefit through writing a book. Even if one does not have Barack Obama’s brilliance as a writer, or his organized, concise legal mind, a gifted professional ghostwriter can help craft a memoir that tells a story that relates to the hearts and minds of people, casts a vision for leadership and outlines a philosophy that deserves to be noticed.  Whether you seek to spread your ideas for a political bid or whether you hope to explain your business or service better to potential clients, Your Ghostwriter Online is ready to help.  Click here for your free, limited-time, no-obligation book consultation to see how we can help you impact the world through your book.

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T.R. Locke

Author and Ghostwriter at Your Ghostwriter Online
I am a bestselling author and ghostwriter who loves helping others tell their stories through books. I have written more than 20 books and proposals for professionals including professors, motivational speakers, UN peace negotiators, pastors, athletes, celebrities, politicians, humanitarians, lawyers, doctors, brokers, and thought leaders from around the world. I'm happy to help you, too.
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