Obama’s Focus Won Him Presidency

Posted December 7, 2009 at 3:50pm

He was accused of “palling around with terrorists— and sneered at for being a community organizer, but his opponent’s tactics couldn’t penetrate the armor of an improbable man destined to become president of the United States of America.

“Inside Obama’s Brain,— a book by Sasha Abramsky, takes readers on a journey with a young Barack Obama through adulthood and unveils a road map that propelled him into an implausible historic victory.

Abramsky, a journalist and a fellow at the think tank Demos, assembled a cadre of Obama’s friends, family, colleagues and rivals who all helped to provide a clearer understanding of what makes our 44th president tick and what inevitably equipped him to beat all odds.

Readers walk away with a sense of knowing that Obama’s core personality trait is one of extreme focus. According to those who knew Obama best — from his homeroom teacher in grade school to his colleagues at Harvard Law School — he instinctively knows how to “filter out surrounding white noise.—

This is clearly a trait that would prove to be invaluable during his 2008 presidential campaign. The book highlights the GOP’s three-pronged attack against the then-Illinois Senator: ties to indicted dealmaker Tony Rezko and affiliations with Bill Ayers and the infamous Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

According to Abramsky, Obama’s approach of nonengagement during the attacks related to Rezko and Ayers, and his concentration on more important topics, kept his campaign afloat.

Obama’s life strategy is outlined in the book: “Stay focused on your goals, don’t get distracted by the little things. Keep your life ordered, show determination, and things will start to break your way.—

Judson Miner, a Chicago attorney whose law firm hired Obama, said that he “can juggle lots of things, and compartmentalize, so one thing doesn’t interfere with another.—

Abramsky points out how Obama’s ability to unite people of diverse backgrounds and nationalities was because he lived in many worlds — wrapped in black Kenyan skin, raised by a white mother and grandparents from Kansas and spending numerous years living in Indonesia and Hawaii. His was a background that couldn’t be pigeonholed and one that would send a young Obama on a quest to reconcile his heritage.

In fact, “Inside Obama’s Brain— proves that those things that would at first blush look unfortunate turn out to be his ace in the hole.

His wife, Michelle, best sums up what it’s like to be inside Obama’s brain. At the Democratic National Convention, she said, “He knows that thread that connects us — our belief in America’s promise, our commitment to our children’s future — is strong enough to hold us together as one nation even when we disagree.—