Obama praised Supreme Court affirmative action ruling in 2003, applauded racial 'set aside plans'
“Affirmative action and set asides” were important to Obama, too, as he plotted his early political career in Chicago. The Defender reported on January 29, 1998 that the state senator from Chicago backed John Schmidt, Mayor Richard Daley’s former campaign manger, in the Democratic gubernatorial primary.
Obama named Schmidt’s support for “affirmative action and set asides” among his reasons for endorsing Schmidt over Roland Burris, who would 11 years later hold Obama’s U.S. Senate seat after he became president.
In May 1999, Obama moved to short-circuit a state senate resolution asking Illinois’ nine public universities to collect statistics about the admissions, enrollment and test scores of minority students. The Washington, D.C.-based Center for Equal Opportunity had requested the data.
That group, Obama complained, was “systematically attempting to dismantle affirmative action at public universities all over the country.”
Walter Dudycz, the state senator who had proposed the measure, ultimately withdrew it — but not before telling the Chicago Daily Herald that he resented being called a racist by some African-American state senators.
News & Politics