My View: When the president was my professor
Noni Ellison-Southall asked her old law school professor, President Barack Obama, to sign her class syllabus.
February 25th, 2013
05:00 AM ET

My View: When the president was my professor

Noni Ellison-SouthallBy Noni Ellison-Southall, Special to CNN

Editor's note: Noni Ellison-Southall serves as senior counsel for Turner Broadcasting System Inc., which operates CNN, and heads Turner’s music division. She is on the boards of the Urban League of Greater Atlanta, MARTA, the Atlanta Speech School and the National Association for Multi-Ethnicity in Communications. She is a graduate of Howard University and University of Chicago Law School.

(CNN) - I was in a dead sleep the night of February 13 when I got an unexpected phone call. President Barack Obama would be visiting a preschool in nearby Decatur, Georgia, just days after he’d announced a priority on early childhood education. I was invited to hear him speak.

It would be special to hear the president addressing the importance of education, but especially for me. He was my law school professor. I wondered if he, now the president of the United States, was aware that he’d had a profound impact on my life years earlier at the University of Chicago Law School?

I didn’t have long to reflect. My mind was racing as reality set in. With only 12 hours till showtime, what would I wear? What should I say? Would he remember me from class? I needed to get my camera, and of course, my syllabus from “Current Issues in Racism and Law,” the class he’d taught.

It was stored safely in a green binder in an old leather briefcase in the basement with my law books. He’d apologized in the notes for messy copies, a consequence of not having a teacher’s assistant. “On the other hand,” he’d written in the syllabus, “my wife tells me that she wouldn’t have minded getting the professor’s notations on her reading material when she was in law school.” I wasn’t sure if he would sign it, but I planned to ask.

At a recreation center in Decatur, I sat in the row with Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and Sylvia Reed, his mother. It’s a modest and very intimate space. There was festive music playing, press and security everywhere and a colorful banner that read “Preschool for All” hanging on the wall. Teachers walked around, giggling and taking pictures in front of the podium with the presidential seal affixed. A sense of excitement and anticipation filled the venue. It was surreal. Was I really going to meet the president of the United States today, all those years after I’d met him the first time?

When he entered the room, stood behind the podium and began his speech, I was on my feet with pride and excitement. I was pleasantly surprised that the president seemed to have the same mannerisms and demeanor he’d had as a law school professor 18 years ago. As he spoke about the importance of education at the earliest possible age, I thought about Mrs. Mary Washington from Prairie Elementary School in Lafayette, Louisiana, a teacher who spent many hours outside of class to ensure I could read at grade level, and who encouraged my mom to get me a tutor, and Ms. Verna Ruffin, the Edgar Martin school band director who took a special interest in me and a teacher whom I’ve kept in touch with over the years.

I remember, too, the impact of Obama’s class during my tenure at the University of Chicago.

I enrolled in “Current Issues in Racism and the Law” because I wanted to further my understanding of the themes that dominated the race debate in the United States and the laws that emerged from it. In a school where discussions about race and law didn’t always feel welcome, Obama’s class provided a safe haven to analyze and discuss the complexity and diversity of opinions around racial gerrymandering, race and the criminal justice system and affirmative action. It was hard work; I remember leaving his class intellectually and emotionally drained. Regardless of what I said in his classroom, Obama never appeared to judge me, or other students. Instead, he challenged me to consider every perspective, a challenge that made me into a better law student, and makes me a better lawyer now.

I’d once imagined myself as a civil rights lawyer, but I came to realize that I could perhaps have a bigger impact by going into corporate law. I was sometimes the first and only woman or African-American in my group, and still feel it’s my responsibility to open the door and help others through it. As a direct result of what I learned in Obama’s classroom, I continue to be passionate about the issues we discussed, to make time to participate in my community and to challenge myself to consider every perspective.

For this gift, I had to say “thank you” to the president. I am proof that he did his part, long before he was president of the United States, to equip students with the critical-thinking skills and education necessary to guide our democracy and write that next great chapter in the American story.

After the president concluded his remarks, he walked over and I shared my story. He said he remembered me. He wanted to know what I was doing now. We laughed, something I don’t remember doing between the heavy topics we discussed in class.

And he did autograph my syllabus with his name and these words: “Proud of you!”

The opinions expressed are solely those of Noni Ellison-Southall.

soundoff (683 Responses)
  1. Kathleen

    A great tribute and story. Thanks for this! I hope you can ignore the many stupid comments made here which make me ashamed to be an American.

    March 8, 2013 at 7:42 am |
    • Valerie Hammond

      I agree...“If you’re walking down the right path and you’re willing to keep walking, eventually you’ll make progress. ” ~~ Barack Obama

      March 8, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
  2. Will Miller

    Thank you for sharing this Noni. It's refreshing to hear a fresh perspective on the past of the President. His statement that he is proud of you is well grounded. I wish you every continued success and happiness. – Willers

    March 5, 2013 at 7:46 pm |
  3. jim

    More pathetic pandering to Obama, who was never a professor anyhow.

    March 4, 2013 at 8:37 pm |
  4. Cake

    Can I join the mafia, oops I meant the us government? Wait I'm better than that!

    March 4, 2013 at 6:27 pm |
    • Cake

      Corrupted pile of America! Democrats and Republican wing nuts! People still fight for their lying corrupted asses!? Funny fact, they're in it together! But most of you fight so hard and won't stop and realize this fact! Just look at who funds them and you'll realize this fact! The elite? You may of heard this term a time or two, NWO you may have heard of this one too. Its pretty simple when you look at the fact that the guns 2nd amendment is being attacked to the fullest! The last thing we have that can stop this evil from taking over! NWO? Just think about this thought?? Who will be in charge of this NWO? Can anyone answer this????? I bet most brain washed Americans think it will be us.......... That's funny!

      March 4, 2013 at 7:06 pm |
      • Shellah

        You mad, bro?

        March 8, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
  5. wrm

    He isn't and wasn't a professor.

    March 4, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
  6. Ronnie Harper

    I'm proud of you, too. Thanks for sharing!

    March 3, 2013 at 8:27 pm |
  7. Da Troof

    Interesting course material ... this guy is preoccupied with racial issues AND for someone who claims to bring people together ...... he's looking a lot like a big old fashioned phoney !!! DID HE TRY TO BANG YOU ??

    February 28, 2013 at 3:24 am |
    • blabl

      You are a pig

      February 28, 2013 at 9:48 pm |
    • Lonnie L. Dockery

      You're dumber than any pig I've ever known!

      March 1, 2013 at 11:42 pm |
    • 2020

      No, you are not a pig, pig has higher level of intellegence. A snag, may be.

      sick to my stomach, this is 2013, not 1776, wake up smell the coffee, not black or white, it is just coffee.

      March 3, 2013 at 10:13 am |
    • john

      To the author and our president. I am proud of both of you.
      As a 61 white male i am saddened by the number of JERK POSTS in response to this article.

      March 3, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
      • Scott

        A pig, yes, but he's not wrong about the Presedent being racially and socially devisive. That's a fact.

        March 4, 2013 at 9:09 am |
    • gladr

      You do realize that universities set the curriculum and not individual professors? But, then probably not.

      March 4, 2013 at 7:29 pm |
    • ollie

      Bathhouse Barry liked guys with moustaches at the time.

      March 10, 2013 at 10:51 am |
  8. Willis

    Why the secrecy surrounding his writings? So many are conveniently blocked? A historic black/ white President must have had great things to say regarding his wishes for everyone to come together in racial harmony, inspire individualism, self-reliance, positivity.

    February 27, 2013 at 10:15 pm |
  9. Martin

    So CNN clouds the real issue by promoting a fluff piece on Obama. A weak president, poor leader, and a spin doctor who is incompetent to be a President. If not for the liberal media, this man would be laughed out of office. It is painful and embarrassing to see the media defend this ignorant man!

    February 27, 2013 at 5:58 pm |
    • Da Troof

      IT IS CNN's JOB !!!! Our nation's press is truly corrupt; We trust them like we do the North Korean media.

      February 28, 2013 at 3:27 am |
    • S.C. B.

      I'll bet every single individual that critized the President voted for Bush's second term, and yet you believe Obama is doing a poor job. Tell it like it is you would not give him a vote of confidence no matter what he accomplishes, and those of us who understand know exactly what you are and what you stand for.

      March 1, 2013 at 2:13 am |
      • just a stove up vet

        Did you somehow think the Winter Soldier was a man worthy of our attention ? Nope,thar were no one but Bush.
        And as far as the Presidunce goes,did the young lady ever stop to think,that there would be a hell of a lot more little kids for preschools,if the Booger did not support not only partial birth abortion,but that he is OK with any kind of abortion. Lots of little kids.I've a daughter,and her only parent for years.I've three grandchildren,and that,they are.Kids are mighty neat critters,and anyone who would condone their wholesale slaughter should have the job of escorting their souls to Heaven,knowing he will never be allowed in.The O'Bummer is no kind of man,he is less than human.

        March 3, 2013 at 2:07 am |
      • Ronnie Harper

        He's right, we know what it really means when you bash Obama as a 'bad' president.

        March 3, 2013 at 8:29 pm |
      • Ronnie Harper

        When you call a person less than human -you dehumanize them- it exposes a deep-seated fear and hatred of 'the other'. That's a different reason to dislike Obama than because legal abortion is underway.

        March 3, 2013 at 8:32 pm |
  10. itsmemichal

    Way to go Noni! Proud of you!

    February 27, 2013 at 9:44 am |
  11. tanto

    Being an acting CEO of the most powerful company of the world eg USA its interesting how his Bosses(no,not you naive voters)really value him eg manager ,oh sorry President Obama because shares of this company worldwide and locally going not so well

    February 26, 2013 at 9:10 pm |
    • Lonnie L. Dockery

      You should write before you smoke that stuff next time.

      March 1, 2013 at 11:45 pm |
  12. Name*bob hayes

    To wright a great chapter for the next generation. I believe is this for our president to wright a chapter on screwing Americans out of work.another chapter on changing America to obamanation.and forcing Americans into being obamies.

    February 26, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
    • Wanda Adams

      Bob, please get a dictionary.

      February 26, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
    • Lance

      No way this is a real person. I call fake!

      February 28, 2013 at 2:26 am |
      • Lonnie L. Dockery

        Could be a three year old...a really dumb three year old.

        March 1, 2013 at 11:46 pm |
  13. Ken

    Bull! Another fawning over this president without any objectivity whatsoever. Of course CNN would never get a student who didn't like Obama to write a counter article...that doesn't fit with the politically correct media viewpoint.

    February 26, 2013 at 9:42 am |
    • durundal

      grow up and quit your b!tchng, t001

      February 26, 2013 at 11:59 am |
      • Willis

        Truth hurts.

        February 27, 2013 at 10:18 pm |
      • Ron jeremys stunt double

        if CNN would grow up, they would do exactly what he said

        March 4, 2013 at 8:36 pm |
  14. Tea Party Patriot

    A growing number of us are convinced that Sarah Palin is the only one who can heal and re-unify our country. But first she must return to her motorhome and resume her cross country tour. She will have to visit cities both large and small, being careful to speak only to real Americans, dispensing her sage advice and folksy, homespun common sense solutions. We can be a great nation again if we all follow the "Palin Path".

    February 26, 2013 at 9:17 am |
    • Smarter than U

      Sarah Palin???Seriously?? The tea party, the low end of the IQ bell curve. Both you and Sarah are over. You just don't know it yet.

      February 26, 2013 at 9:51 am |
      • just a stove up vet

        At the low end of the bell curve sits you,unable to comprehend even poorly done sarcasm.

        March 3, 2013 at 2:14 am |
    • Searcher

      Are you on CRACK? I wouldn't take moose hunting lessons from her.

      February 27, 2013 at 5:27 pm |
    • Cake

      Stop with the parties! They're corrupted already! Unless your to ignorant to notice! Beating dead horses. I hear Paling can save us.. No she can't unless she went third party but she isn't! Wake up friends and learn what happen to Ron. The only guy that wants to audit the feds! Repubs or Dems are owned by the same elite! Dig and find the truth for yourself!

      March 4, 2013 at 6:49 pm |
  15. bristoltwit palin... America's favorte dancing cow

    I work at CNN and I am important.

    February 26, 2013 at 9:04 am |
  16. JJ

    There's enough sugar coating in this story to fill all the coffee cups in America.
    If we can still afford the price of coffee.

    February 26, 2013 at 5:58 am |
    • clayton

      Yeah, you can tell that's not a gross exaggeration by how badly Starbucks is struggling.

      February 26, 2013 at 6:16 am |
    • Tom

      So much sugar that reichsfuhrer Bloomberg had this story banned in NYC!

      February 26, 2013 at 9:36 am |
  17. Paulie

    Whats funny is he probably doesnt remember her at all and she bought it.

    February 26, 2013 at 12:01 am |
  18. Zappacostta

    "I was sometimes the first and only woman or African-American in my group, and still feel it’s my responsibility to open the door and help others through it."

    If that's not a racist comment I don't know what is. How about helping the most qualified person through the door.

    February 25, 2013 at 11:42 pm |
    • william

      Sure, cause that's what white people do all the time, hire the most qualified candidate. You live in a dream world. It's amazing how warped the dialogue on racism has become.

      March 4, 2013 at 1:56 am |
  19. bob

    No way..A Class on Racism and the Law??? I wonder what topics were covered in the course.

    – Making Race an Issue even when it isn't
    – Proper application of the Race Card.
    – Getting the most out of Affirmative Action
    – Discrimination: The ultimate get out of jail free card.

    February 25, 2013 at 10:56 pm |
    • Morgan J

      So ignorant

      February 25, 2013 at 11:10 pm |
      • jazakes

        Yes, but so true.

        February 26, 2013 at 6:27 am |
      • just a stove up vet

        You have seen the syllabus ?

        March 3, 2013 at 2:11 am |
  20. AZWarrior

    I am very uncomfortable with the worship of sleazy politicians. Women and especially women of color need to have more self respect. Worship no man. Bow to no man. Call no man your better. Never surrender your humanity to the political elite.

    February 25, 2013 at 10:48 pm |
    • East of Eden


      February 26, 2013 at 9:48 am |
  21. Erik

    OK so he was a cool teacher. OK so he was (maybe is) a good man. He is without a doubt now a politician. Politicians lie, slant facts with statistics that bolster thier causes and PAC groups. Politicians are not nice people. Down deep they are power grubbing self important over achievers. THIS is who he is now. Another lying self serving politician who will retire wealthy and unaware. So goes the good ole USA.

    February 25, 2013 at 10:43 pm |
    • Nodack

      Politicians have been around the US for hundreds of years. You think they just now started lying?

      February 26, 2013 at 5:01 am |
    • Rob

      How can Obama be a politician? He's never iin Washington DC? I think I made a big mistake by voting for this liar. He disgust me. But what does he care, it's his last term!

      February 26, 2013 at 8:52 am |
  22. Eric

    Yet again a fluff piece about him being a professor that contains 10x the fluff and maybe a sentence or two about him actually being a professor and having an impact. If you want to toot his horn CNN or Turner then just do it. No need to try and hide it in a story. We all know you love Obama that is fine just own up to it.

    February 25, 2013 at 10:09 pm |
  23. pat

    I want to vomit

    February 25, 2013 at 9:09 pm |
    • Ken from FL

      You and me both.

      February 25, 2013 at 9:35 pm |
    • Ken from FL

      My reply was to Pat, not to the Obamazombie nitwit MC and his reprehensible, but wholly in keeping with how liberals argue, comment. And by the way, this is national news, CNN? The great, slobbering love affair continues.

      February 25, 2013 at 9:39 pm |
      • JJ

        Get psychiatric help.

        February 26, 2013 at 5:13 am |
  24. bankrupt1

    I actually had a dream that he was my teacher once. He was a good teacher. I was late for some reason and he understood that. He just thought that if it was important to me that i would still get it done. and i did. For some reason Michelle was on the porch. Seems like she had a kitten. Nice people.

    February 25, 2013 at 9:05 pm |
  25. verystrange

    If I had a professor in college that made "a profound impact" on my life, and that professor became president of the United States, the LAST place I would put my class notes would be in an "old suitcase" in the basement. Not surprised that the man that touted public service on the campaign trail convinced you to go into corporate law. I'm sure you've earned your tuition back many times over since you graduated. How much have you managed to further anti-racism at Turner? That much, huh. Sounds like you saw an opportunity to write an op-ed piece because of your brush with mediocrity two decades ago, and you jumped at the chance to preach to the lemmings. Good for you! No wonder Obama is proud of you!

    February 25, 2013 at 9:02 pm |
    • MC

      Briefcase, half-wit. And was does the age of it have to do with anything?

      Seriously, you need help.

      February 25, 2013 at 9:24 pm |
      • Eric

        What, half-wit...

        February 25, 2013 at 10:10 pm |
    • Nodack

      Just admit it, you are offended that somebody likes Obama.

      February 26, 2013 at 5:03 am |
  26. Sheri

    Did we all read the same opinion piece? She seemed to be talking about a teacher who had a big impact on her education and life, and taught her things that she continues to feel strongly about today. That he's now president is beside the point, other than her being happy that he became such a success. Maybe the discussion could lean more toward stories of inspirational teachers.

    I'll start: my senior English teacher assigned the class a journal writing project the Friday before my uncle and youngest cousin were killed in a car wreck, and when she read my journal, she called me into her office and postponed the start of class so she could talk with me about how I was doing, and each day after class I'd go to her office and we'd talk. She really cared about all of her students, and 20 years later I'm still so grateful to her for taking the time. In college, a friend and I dropped a very expensive, rare instrument, and my professor noticed I was rubbing my thumb and instantly his attention was on me being hurt rather than the twisted mess on the ground. He taught me that even a $20,000 thing is just a thing, and people are more important by far. There are a lot more great teachers out there than bad, and they really go out of their way to take care of their students in more ways than the job description ever suggests...and probably with more impact than they'll ever know.

    February 25, 2013 at 8:59 pm |
  27. Charisma Joy

    I am so proud of my dear beloved President Professor Barak Obama & his AMAZINGLY BEAUTIFUL WIFE, fyne, FINE smart children-oh haters, may you hear echoes of how God is continually blessing and favoring this man FOREVER.You cant stand Barak because he is TOO blessed for you!!!! Eat jealousy soup, drink hate beer, and yell at your computer-my brother is still PRESIDENT ! Ha! Better get it- there is nothing you can do but shake your limp fists! Obama won!!! He is Mr. President!!! Haleluyah!!! Yes I go to church too!

    February 25, 2013 at 8:39 pm |
    • Seola

      You may go to church but you surely missed school.

      February 25, 2013 at 10:04 pm |
    • Mitchell Fuqua


      February 26, 2013 at 8:30 am |
  28. Noel

    he chose to give up his lawyers degree instead of being found in contempt, look it up, no degree, not prof.

    February 25, 2013 at 8:28 pm |
    • Jackie

      Apparently you believe everything you read, with your statements you seem not to understand law, if that was so the President could not have entered politics let alone become the President for not four but eight years, especially Americian politics, where they dig up everything from your past. With your post you seem to be trying to convince yourself what you read is true. A person cannot become a lawyer without having a law degree. Are you jealous of the President??????? Semm so.

      February 25, 2013 at 9:06 pm |
    • MC

      Q: Did Barack and Michelle Obama “surrender” their law licenses to avoid ethics charges?

      A: No. A court official confirms that no public disciplinary proceeding has ever been brought against either of them, contrary to a false Internet rumor. By voluntarily inactivating their licenses, they avoid a requirement to take continuing education classes and pay hundreds of dollars in annual fees. Both could practice law again if they chose to do so.

      Get psychiatric help, you useless piece of garbage.

      February 25, 2013 at 9:21 pm |
      • just a stove up vet

        Gently,now.Will he have to pass the bar,again ? Yup ?

        March 3, 2013 at 2:20 am |
  29. Noel

    he was never a prof., he gave up his lawyers license rather than be disbarred just like his wife. People
    , do the research

    February 25, 2013 at 8:26 pm |
    • Raymond

      Here is my research: (Source:, and by the way, what internet source did you use to come up with your claim?)

      Q: Did Barack and Michelle Obama “surrender” their law licenses to avoid ethics charges?

      A: No. A court official confirms that no public disciplinary proceeding has ever been brought against either of them, contrary to a false Internet rumor. By voluntarily inactivating their licenses, they avoid a requirement to take continuing education classes and pay hundreds of dollars in annual fees. Both could practice law again if they chose to do so.

      February 25, 2013 at 8:58 pm |
      • Raymond

        By the way, this is similar to any professional licenses such as CPA (certified public accountant), you must take the required continuing education course if you want to keep your license in active status. By "inactivating" your license, you are then exempt from having to pay the annual professional license fee and having to take the continuing education classes.

        February 25, 2013 at 9:01 pm |
      • pat

        No time for CTE? LAZY

        February 25, 2013 at 9:14 pm |
      • Jackie

        Excuse Noel he is not a professional, he don't know about these professional ramifications. He don't understand being a professional, one has to keep educating oneself and upgrading ones education, especially as a lawyer, accountant, doctor, engineering etc.

        February 25, 2013 at 9:21 pm |
    • Research

      February 25, 2013 at 9:03 pm |
    • MC

      Get help, you sad little half-wit.

      February 25, 2013 at 9:19 pm |
    • Erick

      February 25, 2013 at 9:28 pm |
  30. Jim

    We all love Obama – and this lady found a way to give herself some free press because she happened to be in his class. Wooo Hooo.

    February 25, 2013 at 8:15 pm |
  31. Gus

    I fundamentally disagree with much of Obama's economic policy and beliefs. But this is still a pretty neat story for the lady.

    February 25, 2013 at 8:07 pm |
  32. Wr

    Gee. "Racism and the Law." You would think that it's impossible to be a black lawyer without it being all about race.

    February 25, 2013 at 7:53 pm |
    • EQ8Rhomes

      When you think of it, didn't White lawyers over several centuries spend a lot of their "genius", time and efforts, helping create and argue anti-black laws for the benefit of fellow Whites? Then laws were racist in favour of Whites and affirmative action for them!
      I didn't think you would look at the OTHER SIDE OF THE COIN, Wr!

      February 25, 2013 at 8:51 pm |
      • Wr

        Name one "anti-black" law. Find ONE.

        February 25, 2013 at 8:56 pm |
      • Tom

        Name one "anti-black" law? Really? I'll name a collection of them: Jim Crow. You've got to be kidding me that you don't know this stuff.

        February 25, 2013 at 9:11 pm |
  33. Kweso

    Whenever the name Obama is pronounced, I'll stand and salute. He's my pride.

    February 25, 2013 at 7:43 pm |
    • Buster Crabbe

      Salute Oh Dumbo... NEVER !

      February 25, 2013 at 7:47 pm |
      • EQ8Rhomes

        @Buster: You would salute Mitt, through!

        February 25, 2013 at 9:18 pm |
    • SalMoanella

      He'd prefer a bow...

      February 25, 2013 at 7:53 pm |
    • Noel

      Imiss heard dou, did you say Osama bin laden

      February 25, 2013 at 8:29 pm |
  34. Kica

    The sad thing is this idiot probably goes to church every Sunday.

    February 25, 2013 at 7:36 pm |
    • Kica

      This comment was in response to someone else's comment. ooops 🙂

      February 25, 2013 at 7:37 pm |
      • You're an Idiot

        nuff said.

        February 25, 2013 at 8:43 pm |
  35. achepotle

    Great story. Her children's children will be telling that story.

    February 25, 2013 at 7:06 pm |
  36. w l jones

    The dept of one soul come from theirs parents and teachers everything else is learnt by how much one egages his or her mind.

    February 25, 2013 at 6:43 pm |
  37. Will Ferrell

    Obama claimed the midwest still cling to their bibles and guns... yet he just said he likes to shoot and that he's a christian...... WHAT?

    February 25, 2013 at 6:18 pm |
    • David

      He said that about the midwest? Really? Source? Right, didn't think so.

      February 25, 2013 at 6:36 pm |
      • Igor

        Here's your source. One of many. Use google sometimes:

        February 25, 2013 at 7:09 pm |
      • Kica

        Actually he did say that. However obviously that is NOT his way of life. He was speaking about those who know nothing else about the world. Those stuck in a long ago time warp.

        February 25, 2013 at 7:33 pm |
    • anjel

      Do you even read or literally blinded with hatred? I would be surprised if you are even schooled let alone educated.

      February 25, 2013 at 6:38 pm |
    • torontomix

      You can shoot, be Christian and not cling to your Bible and guns

      February 25, 2013 at 6:54 pm |
  38. DSL

    Another black that loves Bozama. Imagine that! Whats even worse is that she is a law school grad, so now the country is going to be even more screwed up in the future. However, she does have some awesome DSL's.

    February 25, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
    • Nick

      I take comfort in the fact that racists like you will die someday. Probably from a heart attack, because living with so much fear and hatred in your heart is damaging. But hey, good riddance!

      February 25, 2013 at 7:10 pm |
      • rc roeder

        LOL but not soon enough.

        February 25, 2013 at 7:34 pm |
      • tanto

        Forget it thanks to PC fanatics it is big Renaissance of this trend from all the sides of colour board,sadly

        February 26, 2013 at 9:31 pm |
    • LeRoy Feist

      DSL, you're an idiot!

      February 25, 2013 at 7:56 pm |
    • MB

      What is DSL?

      February 25, 2013 at 8:44 pm |
  39. Timmer

    Do you not remember the facial contortions Pelosi put on when she held the same chair for a Republican president? and before you declare me a faux watcher, why is iit that any opposing opinion of the president identifies them to Teaparty, or whatever label you want to use? One side seems to be just as bad as the other. careful when you look in that mirror!

    February 25, 2013 at 6:13 pm |
    • David

      Eh, the two sides aren't really that similar. Which presidents would you feel comfortable teaching you in a classroom? Obama, or Bush? Obviously Obama. What about Clinton or Reagan? Obviously NOT the actor. Carter or Bush Sr? Toss up. Class is excused.

      February 25, 2013 at 6:37 pm |
      • Samual

        If the subject is nuclear engineering, Jimmy Carter wins by a mile,

        February 25, 2013 at 6:45 pm |
  40. Gena

    Thanks for sharing your article,Noni. Congratulations on your accomplishments. I enjoyed reading your story. It's inspiring to see President Obama's impact on the life of a former student; and it's neat that he remembered you. Dealing with racism is a study skill we all need; and it's evident after reading some of these comments.

    February 25, 2013 at 5:44 pm |
    • Perplexed

      I agree with you 100%.

      February 25, 2013 at 6:44 pm |
  41. jonnyq

    What is wrong with a person being inspired by another person. She was a student, Obama was a professor, she became successful, he became our president. For those who are hating, why do you bother reading the article. It doesn't make sense, for what, to get yourself worked up. GET OVER IT, OBAMA IS THE PRESIDENT AND THE ELECTION IS OVER. MOVE ON

    February 25, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
    • Gena

      Thank you, Jonnyq I couldn't have said it any better!!

      February 25, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
    • Lou in ATL

      Well said!

      February 25, 2013 at 8:36 pm |
  42. M. Whit

    Wonderful story and nice photo. Who was the photographer? As a teacher I can tell you we all get sentimental when we see a former student who is a productive member of society- with a job and paying taxes. We are not so proud of the people who spend their time spewing hate. Why can't we all just get along?

    February 25, 2013 at 5:03 pm |
  43. palintwit


    February 25, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
    • Frank Tillery

      You cannot possibly be serious. If so, you are truly a misguided individual.

      February 25, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
    • Walter Wood

      You Obama haters are very, very sad. I would suggest attending a Christian church service . Get forgiveness now or at least seek mental health assistance. God bless you.

      February 25, 2013 at 5:32 pm |
      • Kica

        The sad thing is this idiot probably goes to church every Sunday. The place where more racists are found than probably anywhere else.

        February 25, 2013 at 7:39 pm |
    • buffalo

      What a sad little person you are. Crawl away, back to the cardboard box you call home.

      February 25, 2013 at 6:20 pm |
    • Billary Whitewater

      Better yet, where is his father's birth certificate. In order to legally President, Barry needed to have both parents as US citizens. Unfortunately everyone ignores the fact that Daddy was a British subject from Kenya.

      February 25, 2013 at 6:44 pm |
      • Jazzcatt77

        There is no such requirement. Only the candidate has to be an American citizen, and since he was born here in America, that fufilled the requirement. You misguided people make me laugh. With all of the resources the GOP has, dont you think they would have discovered if he wasnt born in America or attended Harvard Law School by now?? Get over it. The bigger miracle is how in the hell did Bush graduate from an Ivy league school. Wouldnt someone (Professor or student at that time) have come out of the woodwork claiming Obama didnt attend Harvard during the years he was there?? You racists need to accept the truth and get on with your lives!!

        February 25, 2013 at 7:00 pm |
      • BS

        Way to go Billary, put that ignorance out there for everyone to see. Own it. Be proud of it.,

        February 25, 2013 at 7:29 pm |
      • Kica

        paaaaaaaahahahahahahaaaaaaa.....yep I'm laughing in the face of stupidity!

        February 25, 2013 at 7:41 pm |
      • rc roeder

        No requirement that both parents be us citizens, since he was born in hawaii he was a natural born citizen. Since his mother was US Citizen he is a natural born citizen. His fathers citizenship has no bearing on the matter. case closed go away.

        February 25, 2013 at 7:43 pm |
      • Vicki

        So many vile trolls spewing hatred here...why bother feeding them?

        February 25, 2013 at 8:14 pm |
      • MC

        "In order to legally President, Barry needed to have both parents as US citizens."

        Uh no, half-wit, that is absolutely not the case.

        February 25, 2013 at 9:15 pm |
      • Jane

        One must be a "natural born citizen", which means both parents had to be US citizens in order tobe eligible. Therefore, it is important to know the nationality of both Obama's parents. Why do people sweep this under the rug? Please do some reading.

        February 26, 2013 at 8:53 am |
    • army

      I've been reading palintwit's posts for a few years. Palintwit never criticizes Obama. This person is not really palintwit.

      February 26, 2013 at 7:42 am |
  44. davidapiccirilli

    "I’d once imagined myself as a civil rights lawyer, but I came to realize that I could perhaps have a bigger impact by going into corporate law."

    Translation: I’d once imagined myself as a civil rights lawyer, but I came to realize that I could MAKE A LOT MORE MONEY by going into corporate law

    February 25, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
    • HZ

      These are not mutually exclusive. It could be that she can have a greater impact AND make more money. That just makes her smart.

      February 25, 2013 at 7:27 pm |
  45. Carl

    Wow! I wonder if he would have been proud of you if you were white. And I wonder if Michelle is now proud of her country for the second time too.

    February 25, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
    • The Real Tom Paine

      Your comment explains the preponderance of whites in his cabinet? Please.

      February 25, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
    • andrew

      Move on Carl.

      February 25, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
  46. Don't care what U say

    Bush,Cheney,Palin,Cain,Trump,Per I forgot his name, Teapublicans. Don't People who back the views of these sad pathetic Folks ever tire of the endless useless Rhetoric.

    February 25, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
  47. Peter Guild, Quincy, MA.

    It's apparent that Obama lemonade has a long term effect.

    February 25, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
    • f4xtrafn

      Don't feel too bitter – you're needed too. Don't forget your cap and remember to be polite and smile when you ask "will you have fries with that?"

      February 25, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
    • The Real Tom Paine

      Not as bad as Romnesia.

      February 25, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
  48. Rexford Bane

    I loved those pro-Bush articles and opion pieces when he was president, just as I do these Obama ones.

    Wait a second. There weren't any such pro-Bush pieces.


    February 25, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
    • nilla

      Sure there were, just not on this site. How many pro-Obama articles do you see on Fox News's site?

      February 25, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
      • Walter Wood

        Thank you ,Nilla.

        February 25, 2013 at 5:35 pm |
    • Mike

      So, so true. This article makes me puke from the bowels of progressivism. Messy was Barack then, and messier he is now. Never done a thing worth a crap in his life, yet somehow becomes president of the USA. Yes, this country really has become this stupid. Amazing.

      February 25, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
      • The Real Tom Paine

        And HOW does this helps the case for conservatives?

        February 25, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
      • palintwit

        I hear ya home slice! I hear ya!

        February 25, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
      • mixedwell

        "never done a thing worth a crap in his life" aaaaahahahahaha Except attend Harvard and become Presidnet of the United States. SOOOO not worth a crap. Baaahahaha

        February 25, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
      • Natalie

        Too bad the article doesn't make you relocate to another country. Oh wait, they wouldn't want you either.

        February 25, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
      • Walter Wood

        Mike, are you calling yourself stupid? Well if the shoe fits.........

        February 25, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
      • Vicki

        Such a maroon. Its called democracy stupid.

        February 25, 2013 at 8:15 pm |
      • william

        And the philosopher king GW Bush? what did he do that was so frickin great? hahhahhaha... what do you think was easier? becoming the first black Prez or having a daddy who was the head of the CIA?

        March 4, 2013 at 2:04 am |
  49. OneTimePost

    To all the haters posting to this commentary: I don't know how many people have said "this article isn't news" or "there goes CNN again" or for those quickly jump to the notion that the writer of this opine article was a black woman being taught by a black man and only sympathized with each other. CHILL OUT!! Take a step back. The world isn't out to get you. This is simply a story of one woman's perspective who had the fortunate experience of having the president instruct her at law school. IT'S A PERSPECTIVE PIECE! ONE PERSON'S OPINION. You are free to share your opinion, but don't jump to conclusions. Take the article for what it is. It's OK. The president might actually be a good person who has done some good in this world.

    February 25, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
    • Joel

      Well said. I would think people would be happy to see a bit of positive news about the leader of the country. What gets me is that for the most part, these people who are so negative are really good people. The world can be an ugly place, I wish we would spend a little less emotional capital hating the guy who is on our team.

      February 25, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
    • Wayne Hunsucker

      Well spoken.

      February 25, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
    • simon

      I am not a huge fan of BO and the last 4 years, but I concur with your post. It is getting to a point where those who hate O'bama are looking and sounding stupider with every post. It is true that many of us feel he lacks the qualifications to be President but enough already..the people have spoken...TWICE and until us replublicans can figure out what in the h3ll we are doing we had best just shut our pieholes.

      February 25, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
  50. FL May Sr

    Every body criticizing Obama should look at the speaker of the house. There is an elected official who is determined to stop any legislation that Obama presents. Look at his face when Obama is speaking. You can see the dislike in his face. Just look at his handshake when they shake hands. To me it looks like the speaker will do every thing to stop Obama from succeeding. If there is a problem in Washington it is the Speaker of the house.

    February 25, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
    • jorge

      Include Mitch McConnell in that criticism.

      February 25, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
    • nautiusm

      I would too if I had to listen to him that much. Obama is liar. He lies. That's ALL he does. He doesn't lead, he takes no initiatives to better our country. He plays golf and then spreads his propaganda and demonizes his opponents.

      Thanks. Thanks to all of you who voted TWICE for this piece of garbage and for making things worse.

      February 25, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
      • Cedar Rapids

        glad you dont demonize those you dont like, like Obama.

        February 25, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
      • Walter Wood

        namou and your ilk spouting all your hateful nonsense make me even more proud of voting for someone with intelligence, Barack Obama. God bless him.

        February 25, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
  51. Raphael

    Great Story, thanks for sharing with the world...

    February 25, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
  52. Bolaji09

    Remember the tears the president shed among young volunteers of his campaign on the night of November 6, 2012? This story is the stuff of which it was made. Good job, Noni. Easy to see why the president is "Proud of you." Keep on paying it forward.

    February 25, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
  53. B

    Current issues in racism and the law... go figure... lol. Reverend Wright all day!!

    February 25, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
    • The Real Tom Paine

      Learn your law from David Duke?

      February 25, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
  54. Palintwit

    You have NO idea who I am, cupcake.
    I'm just glad Obama's buying me a new cell phone this week.

    February 25, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
    • palintwit

      Are you really so sure? You little smear.

      February 25, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
    • The Real Tom Paine

      And Adelson's got bought 10 more people like you...too bad he sold one to your spouse.

      February 25, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
    • nilla

      Why didn't you say John Boehner is buying you a cell phone? Isn't he in the federal gvt, too?

      February 25, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
    • The Real Tom Paine

      Of course we know who you are: Mitt, how's your speech to CPAC coming?

      February 25, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
    • TV

      Boy, you Faux News fans are desperate, is that the best you can do? Bring up a program that started in 2008 under Bush? Look it up on the internet, on a site called or any other fact checking site. But then things like facts probably are not really your thing.

      February 25, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
      • tb50

        Actually it started as Operation Lifeline under Ronald Reagan. It only became a sin once Obama did it.

        February 25, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
      • tb50

        correction- it was called Lifeline Assistance Program under Reagan in 1984.

        February 25, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
  55. Wasted Presidency

    What about this story earns it front page coverage?
    Oh, it's CNN promoting its own....not shocking.

    February 25, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
    • Lilybean58

      What is newsworthy about this story is the fact that a young woman was introduced to what could be, rather than what has always been. She worked harder and reached higher because one teacher helped her see her potential. It really doesn't have anything to do with race. It has to do with mentoring young people and showing what they can be if they want it badly enough and work hard enough to make a better world for everyone to live in.

      Cynicism and negative remarks are not helpful to anyone – especially the person making them. If you did not experience this kind of teacher, professor, mentor in you life, then I feel sorry for you. We need to celebrate this kind of thing and foster it.

      February 25, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
    • The Real Tom Paine

      I feel the same way every time there is a story on Rand Paul.

      February 25, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
  56. B

    There are so many retarded people on here arguing back and forth about left and right. I guess you got your info from Faux news!!! oh golly thats so harsh!! I would hate to say it idots from both sides a 2 party system is made for you to bicker back and forth like this. However, if its any party thats destroying the country it is def soft hearted liberals. Why? bc they are weak

    February 25, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
    • Walter Wood

      No, B it's because Liberals tend to be more educated. Sorry .

      February 25, 2013 at 5:56 pm |
  57. palintwit

    This is a great story! If your black. Too bad all of it is fake. Obama doesnt even have a valid birth certificate. NOW WHAT???

    February 25, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
    • palintwit

      Fake palintwit at 3:37 pm. I know who you are you little @sswipe.

      February 25, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
    • Tierra

      ...typical LOL i guess him being a great teacher was another ponzi scheme of his LOL

      February 25, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
      • palintwit

        What else would you expect from someone who uses someone else's screen name?

        February 25, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
    • Debbie

      You are aware that white people are stupid!!!

      February 25, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
    • The Real Tom Paine

      This, coming from the party who's idea of a leader is a man who cries on cue and another who looks like Beaker from the Muppet Show? These 2 can't keep an imbecile like Rand Paul in line.

      February 25, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
    • you're


      February 25, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
  58. Mind Over Matter

    Great story of education leading to further success and overcoming the expectations. Noni Southall becoming a successful cooperate lawyer and Obama going from a professor to president. Coming from Chicago we could use more stories like this

    February 25, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
  59. If you google please do it responsible

    Those debunking the law license debate for Obama might want to reserve your judgement and read further if you are espousing that the $105 annual fee to keep your license active was prohibitive . I guess your fallback is that he wouldn't be able to keep up with the required CLE should see example – Bill Clinton. He kept his and fought to keep his law license active into his second term as President and only the Lewinski mess made him give it up. I'd also google "Jessie Hire" about Michelle if you want to really know about her license.
    Read more sites than CNN, MSNBC, WND, FOX etc and you can find information not allegations. Give it a try and eventually you'll find objective news not just talking points....

    February 25, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
    • Andi

      Presidents and First Ladies surrender their law licenses as part of the requirements of office. They are not 'stripped' of their licenses, and get them back when they are no longer in office. Do some reading, it is very enlightening.

      February 25, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
      • If you google please do it responsible

        Andi, you should read more. Did Clinton have his law license during his presidency? Yes.

        February 25, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
      • JJ

        Get help, you sad little half-wit.

        February 26, 2013 at 5:19 am |
    • Cedar Rapids

      my wife has the option to surrender her Kansas license and may very well decide to do that this year. she no longer practices there and sees no need to pay the fee and keep up the classes on it.

      do you own googling and enough of this rubbish.

      February 25, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
    • JJ

      My god, what an imbecile.

      Nobody is "espousing" anything, half-wit. It's just a fact. And the fee is the least of it. There are continuing education requirements.

      Seriously, do the gene pool a favor and blow the dog sh1t that passes for your brains out now.

      February 26, 2013 at 5:17 am |
  60. tnchamp

    Lamar Alexander in Tennessee did a great job in education.

    February 25, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
  61. The real RayLee

    You know, I had a chance to read the entire article and all I could think was WOW President Obama may not be perfect but he really has our best interest at hand. It is a shame to see how divided we are as a nation just by reading the previous comments. Those comments are a true example of why I'm so afraid for my children children's children and I ask you all two questions. What do you want for those that will follow in your foot-steps? What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind? If it's hatred then I guess things will never change, but if it's change then it's up to US as ONE NATION to change the course to give our future generations a fighting chance. Love you all!!!!

    February 25, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
  62. Mike Glenn

    I'm not a Obama supporter but I enjoyed reading this story. I think it is kinda neat to hear a story about his impact on the life of a former student and that he rememberd her from all those years ago.

    February 25, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
  63. BassKahuna

    Why does the press continue to repeat the falsehood that he was a professor? In academia, that term is reserved for people with the highest academic rank in his or her field of study. He does not possess those credentials. He was a lecturer. There is no shame in that. However, it is clear that the press prefers to use the term professor to make him sound more educated and qualified.

    February 25, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
    • The Real Tom Paine

      He taught as many as 3 classes per semester for 12 years, and declined a tenured position when offered, according to the University of Chicago Law School's website. Was he good enough? Yes. DID he say no? Yes, just like wheh he declined to go with a big-bucks law-firm to help people. I know the Right finds that incomprehensible, in an Age of Ayn Rand and all, but, there you go.

      February 25, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
      • Dason

        How about this for those who is saying he was never a law professor and didn't reach that rank,

        Well, He was able to reach a rank even HIGHER than a law professor, in fact, he was able to reach a rank that is the highest ranking position in the United States, and since the United States is the most powerful country in the world, he therefore was able to reach the highest rank of anyone in the world other than the previous presidents. Does that makes some of the haters happy about whether he was a law professor or assistant professor or adjuct professor or lecturer. That hardly matters anymore.

        February 25, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
    • jgumbrechtcnnCNN

      Hi BassKahuna - I can't speak for all media, but in the case of this piece, the University of Chicago Law School describes Barack Obama as a professor, just as his former student did while writing. From, a URL several other commenters have posted: "From 1992 until his election to the U.S. Senate in 2004, Barack Obama served as a professor in the Law School...Senior Lecturers are considered to be members of the Law School faculty and are regarded as professors, although not full-time or tenure-track."

      February 25, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
      • palintwit

        This is a complete waste of a story! Just because hes black, it's suppose to be some grand news? Please. Obama is an idiot and hates white people.

        February 25, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
      • palintwit

        Hey. Fake palintwit at 3:34 pm. I know who you are you little @sswipe.

        February 25, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
    • jbee

      In my experience (both as an undergraduate and law student), that isn't the case. PhD's are referred to as "Dr.", while those with professional or Master's degrees are referred to as "Professor". Some of the most regarded legal minds in the country, have only J.D.s, thus would be addressed as Professor in a classroom.

      February 25, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
    • MC

      Actually, you sad little half-wit, you have no idea what you're babbling about.

      February 25, 2013 at 9:10 pm |
  64. opinion0731

    Why is this news? This is a black former student in a class about racism taught by a black law professor whom she idolized who happened to became the president. Pardon me but is sounds like in this class, Mr. Obama was preaching to the choir and this student was the soloist. I would much prefer to hear from a vocal critic of the president and his policies who was won over by the president though effective reason and debate. But that isn't going to happen because the president isn't winning any new supporters. If he extends an olive branch to an opponent it is only so he can get a better position to strike them with it later. This is nothing more than a fluff piece, so that those who support the president can feel good about themselves. If the president wants to make news he should try building a few bridges to those who have a genuine cause to oppose his policies.

    February 25, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
    • notoriousnic79

      *Half black President.

      February 25, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
    • Larry Winkler

      I'm sure you would prefer to hear critical stories rather than "fluff" pieces. Nothing is more important to you than ensuring your little head is boxed into the echo chamber you otherwise live in.

      February 25, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
  65. jerseyguy36

    We now know that CNN posts non facts as news. This is not factual as Obama has never been a Law Professor, yet CNN's Senior Council tells us that he was. just like lawyers to skip over facts and tell it they way they want it to be now how it is. How much more of CNN's New is made up or exaggerated instead of the truth?

    February 25, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
    • The Real Tom Paine

      Ever hear of part-time instructors? They are sometimes referred to as "adjunct" faculty, and since I have taught as an ddjunct, I know the distinction between the two. He was not tenured, nor did he seek a tenured position: in fact, he turned down an offer in 2001 to become a full-time, tenured professor at the University of Chicago Law School. There is a statement on the University's website explaining exactly what he did. Now, are you prepared to call the University of Chicagoa group of liars because this screws up your narrative?

      February 25, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
      • LinSea

        You just proved the point jerseyguy was trying to make. He wasn't a professor–as you said yourself, he turned down the position, so why do people keep referring to him as if he were? Teacher, instructor, sure, but not a professor.

        February 25, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
      • The Real Tom Paine

        He was referred to as a professor on the University of Chicago's website. Does theat clear it up for you? Part-time or ful-time and tenured, he was still a professor.

        February 25, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
    • CaptainDorkOfTheWeeniePatrol

      "Senior Lecturers are considered to be members of the Law School faculty and are regarded as professors, although not full-time or tenure-track." – The Chicago University Law School

      You have answers only a mouse click away and yet you choose to apply ignorance and expect us to buy it.

      You are a deceptive troll.

      February 25, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
    • texasgal77

      from 1992 to 2004 Obama was a Lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School. From 1996 to 2004 he was a Senior Lecturer.
      Senior Lecturers are considered to be members of the Law School faculty and are regarded as professors, although not full-time or tenure-track.
      If the University says that he was a Law Professor, then he is. if you think that they are favouring him, then what about the 6 other senior lecturers that are considered professors.

      February 25, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
    • julibear

      From, a URL several other commenters have posted: "From 1992 until his election to the U.S. Senate in 2004, Barack Obama served as a professor in the Law School...Senior Lecturers are considered to be members of the Law School faculty and are regarded as professors, although not full-time or tenure-track."

      February 25, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
    • tanto

      Media and Truth ?lol

      February 26, 2013 at 8:44 pm |
  66. jerseyguy36

    They are Lawyers as well, they learned how to beat the system. Follow them out to their new Escalade parked around the corner.

    February 25, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
    • hmmm

      so, please tell me Jerseyguy36,
      i can understand why you hate Obama, many people do, and I suppose that if you read only anti-obama websites and FOX news, you would consider yourself informed by knowlegable people who do their research.... but they do not... 99% of all political and religious websites are BIASED. if the creators hate Obama, then the website will be filled with information that slanders Obama. If the creators love Obama, then it will be filled with all sunshine and rainbows about him.

      ultimately, you and everyone else, should do your own research.
      be your own man. make informed decisions about people and things predicated on actualy research and knowledge.

      whether you're for or against Obama, don't be a sheep and eat what is fed to you by others.

      February 25, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
  67. D_Daddy_Laggs

    IT is so easy to play the race card. The Republicans blamed the last election on all the votes that Omama received from Blacks and Hispanics. Hmm, so remind me again how many blacks and hispanics live in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Iowa, Hawaii. And then there is Wisconsin, Minnesota and Ohio. While Obama's victories in 2008 and 2012 are truly historic, they are also important in that we continue to see the subtle and not-so-subtle racism that continues to exist in America.

    February 25, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
  68. Be_nice

    Remember this was the opinion of someone about her professor. Perhaps, she was the only one that felt this way, but there was nothing wrong with it.

    February 25, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
  69. Jack Rivera

    Too bad he didn't bring any critical thinking to the presidency.

    February 25, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
  70. Gargantuan

    why is there so much hatred, negativity and just plain evil in this country? Just take a gander at these, so sad.
    Most of these posts point to a fundamental, perhaps congenital, misery in the mind. You'll always get what you give in life.

    February 25, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
  71. Rick

    Please read: It will show you how he was valued during his time with the University of Chicago.

    February 25, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
  72. Thomas Worthy

    Bob, the president don't pass budgets congress does.

    February 25, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
  73. fake tome paine

    Hey real are talking about other faculty people rating him, the author was talking about how the students rated him and it IS on line and public!!!

    February 25, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
    • The Real Tom Paine

      Then point out the link. Bottom line is that the university employed him for 12 years as an untenured, part-time instructor, and he declined a full-time position in 2001.

      February 25, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
  74. The Real Tom Paine

    Can anyone name a conservative who has had a national impact as an educator? Anyone? Sorry, Glenn Beck and the rest of the propagandists on the Right don't count, and Bill Bennett is nothing more than a master of re-packaging other people's ideas as his own. Education requires independent thinking, not the dutiful swallowing of every piece of intellectual babybood FOX doles out, so most conservatives don't have the capacity for real thought: the ones that do, keep their mouths shut before they are banished. BTW, the University of Chicago is one of the best universities in the country, and they DO NOT accept idiots, nor do they employ them.

    February 25, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
    • onthemark329

      Newt Gingrich's record of scholarly achievement far surpasses Obama's. There is no record of any any scholarly article authored by Obama, either as a law review editor or as an alleged professor.

      February 25, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
      • The Real Tom Paine

        Gingrich was never able to eck out a living as an professor who was unable to earn tenure. Frankly, he was a failure as an instructor, and only became a success after turning to writing historical fiction and lobbying for people who did not need a voice. Obama was an adunct instructor who taught 3 classes a semester for 12 years in addition to his other work: you know, the terrible work of actually getting people involved in participating in our society? His work on the law review was confined to Harvard Law School where he was editor, where he was elected to be editor. No affirmative action appointment, only the result of hard work got him there. Galling, isn't it? He got it on merit. Gingrich was a mediocre instructor on a good day, and was denied tenure at his first job. Obama was offered tenure and refused, according the University of Chicago Law School site.

        February 25, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
      • The Real Tom Paine

        As a historian, Gingrich's scholarship is shoddy at best. Tulane ought to demand the degree back, but, it got him out of Viet Nam, right? Him, Cheney, and crap-pants Nugent.

        February 25, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
      • SteveOfTX

        I don't won't to debate whether Gingrich is more scholarly than Obama or not, I think they both are more so than most of the population. I will say that Gingrich is an extremely, extremely intelligent man. And I say this as someone who does not like him, or at least his policies, very much. When Gingrich talked about wanting to cut out the hearts of the elderly and hand it to them on a platter (figuratively of course), he understood the consequences of what he was saying. Other GOP nominee wannabees said similar things, but not one of them understood the full consequences of the positions they were advocating. They took those positions for political convenience. It's why my choice for the GOP nominee in the last presidential election would have been Newt. At least he understood what he was talking about.

        February 25, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
      • Vicki

        There is also no comparison when it comes to moral fiber.Gingrich married his first wife, Jacqueline, at 19 and had two daughters. His wife developed uterine cancer. He began having an affair with Marianne, who became his second wife, and when Jacqueline was in the hospital having a tumor removed he visited her to ask for a divorce. He then married Marianne. While they were married, he carried on a six-year affair with his current wife, Callista. During this period he was one of the House leaders pressing for the impeachment of President Clinton for his affair with Monica Lewinsky. After Marianne developed Multiple Sclerosis, he asked, according to her account, if they could stay married while he continued his affair. When she said no, he called her on the phone to tell her he wanted a divorce. Two days later, he gave a speech on family values called “The Demise of the American Culture.” During his conversion to Catholicism, he asked the Catholic Diocese of Atlanta for an annulment of his second marriage and it was granted. 'Nuff said.

        February 25, 2013 at 11:38 pm |
    • onthemark329

      You should actually think about what you write before you make a fool of yourself. Obama is our forst affirmative action president, with the thinest resume of anyone ever elected to just about any office, up to and including dog catcher.

      February 25, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
      • The Real Tom Paine

        Try W, or Reagan, or Lincoln for that matter. He worked on things from the gound up, and he still whipped the Mormon aristocrat's ass because he understands how to get people motivated and doing something for someone other than himself. I know its hard for someone who takes their marching orders from FOX to understand this.

        February 25, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
      • Russ

        Some of you simply spout off opinions based on your biases, ignorance and possibly 'sour grapes', because you're not happy! You need to blame someone – human nature, I guess. The Real Tom Paine is discussing facts – the president's resume' is strong in terms of the type of experience that really matters. He is your president as much as he is mine. It' s just too bad you don't realize it, because you could contribute and make a positive difference in this world if you want to. It's your choice. Let's talk in ten years or so, when the intellectual politicians look back at this presidency. It will be seen as one of the best, because this president is really looking out for the best interest of all of us.

        February 25, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
      • lj

        I am wondering how the golden boy of the GOP, an actor with no degree at all would have a better resume? Oh, and spell check would help a bit as well. Your posts sound like "I know you are but what am I".

        February 25, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
      • Jim

        " forst " and " thiniest" – sounds like the Gadsden flag waving retards are weighing in.

        February 25, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
      • Perplexed

        Don't hate him because he's so much smarter, accomplished and better looking than you. He is one of the best presidents in my lifetime. He could accomplish even more if he were not handicapped by the party of no.

        February 25, 2013 at 6:47 pm |
      • Vicki

        That's truly pathetic and insulting to millions of people who participated in a democrat election. One that Republicans tried their best to undermine.

        February 25, 2013 at 11:40 pm |
    • tnchamp

      Lamar Alexander did great in helping education in Tennessee

      February 25, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
      • The Real Tom Paine

        He made millions in the daycare business: public schools there are appalling.

        February 25, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
    • LinSea

      Define "national impact as an educator." Do you mean someone who was an educator at some point and then entered the public arena?

      February 25, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
      • Russ

        Some need to scrutinize just about everything. He wasn't just an educator at some point. He was a law professor at U Chicago. I have been counseling high school students for 35 years. I spend much of my time helping students create lists of potential colleges and then aid them through the college application/financial aid processes. Chicago is one of the top schools in not only the U.S., but in the world. If some of you realized this, that part of Obama's record would not even be questioned.

        February 25, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
      • The Real Tom Paine

        Look at where his students are, and what they are doing: that defines national impact as an educator. If any of you had a clue about the U of C, you would never question that. I would say the same for a conservative professor, if one of national impartance could be found.

        February 25, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
  75. badcyclist

    I am a complete Obama supporter, but this article is not really about Obama or anything beyond a "look at me" vanity piece. It is the sort of thing really meant for a personal blog, not an op-ed piece. I mean, is there any insight to be found in this article about anything? If there is, it was pretty subtle.

    February 25, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
    • goodcyclist

      Word. She is full of it. "I’d once imagined myself as a civil rights lawyer, but I came to realize that I could perhaps have a bigger impact by going into corporate law". I was going to be an enviromental lawyer saving the earth but I thought it would be better if I got a job at BP to destroy them from the inside.......

      February 25, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
  76. nilla

    LOL, you think? So I can email Rand Paul with a daily list of demands , and he'll comply with all of them? C'mon.

    February 25, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
  77. Al Fly Boy

    Since when did the deficit have anything to do with the economy? Let's see, no inflation right now, just at the gas pump, and interest rates are historically cheaper than ever. That is the concern, right? Of course spending goes up, the population increases, there is inflation....duh. Well, we could wipe out Welfare completely, in which case, you would have zapped less than one percent of the Federal Budget; good job, now hows about that 99%. The President tried to pass health insurance reform, which would save us all money; Medicare is the largest government outlay!!! I think America needs a course in basic economics....!

    February 25, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
  78. joojoo40

    This story just reaffirms why i voted for President Obama..very touching story..he touches hearts! The negative people should keep their thoughts to themselves. they are hateful

    February 25, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
    • As-if

      He touches my wallet

      February 25, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
  79. ak

    aleast the 4t is spent on Americans and not on GOP WARs...........

    February 25, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
  80. Solomon Walker

    Mr. Obama's law associate at his Chicago law firm was my professor. Would you like to hear my story? It did not turn out all happy and gleeful like this one because I oppose Mr. Obama, politically.

    Let me know when you want to talk, CNN.

    February 25, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
    • Really

      How Sarah Palin-like. Point the finger at everyone but yourself when things don't work out the way you think they should.

      February 25, 2013 at 7:00 pm |
  81. GrogInOhio

    So... you've carefully reviewed the "grades, papers, any sort of work" for ALL candidates and public officials? Like Mitt Romney, George W. Bush, John McCain, John Boehner, Eric Cantor, etc? Or do you only require it from the black officials and candidates?

    February 25, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
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