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University of Chicago Law School professor Geof Stone. 0

Obama job interview that made an impression

July 28th, 2016

My Facebook feed lit up with comments about President Barack Obama’s speech last night at the Democratic National Convention, but none was more fun to read than Geoffrey Stone’s.

He’s a University of Chicago Law School professor who first met Obama in 1991. Obama was a third-year student at Harvard Law School then and Stone was dean of U. of C.’s law school. (He would later become provost of the university.)

“I had heard great things about this young man and invited him out to interview for a position as a Law and Government Fellow,” Stone wrote on Facebook, referring to Obama. “He was even more impressive than expected and I offered him the position, which he promptly accepted. After he left my office my secretary said to me: ‘That kid’s terrific. I bet he’ll be Governor of Illinois someday.'”

I got a chuckle out of that, so I followed up with Stone to ask what he thought about Obama’s speech.

Stone watched the convention from his home in Chicago with partner, Jane Dailey, a professor of American history at the U. of C., and his border collie, Cora.

“In my judgment, one of his best…brilliant,” Stone wrote in an email, adding it came close to the keynote at the 2004 convention that propelled Obama to the national stage.

The president made the case for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, and he painted a contrasting picture to the one delivered at the GOP Convention in Cleveland last week.

“I thought his vision of America — our history, our traditions, and our values — was both spot on and compelling. It fit perfectly with his own beliefs about our nation and it contrasted sharply” with Donald Trump, said Stone, who’s watched Obama’s career closely and has worked with the president on some policy issues.


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