By showing officers that he shared many of their concerns, even going so far as to help pass other legislation they wanted, he was able to quiet the fears of many.
Obama proved persuasive enough that the bill passed both houses of the legislature, the Senate by an incredible 35 to 0. Then he talked Blagojevich into signing the bill, making Illinois the first state to require such videotaping.
Obama didn’t stop there. He played a major role in passing many other bills, including the state’s first earned-income tax credit to help the working poor and the first ethics and campaign finance law in 25 years (a law a Post story said made Illinois ‘one of the best in the nation on campaign finance disclosure’). Obama’s commitment to ethics continued in the U.S. Senate, where he co-authored the new lobbying reform law that, among its hard-to-sell provisions, requires lawmakers to disclose the names of lobbyists who ‘bundle’ contributions for them.
Taken together, these accomplishments demonstrate that Obama has what Dillard, the Republican state senator, calls a ‘unique’ ability ‘to deal with extremely complex issues, to reach across the aisle and to deal with diverse people.’ In other words, Obama’s campaign claim that he can persuade us to rise above what divides us is not just rhetoric.