Obama Played Hardball Early
Candidate burned political benefactor, among others, in Chicago
By Greg Atwan,  Newser User
Posted Apr 4, 2007 6:41 AM CDT
Democratic presidential hopeful U.S. Sen. Barack Obama talks to a crowd of several thousand at Keene State College in Keene, N.H., Monday, April 2, 2007.(AP Photo/Jim Cole)    (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Barack Obama showed his acumen for sharp-elbowed politics early on, according to a report in the Tribune. The 2008 hopeful, famous for his affable and earnest optimism, launched his career in an old-fashioned Chicagoan way,  by pushing a former political mentor off a ballot, He won "not by leveling the playing field, but by clearing it," the report says.

Alice Palmer, a South-Side Democrat, appointed Obama heir apparent to her state senate seat; when the two found themselves seeking the same nomination, Obama challenged her signatures, successfully purging her, and three other competitors, from the ballot.  Remembering the incident, Obama is elegantly evasive: " If you can win, you should win and get to work doing the people's business."