In Harvard Law Review Presidency, Signs for the Future

Let in conservative ideas, kept even keel
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 23, 2008 4:51 PM CDT
The Harvard Law Review Board of Editors for the 1990-1991 academic year. At center, holding the staff, is Barack Obama, the year he became the first black president of the Harvard Law Review.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – As president of the Harvard Law Review, Barack Obama gave voice to a mix of conservative and liberal ideas and "maneuvered his way around pretty well," says the author of a new book about Harvard Law School. Politico dissects Obama's 1990-91 tenure in search of omens in the story of a young black man elected to head a tradition-bound, white-dominated institution.

Obama “was as much a traditionalist as anything,” says Susan Estrich, a fellow ex-Law Review president and onetime Dukakis adviser who's now a professor. "It was a big deal that he got the presidency. He was selected because of merit, and he believed in the institution and its history."