It was a pretty convincing speech, I thought. And although I’m not sure that the peoplewho heard me deliver it were similarly impressed, enough of them appreciated myearnestness and youthful swagger that I made it to the Illinois legislature.
SIX YEARS LATER, when I decided to run for the United States Senate, I wasn’t sosure of myself.
By all appearances, my choralph lauren polo big pony ice of careers seemed to have worked out. After two termsduring which I labored in the minority, Democrats had gained control of the statesenate, and I had subsequently passed a slew of bills, from reforms of the Illinois deathpenalty system to an expansion of the state’s health program for kids. I had continued toteach at the University of Chicago Law School, a job I enjoyed, and was frequentlyinvited to speak around town. I had preserved my independence, my good name, andmy marriage, all of which, statistically speaking, had been placed at risk the moment Iset foot in the state capital