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Windy City Times releases 2004 tapes of Obama during Senate campaign
2017-01-12

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Two audio tapes from Barack Obama's campaign for U.S. Senate from Illinois have been released by Windy City Times newspaper. The audio is linked below.

Both tapes were recorded by WCT Publisher Tracy Baim, the first on Jan. 7, 2004 in a one-on-one interview during the crowded Democratic primary, the second on May 7, 2004, after he won the primary and attended a stand-room-only LGBT fundraiser for his campaign.

The transcript of the interview was published Feb. 4, 2004 in full, and also ran in Baim's 2010 book, Obama and the Gays: A Political Marriage. The speech from May 7 was never published, but event photos ran in Windy City Times. A week after the interview was published, Obama responded with a letter to the editor clarifying his views.

The release of the tapes is timed for the president's final days in office. The tapes are among thousands of archival materials in the Windy City Times collection, and the paper is just now starting to digitize cassette audio tapes used by reporters during the weekly newspaper's first 31 years in business.

In 2009, soon after Obama was first elected president, Windy City Times released a copy found in its archives from a 1996 written candidate's questionnaire in which Obama said he was in favor of same-sex marriage. He later changed course and opposed it in favor of a compromise, but before his 2012 race for a second term, he revolved back to his 1996 position, as stated to Outlines newspaper ( which merged with Windy City Times in 2000 ).

The May 7, 2004 benefit was a politically packed event, with local and national politicians, including a lot of prominent LGBT donors. As WCT stated at the time: "GLBTs raised nearly $100,000 for the campaign of Democrat Barack Obama for U.S. Senate from Illinois last Friday night downtown. U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton was supposed to speak, but her flight was delayed after a long day of Senate hearings. Two other U.S. Senators and two U.S. Reps did attend in support of Obama: Sen. Jon S. Corzine ( D-NJ ), Sen. Dick Durbin ( D-Ill ), and Illinois Democrats Rep. Jan Schakowsky and Rahm Emanuel. Ald. Tom Tunney and Michael Bauer hosted the event."

Bill Healy, freelance audio producer, consulted on the audio digitization. WBEZ Recording technician Mary Gaffney did the transfer.

Below are two audio links, plus related links, including the transcript of the 2004 interview:

Jan. 2004 Obama interview (audio starts a few seconds in and turn sound up, lots of audio ticks):

www.WindyCityMediaGroup.com/pdf/Take2ObamaJan2004mp3.mp3 .

May 2004 Obama campaign event: (audio starts a few seconds in and turn sound up, lots of audio ticks)

www.WindyCityMediaGroup.com/pdf/ObamaSpeechMay2004MP3.mp3 .

Obama changed views on gay marriage News Analysis by Tracy Baim, 2009-02-01 www.windycitymediagroup.com/lgbt/Obama-changed-views-on-gay-marriage/20437.html .

Windy City times exclusive: Obama marriage story goes national, 1998 survey shows another shift by Tracy Baim, 2009-01-21 www.windycitymediagroup.com/lgbt/Windy-City-times-exclusive-Obama-marriage-story-goes-national/20783.html .

Windy City Times exclusive: Obama's Marriage Views Changed. WCT Examines His Step Back News analysis by Tracy Baim, 2009-01-14 www.windycitymediagroup.com/lgbt/Windy-City-Times-exclusive-Obamas-Marriage-Views-Changed-WCT-Examines-His-Step-Back/20524.html .

Putting Obama's questionnaire in context, by Timothy Stewart-Winter 2009-01-14 www.windycitymediagroup.com/lgbt/Putting-Obamas-questionnaire-in-context/20525.html .

Letters: Obama on Marriage 2004-02-11 www.windycitymediagroup.com/lgbt/Letters-Obama-on-Marriage-Gay-Games/4018.html .

Obama Seeks U.S. Senate seat, interview, 2004 by Tracy Baim, 2004-02-04 www.windycitymediagroup.com/lgbt/Obama-seeks-US-Senate-seat/3931.html .

NOTE: Viewpoint by Terry Cosgrove has been moved to: www.windycitymediagroup.com/lgbt/VIEWS-Good-for-the-goose-good-for-the-gander/21378.html .


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