And for any wondering about the accomplishments flap that critics will likely be grasping at, some items worthy of note:
-- Graduated first black president of Harvard Law Review having won trust and support of conservative members.
-- Passed over 600 high-money law firm offers to work for civil rights practice at fractional pay.
-- Added health insurance for 20,000 children, welfare reforms, earned-income tax credits, and increased minimum wage in Illinois.
-- Reformed death-penalty cases, requiring that interrogations be video-recorded. Passed Illinois Senate 58-0. Signed into law by Illinois governor who first opposed Obama’s bill. Obama succeeded by building consensus with conservative opposition.
-- Opposed Iraq war publicly, long before invasion. Accurately depicted it as of undetermined length, undetermined cost, undetermined objective, with a great likelihood of civil war breaking out.
-- Expanded program to locate and dismantle stray Russian WMD with Republican Senator Lugar.
-- Passed major ethics and lobbying reform bill with Russ Feingold, insisting upon tougher restrictions around gifts, meals, etc. And extended the interval preventing exiting congress members from moving directly into lobbyist positions.
-- Toured Kuwait, Jordan, Israel, and Palestinian territories, telling Palestinian Authority Abbas that US would never recognize Hamas leaders until they renounced mission to attack Israel.
-- Cosponsored Secure Orderly Immigration Act by John McCain. Passes Senate 62-36. Makes undocumented persons who have been here 5+ years only allowed to stay and apply for citizenship if they pay back-taxes, learn English, and have no criminal record.
-- Communicated frankly to Michigan automaker executives of need to increase fuel-efficiency standards by at least 3% per year.
-- Many aisle-crossing bi-partisan solutions throughout 10 years of senate experience (8 state, 2 federal).
-- 100% approval rating from the League of Conservation Voters, Planned Parenthood. National Education Association gives him an “A” on their most recent scorecard.
-- In Illinois State Senate sponsored 780 bills, 280 were signed into law.
-- In first year as US Senator, held 39 town-hall meetings throughout his state, sponsored 152 bills and resolutions, and cosponsored 427 more.-- Designated US Senate point person on ethics by Speaker Harry Reid.