LINK: Illinois State Rep. Obama’s speech opposing the war in Iraq, Chicago, IL, October 30, 2002. Note: A full video version does not exist. Part of this clip is of Obama, the rest is of Obama supporters reading the rest of the speech.
This brief speech that Obama gave when he was still just a state representative in Springfield, IL, became central to his campaign against Hillary Clinton in 2007-2008. Between 2002 and 2007, the war in Iraq became exceedingly unpopular, especially among Democrats. As US Senator, Clinton had voted for the war, and thus when her campaign for the Democratic nomination for President began in early 2007, she was widely condemned. This issue gave a clear place for Obama to distinguish himself from Clinton — and many anti-war Democrats surged to support his candidacy. Hillary Clinton was never able to fully distance herself from her war vote.