11/29/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Obama Success Rooted In Late Senator Paul Simon

t was Rahm Emanuel's suggestion, actually. "Why," asked the Chicago congressman, "don't you look at this presidential election through a different lens?"

Exactly what lens would that be?

"Paul Simon," he replied.

No, not the guy who used to sing with Art Garfunkel.

The other Paul Simon. The crusading young newspaper publisher from Southern Illinois who carved a political path from the state Legislature to lieutenant governor to Congress to the Senate and along the way, in 1988, ran for president. OUR Paul Simon.

You could argue that before Barack Obama ever stepped onto a political stage, was a community organizer or editor of the Harvard Law Review or ran for the state Legislature, Simon created the infrastructure of his presidential campaign.

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