“When we were walking the halls of the Capitol trying to win over enough Senators to beat back the Administration’s bill, Senator Obama made his key staffers and even his offices available to help us,” they wrote. “Senator Obama worked with us to count the votes, and he personally lobbied colleagues who worried about the political ramifications of voting to preserve habeas corpus for the men held at Guantanamo. He has understood that our strength as a nation stems from our commitment to our core values, and that we are strong enough to protect both our security and those values. Senator Obama demonstrated real leadership then and since, continuing to raise Guantanamo and habeas corpus in his speeches and in the debates.”
The article points out that Clinton spoke out against the bill, too. The detainee lawyers don’t mention Clinton, but they go out of their way to argue that Obama took a leadership role in that legislative debate, in a way that counters the charge that he is all talk and no action.
The lawyers’ description of Obama’s assistance suggests to me that his early community organizing work has carried over into how he conducts politics. In that kind of role he is a quintessential behind-the-scenes get-things-done kind of person. When you combine this with his obvious ability to be the inspirational front man — no small part of the presidency — and I don’t see where the “all talk” rap makes any sense.