In a video of a speech he spoke with his signature confident dialogue style. He sounded remarkably like he does today.
The year was 1991, Obama was 30-years-old, he wore khakis and a button-down shirt and struck a casual pose behind the mic.
Young Obama was speaking out in support of Harvard's first tenured black law professor, Derrick Bell and charmed the crowd with some playful teasing.
"How has he accomplished all this? He hasn't done it simply by his good looks and easy charm. Although he has both in ample measure," said Obama.
But now the video is causing a national debate over Obama's relationship with the professor, who was protesting the lack of female black professors at Harvard.
Sean Hannity said on his Fox News show, "The video, that by their very own admission, friends of Barack Obama have been keeping under lock and key."
Piers Morgan said on his CNN show, "Why are we all making such a fuss about Barack Obama getting a little radical at college? Who cares?"
The video was obtained by controversial conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart, who died suddenly last week of a massive heart attack at age 43.
Before his death, he promised to release video of the President that he said would change the outcome of the election.
"I've got videos, by the way. This election we are going to vet him," Breitbart said at the CPAC convention last year. [ InsideEdition.com]
Amidst the debate, PBS has quietly published the footage that they have had for years.
The full video adds a lot of historical context to Obama's speech in defense of Bell. A good portion of the speech, however, was left on the cutting room floor in 1990.
PBS releasing the full video reminds us of how the late Andrew Breitbart was an expert at forcing the media to do his bidding.
Last night, Breitbart.com released a video of Harvard Law School’s Professor Charles Ogletree showing a brief clip of the Obama video, admitting “We hid this throughout the 2008 campaign. I don’t care if they find it now.”
To Buzzfeed's credit, they found and licenced the video from WGBH, which was featured on Fox New's Hannity last night prior to airing the Ogletree video from Breitbart.com. [campaign2012.washingtonexaminer.com]