President Barack Obama's college record has officially been under strict secrecy since his run for the White House began in 2007. This record includes two years at Occidental College in Los Angeles, two years at Columbia University, and finally at Harvard Law School.
During his time at these colleges, Obama gained notoriety for being an especially bright and hardworking student. At Harvard, he was later elected as the editor of the Harvard Law Review, which many observers see as the beginning of his political career.
However, many things regarding the future President's time at these colleges have remained private. Under order of the Obama campaign, all information not directly allowed published by Obama himself, is not to be disclosed to any media. These included grades, attendance records, rewards received, and papers submitted.
With all of the secrecy regarding the President's academic record, famed Time reporter Joe Klein looked into the records for an upcoming special edition about the President. Klein included several key points in the piece, including his grades and stellar letters of recommendation. However, what has leaked along with this information was the subject of a thesis written by the young Obama while still an undergraduate at Columbia.
A political science major, Obama was seen as a top student, according to his classmates. Professors even asked the young student to lecture several times. Obama was required to write a 'senior seminar' paper in order to graduate from Columbia. The subject of this paper, which totaled 44 pages, was American government. Entitled Aristocracy Reborn, this paper chronicled the long struggle of the working class against, as Obama put it, "plutocratic thugs with one hand on the money and the other on the government."
In the paper, in which only the first ten pages were given to the general media, Obama decries the plight of the poor: "I see poverty in every place I walk. In Los Angeles and New York, the poor reach to me with bleary eyes and all I can do is sigh."
In part, the future President blames this on the current economic system: "There are many who will defend the 'free market.' But who will defend the single mother of four working three jobs. When a system is allowed to be free at the expense of its citizens, then it is tyranny."
However, the President also singled out the American Constitution: "... the Constitution allows for many things, but what it does not allow is the most revealing. The so-called Founders did not allow for economic freedom. While political freedom is supposedly a cornerstone of the document, the distribution of wealth is not even mentioned. While many believed that the new Constitution gave them liberty, it instead fitted them with the shackles of hypocrisy."
It is yet unknown if more of this thesis will be released. It was also noted that the President received an A- for the paper, which later led to his graduation.