Lansing native Edward McClelland, now a veteran Chicago journalist, knew President Obama in his early days.
"I knew him before he was 'fresh and elegant,'" he said.
The author's new book Young Mr. Obama tells the story of how America's first black president came to be. McClelland, an LCC and MSU alum, spent Saturday afternoon at the Everybody Reads bookstore talking about and signing his book. We talked with him about Obama's influence on the upcoming election.
"2008 was the romance and this is the marraige," he said. "And the marriage is never as exciting as the romance. Obama's never going to be as exciting as he was in 2008."
The president has spent the last few weeks campaigning on behalf of democrats at a time when republicans may regain control of congress.
"It's harder to for him to make himself the face of these other congressmen and senators he's trying to support," he said.
McClelland doesn't think there will be as many young voters this year simply because Obama's not on the ballot.
"I don't know if they make the connection between Obama and Mark Schauer," he said.
Lansing resident Gail Kleine says Michigan elections are rather predictable.
"You have four or eight years of one party and people say they ddin't do any good, we'll elect the other side," said Kleine, who is also McClelland's mother.
"I think it's just the natural instinct of the public to want to have divided government," McClelland said. "They don't want any party to get too powerful."
McClelland says a republican congress may actually work in Obama's favor come 2012.
"He'll have someone to run against, someone who has to share some of the responsibility," he said.
McClelland says he's working on another book, this one about the rise and fall of America's industrial heartland.