As a street agitator, Obama worked the machine politicians until he was 'made' Senator. This From the Chicago Sun Times:
"He came to me and he said, 'You're the Senate president. You have a lot of power,' " Jones recalled. "I said, 'I do? What kind of power do I have?' He said, 'You have the power to make a United States senator.' 'Oh? I didn't realize that. If I have that kind of power, do you know of anyone I could make a United States senator?' He said, 'Me.' He caught me by surprise. I said, 'Let me think about it.' And we continued to talk, and I told him, 'That sounds good. Let's go for it.' That started the campaign."