The Strengths of Barack Obama

James Fallows over at The Atlantic has a good run down of why Barack Obama is such a formidable politician.

In short order, it is his:

  1. formal oratory skills
  2. his ability to use technology to raise money
  3. his skill in getting out the vote (and his overall ground game)
  4. his debating technique
  5. his ability to tell stories and evoke emotions
  6. his demeanour

Fallows smartly compares Obama to everyone from Clinton to Reagan to JFK. The thing is, he is all those things, but he is also something new. Someone others in the future will look back for comparisons.

One thing that Fallows left out is this: his ability to make others wrongly underestimate him. This is something Reagan and Clinton had. It’s a ease they have, that allows their opponents to relax or overestimate their own strengths.

It’s going to be an interesting eight years in American and world history. In the meantime, read James Fallows’s posting. It’s good.


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