To quote it is to be it:
Early in the campaign, in January 2007, a New York Times reporter wrote a story about Mr. Obama's time as president of the Harvard Law Review. It was there, the reporter noted, "he first became a political sensation."
Here's why: "Mr. Obama cast himself as an eager listener, sometimes giving warring classmates the impression that he agreed with all of them at once." Also: "People had a way of hearing what they wanted in Mr. Obama's words."
Harvard Law Prof. Charles Ogletree told how Mr. Obama spoke on one contentious issue at the law school, and each side thought he was endorsing their view. Mr. Ogletree said: "Everyone was nodding, Oh, he agrees with me."
The reason I have never forgotten this article is its last sentence, in which Al Gore's former chief of staff Ron Klain, also of Harvard Law, reflects on the Obama sensation: "The interesting caveat is that is a style of leadership more effective running a law review than running a country."
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, in a book out next week, tells of congratulating freshman Sen. Obama on a phenomenal speech. Without a hint of conceit, Mr. Obama replied, "Harry, I have a gift."
I have a gift indeed.
A fuller quote can be found here:
In a 15-page epilog to the paperback version of Reid's book, The Good Fight, coming out May 5, the Nevada Democrat writes of "The Obama Era.'' A copy of the epilog was provided to the Associated Press.
Reid writes of being impressed with Obama when the then-freshman delivered a speech about then-President George W. Bush's war policy.
"''That speech was phenomenal, Barack,' I told him,'' Reid writes. "And I will never forget his response. Without the barest hint of braggadocio or conceit, and with what I would describe as deep humility, he said quietly: 'I have a gift, Harry."'
The man is gifted. It doesn't matter if it is 47 million or 30 million uninsured. He has a gift.
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