This is an excerpt from an article written by Leonard Pitts Jr. for the Miami-Herald

The chief executive’s power does not derive solely from the authority vested in him by the Constitution. To the contrary, it derives also, and in some ways, more so, from his ability to rally the people, to inspire them in some great challenge or crusade

We do not live — yet — in a dictatorship. Americans do not move because they are told to move; they move because they are inspired to. It is no accident that history’s most successful presidents are the ones who were able to frame, with concision and grace, America’s challenges and hopes, the ones who had greatest command over what Theodore Roosevelt famously called “the bully pulpit.”

Think Ronald Reagan saying government is not the solution to the problem; government is the problem. Think Franklin Roosevelt declaring that the only thing we had to fear was fear itself. Think Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg vowing a new birth of freedom.

What some of us don’t understand is that Obama is not running a campaign; he is rallying a movement. After seven years of what may go down as the worst presidency ever, after the grime of the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal, after dreary years of internecine sniping where ideological purity has routinely trumped national interest, Americans want something else. Something higher.

Whether Obama can deliver that something else is a fair question. But the thing is, he recognizes and responds to the hunger for it. That’s the reason Clinton can’t lay a glove on him, the reason he’s won 10 primaries in a row, the reason he’s cracked her coalition and even inspired Republicans to switch parties.

Clinton and others seem to think all those people have been scammed, flim-flammed and razzle-dazzled. It’s a condescending conclusion.

Link to complete article: Obama’s success tied to his eloquence – 02/24/2008 – MiamiHerald.com

About this entry