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4:20 PM


Obama, Abridged

Barack Obama in Washington earlier this month.Photograph by Brigitte Lacombe

In this week's New York, Jennifer Senior examines the popularity of Barack Obama. Here's a not-quite-automated guide to the story.

Keywords: presidential run, bi-racial, RFK, Kenya, memoirs, authentic, campaign book, John McCain, "post-ideological candidate"

The details: Barack Obama is tired of the sixties; women love him; he might run for president some day; Audacity of Hope, his new tome, is a campaign book; midterm elections will be "silly season" for Democrats; Daily Kos doesn't surprise him; only in America.

Crucial quote: "I mean, the fact that I conjugate my verbs and, you know, speak in a typical midwestern-newscaster voice — there's no doubt this helps ease communication between myself and white audiences. And there's no doubt that when I'm with a black audience, I slip into a slightly different dialect. But the point is, I don't feel the need to talk in a certain way before a white audience. And I don't feel the need to speak a certain way in front of a black audience. There's a level of self-consciousness about these issues the previous generation had to negotiate that I don't feel I have to."

Takeaway: Obama could potentially transcend racial politics.

Read the full text.