Getting Under Obama's Skin

A portrait of the candidate as a uniter in the Lincoln mold
By Caroline Miller,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 30, 2007 11:04 PM CDT
Democratic presidential hopeful Senator Barack Obama addresses the California Democratic Convention in San Diego, Saturday, April 28, 2007. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Larissa MacFarquhar does an apt and artful deconstruction of Barack Obama's political persona in this week's New Yorker. Observing the candidate's oddly mild stump style, compared with the overachiever affect of most Democratic candidates, she notes that he is less professor than doctor, aiming not to whip up outrage but to heal the body politic.

Obama comes by his cool conciliatory style naturally, she writes, as a child who synthesized cultures to construct an identity.  With an almost eery self-possession—"the unnnatural stillness of someone able to lower his blood pressure at will"—he shares Lincoln 's  profound pragmatism, his understanding of unity as compromise, of the certainty of uncertainty.