Dr. Obama and Mr. Hyde

'High-minded' candidate is also cutthroat political animal
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jun 20, 2008 5:20 AM CDT
Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., center, greets people on his doorstep as he moves around his home in Chicago, Ill.,Thursday, June 19, 2008, during photo sessions.   (AP Photo/Russel A. Daniels)
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(Newser) – Barack Obama has two faces: there’s the "high-minded" liberal “Dr. Barack” and the politically calculating, win at-all-costs “Fast Eddie Obama,” writes David Brooks in the New York Times. The split personality clearly emerged in Obama’s announcement that he won’t accept public financing—a money-making move that leaves his ardent support of campaign-finance reform in the dust.

Obama “speaks so calmly and polysyllabically that people fail to appreciate the Machiavellian ambition inside”—but Brooks admits he’s “ambivalent watching all this.” While Obama has shown himself to be a sell-out, we may need a cutthroat president, Brooks concedes. Either way, Obama shouldn’t be underestimated. “He’s the most effectively political creature we’ve seen in decades,” Brooks writes.