Obama: the Accidental Candidate

Dem rose with dizzying speed on a cascade of lucky breaks
By Heather McPherson,  Newser User
Posted Aug 12, 2007 7:58 AM CDT
Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., greets members of the National Association of Black Journalists after speaking at the 32nd NABJ Convention at Bally's hotel-casino in Las Vegas,...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Barack Obama’s rapid ascent to top-tier presidential candidate was the stuff of lucky break after lucky break, as quiet charisma and other people’s sex scandals catapulted him to the top, the Washington Post reports. It was a chance opening that first took him to Chicago and chance again that opened up a US Senate seat from Illinois. “It’s like he’s cut in line,” a Hill staffer observed.

Three sex scandals cleared the Democrat’s way to the state senate and then to Washington—and he’d “probably have stepped out of politics for a while” if his 2004 competition had been different. In fact it's Obama’s cool character that has been winning him elections for decades; conservative classmates chose him as the most level-headed liberal in the race for Harvard Law Review president.