"The political debate is now so skewed, so limited, so distorted... What if a politician were to see his job as that of an organizer, as part teacher and part advocate, one who does not sell voters short but who educates them about the real choices before them? As an elected public official, for instance, I could bring church and community leaders together easier than I could as a community organizer or lawyer. We would come together to form concrete economic development strategies, take advantage of existing laws and structures, and create bridges and bonds within all sectors of the community. We must form grass-root structures that would hold me and other elected officials more accountable for their actions," - Barack Obama, 1995.
Yes: 1995. His manner of politics is not a matter of expediency, but of conviction. It really helps to understand him better, it seems to me, if you see him in this context.