Viktor Yushchenko was positively boring throughout most of the orange revolution. His speeches in Independence Square in Kiev were keenly anticipated, but a few minutes after he began talking, after he had started rambling on about Seneca or bee-keeping or whatever, people generally began chatting among themselves. The point about Mr Yushchenko was that he was, or seemed, honest (much more so than some of his fellow revolutionaries, who subsequently joined him in government). On the basis of Ukraine the conclusion might be that a revolutionary leader needs to have what you might call "negative capability": a persona blank, clean and undivisive enough to command the trust of the diverse constituencies that it takes to bring about change; a persona onto which the various elements of the revolutionary coaltion can project their own goals and grievances.
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2006-2011 archives for The Daily Dish, featuring Andrew Sullivan