Ryan Lizza goes long and deep on Barack Obama's background in Chicago politics and his rise to the US Senate. I keep reading people debunking the idea that Obama is a messianic, saint-like figure and people criticizing the idea that Obama is a messianic, saint-like figure. Indeed, I've read so much commentary on the subject of how people shouldn't believe that Obama is a messianic, saint-like figure that I've become convinced that nobody actually believes that he is. But if they do exist, they'll be disillusioned by Ryan's article!

But in terms of worries I actually have seen expressed, I think the picture you get here tends to dissipate worries that Obama might turn out to be a Carter-esque failure or somehow who otherwise doesn't know how to get the job done. He's an eminently practical person -- practical enough to understand that to advance you need to stand a bit outside and above the systems you're operating in, but also very much operate in them. And not just to understand that (which is pretty easy) but to do it, which I think is very difficult.

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