Some people wondered why Hillary Clinton failed to inspire voters in the 2008 presidential campaign with an explicitly cynical message. Mocking then-Sen. Barack Obama, Clinton said, "I could stand up here and say: let’s just get everybody together, let’s get unified… The sky will open, the light will come down, celestial choirs will be singing, and everyone will know that we should do the right thing, and the world would be perfect." Get real, she said. She'd lived through the 90s. "Maybe I’ve just lived a little long, but I have no illusions about how hard this will be. You are not going to wave a magic wand…" She did not win the Democratic nomination. But, Politico's Glenn Thrush points out, history has proved her right. Even Obama admits his speeches don't work like magic on House Republicans.
Obama himself has explicitly endorsed the no-magic-wands view. "I wish I had a magic wand and could make this all happen on my own," Obama said of congressional inaction on the DREAM Act in 2011. Earlier this year, he complained, "Even though most people agree that I'm being reasonable; that most people agree I'm presenting a fair deal; the fact they don't take it means I should somehow do a Jedi mind meld with these folks and convince them to do what's right."