Hertzberg on Obama: 9/13/04
From a “Talk of the Town” piece:
When Barack Obama spoke at the Democratic Convention in Boston, a lot of people thought—and hoped—that they were seeing the future. Half Kansas and half Kenyan, half black and half white, yet all-American in a novel and exhilarating way that seemed to transcend the usual categories, Obama, who on November 2nd will be elected to the United States Senate from Illinois, embodied and expressed a fresh synthesis of the American civic religion —one that fused not only black and white, and immigrant and native-born, but also self-reliance and social solidarity. “He represents the future of the party,” Stephanie Cutter, the communications director for John Kerry’s campaign, said by way of explaining why Obama had been chosen to deliver the keynote speech. And it is not hard to imagine circumstances under which, a decade or two hence, he might represent the future of the country as well.