Saturday, March 18, 2006

Obama: Another Camelot?

Rarely are the qualities of intelligence, charisma, and a self-effacing sense of humor realized in the incarnation of one politician. Perhaps the last two best examples of that convergence were embodied by Senator Paul Wellstone and President John F. Kennedy. Arguably, President Bill Clinton might fall into the same category.

Democrats and Independents have been salivating for years for some new, similarly multi-flavored leader to emerge.

Now, they're drooling over visions of a possibly re-energized Democratic party led by just such a leader: Barack Obama, the popular Junior Senator from Illinois.

Quickly gaining unsolicited super-star status within the party and among constituents, Obama has sought to maintain a relatively low profile in the Senate, absorbing everything, preferring to learn the ropes before leaping blindly into the fray, in essence, paying his dues.

Fans are more than a little impatient for him to seize his bequeathed role as their outspoken maverick, fighting passionately for the little guy and inspiring their party back to its moral (and liberal) roots.

Despite his strong denials to the contrary, he is oft touted as a dark horse 2008 Presidential or Vice Presidential candidate, evoking visions of 1960, when the Democrats nominated the relatively unknown John F. Kennedy over the more experienced and lauded Adlai E. Stevenson.

So far, Obama has given them merely a whiff of that potential, teasing them to want more, always leaving them less than sated.

Last week, Obama gave them a taste of Emeril Lagasse gourmet by "kicking it up a notch" when he delivered a humor-laden speech, of Bob Hope caliber, at the Grideron Club Dinner Roast for, of all people, VICE.

See for yourself what all the raves are about. Read Obama's Grideron speech here.

Photo credit: On top of the world: Obama is prepared to step into a leadership role for the Democrats. (Nitin Vadukul for Newsweek)

Also see:

Cheney roasted at Gridiron Club dinner

Obama carries a tune

'The Audacity of Hope' - Who's Next

Why not an Obama-Romney match-up in 2008?

Will Senator Barack Obama Be Loved Tomorrow?

Barack Obama chats with Grist