While I share much of the skepticism over the hype surrounding Obama, at the same time I do think there’s something more to his star power than many faded politicians of the past. I remember watching his 2004 convention speech and thinking that he presented liberalism in the best possible light, with a kind of sunny optimism that was similar to the way Reagan was able to present conservatism. Many liberal politicians come across as angry and anti-American, they frame issues in divisive ways: black vs. white, rich vs. poor, etc. But Obama’s rhetoric is a lot different. He celebrates America as the land of oppourtunity and equality, but modestly suggests that the nation can do a better job of making sure everybody gets a fair shake. It’s easy to see how that can appeal to voters, especially Democrats.