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What Obama Means
Barack Obama's phenomenal rise results from a ground-level version of harmonic convergence such as: the proper alignment of irreversible cultural trends, substantial political developments and unstoppable market forces. Part of his emergence derives from Obama himself: his charisma, his peerless eloquence, his seemingly effortless mastery of the issues, and the clarity with which he presents and pursues his agenda. But none of those qualities counters the fact that he appeared at the exactly right time and place in the course of American events. Although Obama's very ascendance is a watershed moment, it is provoked consequences that will reach far beyond the fight for the Democratic nomination. In addition to turning the old civil-rights model of African-American leadership on its head, Obama has suggested a new framework of public service and leadership that will undoubtedly influence ambitious Americans of all backgrounds.
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