The Exquisite Dilemma of Being Obama

The Democratic Party's new star has many admirers, but they all expect something from him. Can he please everyone?

When Oprah Winfrey has declared you "more than a politician," when you've had dinner with Bill Gates and Steven Spielberg and received 300 speaking invitations a week, things are going well for you as a freshman Senator. So you might forgive Barack Obama for being cautious in his first year on Capitol Hill. Why should he risk blemishing an almost perfect public persona that could help him win the presidency one day? But last month Obama finally found his cause: he wanted to lead Democrats in the push for lobbying and ethics reform. The issue seemed perfect for him. It's high profile...

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