How to Build a Bonfire

Callie Shell / Aurora for TIME

U.S. Senator Barack Obama at a town hall meeting shortly after announcing his intentions to run for the 2008 Presidency.

Let it be recorded that humility was the first note struck by Senator Barack Obama in announcing his presidential candidacy before a large crowd in Springfield, Ill.: "It's humbling, but in my heart I know you didn't come here just for me; you came here because you believe in what this country can be." It was a note struck repeatedly during his first weekend of campaigning. "This is not only about me," he would say, launching into a lengthy and crowd-deadening disquisition on how, as a former community organizer, he understood that change comes from the grass roots up, not from...

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