The Obama Surge: Will It Last?

In a time of distress, he's projected comfort and confidence. But eventually he'll need to take risks too

Jim watson / AFP / Getty

Obama and McCain at the Oct. 7 town-hall debate in Nashville. Obama has built a lead by outlining a strong role for government in dealing with the economic crisis.

If Barack Obama is elected president of the United States on Nov. 4 — a prospect that is beginning to seem likely now — it may turn out that he closed the deal with a simple answer to a not-so-simple question posed by Tom Brokaw in the second presidential debate: "Is health care in America a privilege, a right or a responsibility?" This is familiar territory for Democrats. The question was framed many years ago by Senator Ted Kennedy, who must have been smiling up on Cape Cod. "Health care should be a right, not a privilege," Kennedy would...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!