OCCUPATION: First-term Illinois Senator, Democratic Presidential candidate
NUMBER OF TIME COVERS: 4
PREVIOUS APPEARANCES ON THE TIME 100: 2
PRO: The eloquent Democratic frontrunner promises to anneal a shattered union, end an endless war, and redefine the chief executive as philosopher king, employing a politics that transcends race and ideology.
CON: His candidacy, perhaps inevitably, hasn't transcended either. Critics call the Obamanon a mass, messianic delusion, and Obama's perceived aversion to policy specifics in key speeches and debates (along with his youth) has gotten him caricatured as a honey-tongued naif. An ugly, protracted battle with rival Hillary Clinton could kill his nascent majority in the shell.
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