The Fresh Face

First-term Senator Barack Obama has the charisma and the ambition to run for President. But, as Joe Klein reports from the campaign trail, he's not quite ready to answer the tough questions

It is 9 A.M. on a fresh, sunny Saturday in Rockford, Ill., and nearly a thousand people have gathered in the gymnasium at Rock Valley College to participate in a town meeting with their Senator, Barack Obama. It is an astonishingly large crowd for a beautiful Saturday morning, but Obama--whose new book, The Audacity of Hope, is excerpted starting on page 52--has become an American political phenomenon in what seems about a nanosecond, and the folks are giddy with anticipation. "We know he's got the charisma," says Bertha McEwing, who has lived in Rockford for more than 50 years. "We want...

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