Political discourse is undoubtedly one of the most important qualities that a politician could possess. Since the beginning of his 2008 campaign, Barack Obama has been praised by reporters, businessmen, and politicians alike for his natural charisma, leadership abilities, and public speaking skills. Obama’s magnetism is what drew record-setting crowds to his rallies and inauguration
; his strong public presence and speech style has led to comparisons to John F. Kennedy, Winston Churchill, Martin Luther King Jr., and Gandhi
Before he was elected president, Obama used his charismatic personality to establish credibility among his peers. He won the Harvard Law Review’s presidential election in the early 1990s, despite the journal’s overwhelmingly conservative staff
. According to political scientist Michael Nelson, when Obama was elected to a Republican-controlled state senate in 1996, he still “was able to get campaign finance reform and crime legislation enacted even though his party was in the minority”. When Democrats took over the Senate in 2002, he “became a leading legislator on a wide range of issues, passing nearly 300 bills.”
Obama’s charismatic nature has also helped him to build a positive relationship with the media, and his unwavering advocacy for LGBT, minority, and women’s rights have made him a popular figure among American liberals.
In Obama’s speeches, the theme of national unity takes precedence
; he frequently reiterates the greatness of the American people as a whole and promotes a common culture without targeting certain groups or demographics. He presents himself as a working man; the personal anecdotes, memories, and stories that he includes in his speeches make him appear less intimidating and more trustworthy to the average listener. Barack Obama's charisma has given him a huge advantage in working his way to the President of the United States, as well as allowing him to easily push for changes he wishes to enact.