Obama's Charisma Doesn't Guarantee a Win

Obama's appeal is powerful, but the record shows that charisma doesn't guarantee success

By SHARE

The real question, Dallek says, is whether Obama can sustain his magnetism in the rough-and-tumble of a modern presidential campaign. "There's an old saying," the historian says. "You can only hold the highest note for so long." If Obama falters—if he loses the nomination in a messy intraparty battle—his supporters are likely to be deeply disappointed and angry. "If he comes undone, there will be a big crash," says a prominent Democratic strategist who has advised Bill Clinton. And that could easily turn the country in a cynical, rancorous direction—spelling the end of Obama rapture.