What could President Obama learn from FDR's experience?
There is an interesting parallel. President Obama has been very careful about addressing the matter of his identity as an African-American. It has obviously been crucial. But he can't talk about it all that much. If you draw attention to the fact that you are the first black president, you risk having that sort of override all the other themes that you want to present as a leader. I think that this was true of Roosevelt, too. While he certainly was proud of what he had done in overcoming polio … as president he could not talk day in and day out about being disabled. If you point too much to the way in which you are not of the mainstream, then you risk leaving the mainstream.