Oliver Willis notes the cover story all about Barack Obama, Senator Superstar entitled: “Why Barack Obama Could Be The Next President“. I too noted this on newsstands this week and had a reaction similar to one the author observes Obama often receives from fellow African-Americans. Here’s an excerpt from the article (emphasis mine):

Obama’s personal appeal is made manifest when he steps down from the podium and is swarmed by well-wishers of all ages and hues, although the difference in reaction between whites and blacks is subtly striking. The African Americans tend to be fairly reserved–quiet pride, knowing nods and be-careful-now looks. The white people, by contrast, are out of control. A nurse named Greta, just off a 12-hour shift, tentatively reaches out to touch the Senator’s sleeve. “Oh, my God! Oh, my God! I just touched a future President! I can’t believe it!” She is literally shaking with delight–her voice is quivering–as she asks Obama for an autograph and then a hug.

Don’t get me wrong. There’s no playa-hating over here. I am thrilled for a brotha who’s making it. I think though that Obama is often perceived to be a follower more than a leader compared to say, John Conyers. Even when it comes to communicating with people. On torture and habeas corpus, he was a little slow to come forward. Come forward and make a strong statement on the right side — he did that. After some prodding.

African-Americans can be proud of the one Black Senator we have. Don’t hate on us if the jury’s still out on whether or not he’s really got our back on issues we care about. Does he have Presidential Potential — absolutely. The last person that made voting-age white women scream like that was Bill Clinton. But Bill Clinton was able to demonstrate support and respect for the Black community — he was able to convey the feeling that he represented all Americans. Not just the slowly shrinking majority. Can Obama do that? I think he can. A lot of us are still holding back a little though until we can get to know him better.

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