Clearly this guy learned some things in his stint as an organizer in Chicago. Notice, he doesn't promise his working class audience that he is going to fix it. He's irritating that way. One of the things he probably learned is the limits of an inspirational figure to effect real change. There's a lot in Dreams From My Father about the limitations of Harold Washington's mayoral rule in Chicago. He doesn't want to be caught in the bind of being unable to deliver.
Yesterday a friend sent me an Obama interview from the Advocate. The reporter pushes him to promise repeal of DOMA, the federal law that outlaws gay marriage. He won't promise that:
He's treating LGBT people as political adults who should understand the current limits of the possible -- and work to expand those limits. Can we deal?
Time will tell. Whatever Obama is, he's not boring.