But has it started to fade? Some are asking new questions about
Barack Obama now. Which takes some daring, given all the adulation of
the candidate, much of it well deserved appreciation of his gifts and
skills, some of it the cult of personality.

I’m not concerned about that plagiarism thing.
It was embarrassing, and he should have used those words with a nod to
the man who first uttered them, but it happens all the time in public
life that memorable thoughts and inspiring messages get instantly woven
into the talk of the moment. I don’t think it undercuts Obama’s
credibility as an orator who inspires by his own visions.

But here’s
what’s starting to come up in some corners of political analysis, the
questions about Obama’s viability as an actual leader in the real day
job of running the country.

How exactly would all this unity he talks about come to pass?

How is a 47-year-old novice going to unify highly polarized
70-something committee chairs? What will happen if the nation’s 261,000
lobbyists don’t see the light, even after the laying on of hands? Does
The Changemaker have the guts to take on the special interests in his
own party — the trial lawyers, the teachers’ unions, the AARP?

The Gang of 14 created bipartisan unity on judges, but Obama sat it
out. Kennedy and McCain created a bipartisan deal on immigration. Obama
opted out of the parts that displeased the unions. Sixty-eight senators
supported a bipartisan deal on FISA. Obama voted no. And if he were
president now, how would the High Deacon of Unity heal the breach that
split the House last week?

That was a mess, that breakdown yet again in Congress. These are
fair questions. The piece even ends on a whispy note, allowing that the
magic may not fade after all.

And if it doesn’t, Hillary Clinton has a plan.

Sheila Liaugminas

Sheila Liaugminas is an Emmy award-winning Chicago-based journalist in print and broadcast media. Her writing and broadcasting covers matters of faith, culture, politics and the media....