A perfect storm brought into power Barack Obama, a previously little-known Illinois community organizer. He had at best a mediocre record as a state legislator and rookie senator. Yet he quickly dazzled the liberal establishment. Joe Biden and Harry Reid were wowed by his sounding and behaving like a white liberal, while retaining the ability to turn on his supposedly authentic black persona when needed. That he had no record of achievement was seen as an advantageous clean slate. Teleprompted glibness was preferred to ad hoc repartee, as if an entire presidency could be scripted and Photoshopped with backdrops of Greek columns and Latin mottos.