"While Obama's campaign operation was stagnating under a lame-duck campaign manager, Bettylu Stalzman was working hard. She was pulling together fund-raisers and lobbying [eventual campaign manager David] Axelrod hard on her belief that he indeed had a budding star on his hands in Obama. "I'm sure she used the word magical," Axelrod said with a smile. [Emphasis in original, page 183.]As quoted in David Mendell's Obama: From Promise to Power (Via NRO's "Campaign Spot").
In Chicago, Obama was listed among the dozen or so politicos who had "IT." Beneath a flattering photo of a smiling, confident-looking Obama, the [Chicago] Sun-Times breathed heavily: "The first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review has a movie-star smile and more than a little mystique. Also, we just like to say his name. We are considering taking it as a mantra." [page 218]
They serenaded the Hyde Park Democrat with chants of "O-ba-ma! O-ba-ma! O-ba-ma!" Obama drew such a passionate outpouring from the crowd that even he and his aides were overwhelmed. "At one point, I thought Barack was going to rise up over the people and start saying, 'My children, my children, I have come to free you,' joked his driver and bodyguard, Mike Signator. "It was just incredible." [p. 297]