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Barack gives us the word; IT SOUNDS GOOD.

Byline: eamonn holmes

BARACK Obama is proof that the world cannot resist a leader with a wonderful ability for words.

This is not to dismiss his ability and suitability to be President, nor to decry the extraordinary achievement of being the first black man to land that role.

But his natural flair for oratory is the dominant attraction. The colour of his skin becomes secondary.

He made it all look so easy, so stylish and so controlled from the moment he took the Democratic ticket in the race for the White House.

Everything - and I mean everything - clicked into place like a new jigsaw, from his vision, his use of new technology and the cut of his wife's designer outfits to the demure gaze of his daughters.

Obama is the most charismatic political figure in the free world since John F Kennedy 47 years ago. He looks and sounds like a President.

When Kennedy took to the stage we watched and listened in awe. Britain was more used to the sombre tones of Harold Macmillan and Sir Alec Douglas-Home. Bill Clinton had a similar gift for presentation while many were swept up by the youthful enthusiasm of Tony Blair on this side of the pond.

There's something electric in the air when Obama speaks.

His timing, use of phrases and just the right amount of repetition, guarantees maximum impact.

If you re-read his speeches in the cold light of day they have a similar, basic message of hope in adversity and the need for change.

Yet when they emerge from his mouth in front of a massed rally, they crackle with meaning and power.

IT is truly a rare ability and few in the Obama camp will deny the influence of Martin Luther King.

Yes, the new administration faces the worst economic climate in a century and an involvement in conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan where there seems no obvious exit strategy.

But the 44th President has proved to be adept at surrounding himself with a team of experts and advisers from all political persuasions.

He is a man of conviction, a man of charisma, but he also seems a man who can listen.

No one can survive on words alone, but my guess is that Barack Obama's honeymoon period will last longer than most as America and the world basks in his aura.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:Nov 9, 2008
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