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NYT's Rhodes To Nowhere: A Cipher In The Oval Office

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In this case, it's not unreasonable to wonder whether some particular faction or other might have spotted "talent" and "agreeability" in Rhodes, and helped hasten his rapid ascent to the top. Because it's mostly just in movies where someone lacking experience or credentials is plucked from obscurity and invited to help decide the important issues of our time.

The great exception to this rule being, of course, presidents themselves. Obama's own rapid rise from obscurity, like that of George W. Bush (he at least of famous lineage), was astounding, and, if you think about it, it's kind of remarkable how little we really understand about how and why Obama himself got to the top beyond the package of smarts and charisma -- or about what exactly he believes in. We're a long way from JFK -- whose death 50 years ago blunted a tradition of edgy frankness and risk-taking we also associated with FDR, Teddy Roosevelt, Truman, etc.

What better topic to pursue at the start of Obama's second term than who this man is and what he really believes and where he is leading this country?

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