Is Obama The Next Adlai Stevenson?

09/21/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • Richard Babcock Chicago Magazine

He was a Democratic presidential candidate from Illinois, a celebrated orator and an intellectual running against a military hero at the time of an unpopular war. His political resumé was relatively short, and his appeal formed in part around his call for a change in the practice of politics in this country. Critics claimed he was an elitist, and Republicans accused him of being weak and naïve about America's enemies. He got crushed in the general election.

A glimpse into the future? No, a snapshot of the past--the 1952 presidential election. Adlai E. Stevenson of Libertyville, the popular governor of Illinois, ran on the Democratic ticket against Dwight D. Eisenhower, the former army general who had been a major architect of the Allied victory in World War II.

So, is the presumptive Democratic candidate, Illinois senator Barack Obama, the second coming of Adlai Stevenson?

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