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Richard Greene Headshot

Apparently He Is Ready

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Over 14 months ago The Huffington Post ran my article, "He's Ready" describing why Barack Obama would run and why he would do well.

Friends and political experts thought I was crazy, naive. "He's too young." "He has no experience." "He's a Freshman Senator - he barely knows where the men's room is in the Capitol Building." "We're not ready to elect a black man."

The people living in Iowa, the home of "The Field of Dreams" thought otherwise last night and the stirring, Martin Luther King-esque acceptance speech and soulful, confident presence of this Freshman Senator, this first African American to win an American primary, were powerful testaments to their confidence.

The lesson here, I believe, is that voters are not, and never will be, driven primarily by age or experience. They also will not be driven primarily by issues or political party. What human beings crave, in their personal lives and from their political leaders, is to be inspired, uplifted and moved.

That is why Barack Obama, from that first speech in Boston in the Summer of 2004, has been such a "rock star".

The secret in human communication is to leave a person or an audience - through the force of your personality - feeling better than they did when you greeted them. THAT, the non-verbal "feel good factor", (like what one experiences at a good rock concert), is the common denominator of the most popular Presidents we have had in the past century - Teddy Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, JFK, Reagan and Clinton. THAT is why yet another man from Hope, Arkansas, with very little money, soared to the top of the Republican pile last night and THAT is why it should really be no surprise that Barack Obama won Iowa.

Now that, at least, the people of the state of Iowa believe he IS ready, the challenge for Sen. Obama is to stay real as the pressure increases. To continue his success he has to stay connected to that refreshing, raw essence that draws in and lifts up people, regardless of their age, ethnicity or party. Consultants, pollsters and focus groups did not create the Barack Obama phenomenon, but they could derail it.

and "Authentic Passion" are the indispensable ingredients in the creation of this transcendent kind of relationship between a leader and the lead, a formula that Sen. Clinton, Gov. Romney and others have not yet learned. To paraphrase Tip O'Neil, "All politics is human" and no amount of paid political ads will ever replace what transformational speakers and leaders like Barack Obama bring to the arena.