O conservador preferido dos liberais americanos, David Brooks, escreve um belo artigo sobre Obama no NYT. Brooks tem dúvidas: um potencial grande presidente, ou um "mero observador em vez de um líder"? Mas ver Obama comparado a F.D.R. e a Reagan é, ao mesmo tempo, extravagante e arguto:
"Some candidates are motivated by something they lack. For L.B.J., it was respect. For Bill Clinton, it was adoration. These politicians are motivated to fill that void. Their challenge once in office is self-regulation. How will they control the demons, insecurities and longings that fired their ambitions? But other candidates are propelled by what some psychologists call self-efficacy, the placid assumption that they can handle whatever the future throws at them. Candidates in this mold, most heroically F.D.R. and Ronald Reagan, are driven upward by a desire to realize some capacity in their nature. They rise with an unshakable serenity that is inexplicable to their critics and infuriating to their foes. Obama has the biography of the first group but the personality of the second."