“Obama’s confidence owes much to his experience in the Democratic nomination contest, when following his instincts, even when they seemed dubious to some of his advisers, proved to be politically advantageous. Maybe the clearest example of this was his declaration of his willingness to meet with the likes of Fidel Castro and Hugo Chávez, for which he was pilloried by Hillary Clinton and her arch-Establishment allies—but which struck many voters as suggesting pragmatism and fresh thinking rather than heresy. The deeper source of Obama’s self-assurance, however, is his belief in his prescience on the Iraq War, which propelled him to victory over Clinton, and which he and his advisers still believe is his strongest card against McCain.”
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