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Tyranny of the Majorities

Published January 31, 2010
The New York Times Magazine

If we learned anything about Barack Obama during the now-distant campaign of 2008, it was that he was a man who valued stoicism and self-possession in himself and others. And so it was significant, in an understated way, to hear Obama’s press secretary describe him, on the day of the election in Massachusetts to fill Ted Kennedy’s former Senate seat, as “surprised and frustrated” by the collapse of the Democratic candidate, Martha Coakley, and then to hear Obama’s closest aides heaping scorn on her campaign.

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