Barack Obama, as quoted in the New Republic:

“I wouldn’t be a U.S. senator or out of Chicago or a presidential candidate from Illinois if I didn’t have some sense of the world as it actually works,” he said. “When I arrived in Chicago at the age of twenty-four, I didn’t know a single person in Chicago, and I know an awful lot of folks now. And so, obviously, some of that has to do with me being pretty clear-eyed about power.”

I like this because it’s a wry, classy way of admitting that he can throw some elbows. Which is why when Maureen Dowd calls Obama a “dumb blond” or “Obambi” in the pages of the New York Times I die a little bit more inside. When “Obama is soft” becomes the “Gore is a Poindexter” of 2008, keep in mind the city in which he cut his teeth.