Obama's second book is entitled "The Audacity of Hope." His path to the presidency has been breathtakingly audacious. He saw that a young African American new to the political scene could lead the nation into the 21st Century. This is a grand goal for a man who, after three terms in the Illinois legislature and losing a bid for Congress, was finally elected to the Senate in 2004 - then announced his bid for the Presidency less than three years later.
The only successful American political career more audacious was Abraham Lincoln's. Lincoln was elected to the Presidency on the eve of the Civil War after four terms in the Illinois legislature and a single two-year term in Congress. Having just lost the Illinois Senatorial race to Democrat Stephen Douglas, Lincoln set about gaining the Republican nomination in order to face Douglas for the Presidency in 1860.