Obama, Palin, and Weber: Charisma and Social Change in the 2008 U.S. Election (p 171-190)
Canadian Review of Sociology, Volume 47 Issue 2 (May 2010)
Both Barack Obama and Sarah Palin are commonly labeled "charismatic" by the public. To assess whether or not Obama and Palin exhibit charisma in the Weberian sense, their rhetoric and actions are examined in the context of past elections and the political stagnation brought about by the politics of the culture wars. Where Palin’s connection with the public flows from her role as a fighter in the culture wars, Obama articulated a vision of shared community and, in doing so, reorganized the electorate by incorporating disenchanted youth who had not voted over the past decade into his coalition. Thus, in Weberian terms, only Obama manifests charisma.