In the latest Economist, one of the editorials commends Obama for many of his stances. They clearly like his style. Anybody who reads the Economist will understand why they do. And maybe it says something about my leanings, but their position made sense to me. In essence, they welcome his desire to bridge divides, whether domestically in terms of bipartisan initiatives, or internationally in terms of reducing American isolationism. They do express nervousness about his impractical recommendations for ending the Irag war and his sometimes anti-capitalist economic policy pronouncements.
I think his youthfulness also appeals. John McCain is one of the most vital, energetic politicians in Washington, so he should not be discounted because he's in his 70s. But for the first time in awhile, our generation those in our 40s and 50s and 60s can't credibly state that we're leaving things in better shape than when we inherited them. We face wars that have no end in sight, housing and banking collapses, food riots around the world, global warming concerns, and gas prices rising out of control. When Obama says it's time for change, that may resonate with a greater and greater percentage of Americans.
So if Obama wins, the issue for the Economist (and lots of others) will be "Can he turn from rhetoric to realism and modify his populist positions to make him effective as the President?"