Obama has spent his career dividing himself for different audiences. When he's talking to Hampton University in 2007, he puts on dialect he obviously believes lends him black authenticity, and proceeds to don the mantle of Kanye West, complaining about the racism of the federal government on Hurricane Katrina. When he's talking to the American public, he dumps the accent and talks about how we're all members of a great nation, regardless of race.
So which one is Obama?
His policies look a lot more like the radical than they do like the racial unifier. He said in his Hampton University speech that he wanted to spend money on the inner cities rather than the suburbs, largely for racial reasons; that's precisely what he's planning to do in his second term: work with radical community organizer Mike Kruglik to push "regional tax-based sharing," which would bleed the suburbs dry in favor of the inner cities. In his early days in Chicago, Obama focused largely on mobilizing the black vote to concentrate "black power" (his phrase); today, he opposes all efforts to crack down on voter ID fraud for the same reason. There's a reason that the Obama Justice Department has no interest in pursuing the New Black Panthers for voter intimidation. And it doesn't have to do with their kind and gentle interpersonal tactics.
Barack Obama remains well liked because Americans want to like him. They're willfully blinding themselves to the truer Obama, the more radical Obama. And that's just the way he likes it.