Here's an essay by the novelist Zadie Smith in the recent NY Review of Books. She writes about Obama's voice, as the product of Kenyan and middle American parents, and his experience in Hawaii, Indonesia, Harvard and elsewhere. Smith finds hope in Obama's ability to operate in more than one cultural world. Bringing George Bernard Shaw and Shakespeare into the discussion, Smith makes a leap from theater and character-generating to politics. Consider how a knowledge of current events, reporting, politics and arts, as well as writing, novels and theater all play into this piece.