Combining wit, charm, and what President Bill Clinton has termed "angelic funk," White House Director of Communications George Stephanopoulos spoke before a packed crowd at the Kennedy School on Saturday.
Stephanopoulos, a recent member of America's political and cultural elite, said Clinton will "be judged by the values and spirits of the country--how we go about building bonds of community." He has made a name for himself amongst Washingtonians as the sharp, thirtysomething assistant to the president.
And hundreds of Cambridge's political junkies packed the ARCO Forum for the speech, jointly sponsored by the Institute of Politics and the Kennedy School.
Indeed, Stephanopoulos's hour-long appearance was something of a lovefest: while he came peddling Clinton's message of "shared responsibility" and pleas for people to work together, his speech was also marked by witty asides and raucous laughter.
After jokes about his hair and his job, Stephanopoulus became more serious as he addressed the problems facing America.
"Last November, we believe the American people took a gamble," he said. "We're committed everyday to making change happen."
"How can we be satisfied when so many of the priviledged people in our country believe the only rational response to our country's problems is to accentuate the differences in our society?" Stephanopoulus asked.
"We refuse to be skeptical. If you see hope as an obligation, it gives you a little bit of a kick.
We want to convince everyone, whether they be in Harvard or Harlem, that they do have a stake and a real personal responsibility to make it happen.