Kirk Dillard, the Republican minority whip of the Illinois state senate, illustrates the threat Obama represents to conservatives:
Obama can be to liberalism what Ronald Reagan was to conservatism, and that's a friendly face or likable personality that can move the country left.
Phil Klein, to whom Dillard gave the above quote, elaborates in a cover story for the American Spectator:
A quarter century ago, Ronald Reagan not only won the presidency, he won the argument, selling a generation of Americans on the virtues of individualism and limited government. Just as Reagan's sunny optimism portrayed conservatism in its most positive light, Obama puts a happy face on liberalism.
"[He has] perfect pitch, I think, for the mood of the country, which is a flinch from the rhetorical vitriol for the mood that is consuming this town, "George Will said of Obama on ABC's This Week. "He's a little like Ronald Reagan in this regard: Reagan used to drive people crazy, in the Democratic Party, because they'd say the public doesn't agree with him on this or this or this or this, and they vote for him. They voted for him because they said we like him, he's not off putting, he's not frightening. And I think this is another 1980."