Peter noted the connection between Obama and Sunstein's minimalism already. It occurs to me that some of his earlier work is germane as well. He was a leading light of the revival of "Civic Republicanism" in legal theory. A key idea is that politics can be more than bargaining on the basis of given preferences, that democratic deliberation can sometimes, at its best, be a locus for the transformation of preferences.
Some of our greatest political leaders, or so it seems to me, have been people who challenged us to transform ourselves. Think Lincoln, King, FDR. Some of us who are impressed by Obama see him as potentially cut from the same cloth. We'll see.