Apart from being the first African-American president, Obama is also the first urban president.
America is still nostalgic for a time before big cities - for the frontier settlement, the ranch, and the small town - which partly explains the Sarah Palin phenomenon. Every previous White House occupant has felt the need to emphasise, exaggerate or construct a rural origins story: Carter and his peanuts, Bush and his brush-clearing (the latter has, now his political career is over, skipped smartly back to a city) and to harp on their passion for country pursuits.
Obama has never even pretended to be anything but a city-dweller and city-lover. In his background, his cultural tastes, and his worldview he's a townie to his fingertips. Hell, he even holidays in the city. This weekend he took a break, not in Montana or Maine, but Chicago:
“My Kennebunkport is on the South Side,” Mr. Obama said.
(you can compare Obama's choice of retreat with those of previous presidents here)