Since being elected to the US Senate in 2004, Obama has been applying his unique brand of pragmatism and transcending partisan lines to accomplish a number of things. In fact those who pay close attention to such things are impressed by how often Obama's name has appeared on legislation as a freshman senator. One of Obama's priorities was the important but unglamorous work of nuclear non-proliferation, specifically securing "loose nukes" in places like former Soviet republics. He knew the guy to work with was Senator Dick Lugar (R-Indiana), a senior and highly respected foreign policy expert who has become an Obama friend and mentor, despite that "aisle" between them. They have served together on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and co-sponsored the Lugar-Obama bill extending the concept of cooperative threat reduction. Obama also worked with Senator Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma), one of the Senate's top spending constrainers, to successfully pass the Coburn-Obama Transparency Act, making the government publish on the web detailed accounts of where all the money goes, and "exposing the pork". I should be clear that this bipartisanship on Obama's part is not about "triangulation" and giving up his principles to ingratiate himself with the other party. On the contrary, as blogger ObsidianWings wrote:
"This isn't what Obama does. Obama tries to find people, both Democrats and Republicans, who actually care about a particular issue enough to try to get the policy right, and then he works with them. This does not involve compromising on principle. It does, however, involve preferring getting legislation passed to having a spectacular battle."(That was a great post, if you're detail-oriented and want to read a wonkish account of Obama's accomplishments just in his first years in the Senate.)
On Obama's campaign policy proposals, the charges that he hasn't come forth with details are nonsense, as anyone who cares to peruse his website can see. His proposals are as detailed as Clinton and Edwards on all the major issues, detailed enough that you can see the differences (e.g., Clinton wants universal mandates in healthcare whereas Obama is more pragmatic on that). There's a good summary of his policy proposals in the Harvard Crimson endorsement of him. But in truth, it's not the policy details that distinguish Obama from Clinton, it's the way he would go about getting things done. When it comes to the ability to inspire people around a vision, he has shown himself to be extraordinary. And in the pragmatic ability to bring many stakeholders together and get something done, in a way that constructively reaches across the lines of partisan warfare, he has proven himself uniquely capable. Inspiration and substance. That's Barack Obama.