Monday, August 9, 2010

Wooden President?

"...[S]ometimes a matter of less moment, an expression or jest, informs us better of their characters and inclinations, than the most famous seiges, the greatest armaments, or the bloodiest battles whatsoever."

Plutarch, Plutarch's Lives

No doubt Michael Gerson was reading Plutarch, in addition to Anne Tyler, when he wrote: " Obama's challenge is not a lack of theatrics. It's a lack of range...Obama leads a country without reflecting its passions...Obama's limited rhetorical range raises questions about the content of his deepest beliefs."

Michael Gerson, "The Accidental President," The Washington Post, August 4, 2010.

What if it's the face of "resolve" that reveals the person -- a leader grappling with the worst of times. Let's tick off accomplishments for the almost first two years. Pretty good list.

But the economy is still in deep trouble, deeper, longer trouble, we discover every day. American's aren't happy. Would rhetorical range, pitch, passion solve the problem -- as opposed to more jobs, less economic insecurity, etc. I think Americans would go for the jobs.

So, what does disenchantment and the need for rhetorical passion say about the American people? About its observers and commentators?

I like watching someone single-minded -- trying hard to get the job done. But that's me.

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