Paging Hemingway: Grace Under Pressure Is a BADDDD Thing


Patrick Healy at the New York Times thinks it’s a problem that Obama is a cool head in a crisis:

Where many politicians would have aspired to show anger, Senator Barack Obama spoke in a soft, even tone as he reached the crescendo of his speech Wednesday about government mismanagement of the economy.

“At this defining moment, we have the chance to finally stand up and say, enough is enough,” Mr. Obama, the Democratic presidential nominee, told a ballpark packed with 11,000 people here.

Two hours later, after Senator John McCain, the Republican nominee, said he would temporarily stop campaigning because of the economic crisis, Mr. Obama looked downright unflappable at a news conference. Referring to this week of economic peril — and tweaking his Republican rival — Mr. Obama said flatly, “Presidents are going to have to deal with more than one thing at a time.”

However forceful and passionate Mr. Obama can be, his speeches and public appearances this week have underscored how he is sometimes out of sync with the visceral anger of Americans who are losing their jobs and homes. He often talks about growing up on food stamps and about having paid off his student loans only recently, yet his tone and volume, body language, facial expressions and words convey a certain distance from the ache that many voters feel.

“People want presidents who lead and relate to them — they don’t want presidents who analyze and seem above it all,” said G. Terry Madonna, a pollster and director of the Center for Politics and Public Affairs at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pa. “Obama still comes across as dispassionate to the point of coolness. He is so comfortable in his own skin, he can be hard to connect with for people who are struggling.”

Ah, the famous “people” ploy. If Patrick Healy asked even one of these “people” who are struggling if Obama’s “comfort in his own skin” makes him hard to connect with, I missed it. So, I’ll volunteer. I am one of those people who have been struggling to survive economically. Unemployment, underemployment, cash assistance, food pantry, bankruptcy, foreclosure — you name it, I’ve gone through it. And for my money, Obama gets it. In fact, he’s the only major-party presidential candidate of whom I can say that since I started voting (and that’s a big chunk of years). For the first time in my adult life, I don’t feel I’m choosing the lesser of two evils in voting for Obama. How anyone can listen to Obama speak about the economy and the struggles Americans are experiencing and say that he’s dispassionate about it is beyond me. But as a journalist, Healy should not have relied on his own reactions anyway. It’s unconscionable to write an article like this and not interview a single ordinary American voter.

Just another working day in the “liberal” media, eh?

UPDATE: I just saw that Healy did interview an ordinary American voter: one, to be exact. He put her quote at the very end of the article — the last two paragraphs. And interestingly enough, and just by coincidence I’m sure, that voter said Obama’s even temperament was one of the reasons she was voting for him.

2 Responses to “Paging Hemingway: Grace Under Pressure Is a BADDDD Thing”

  1. radical_Moderate says:

    I find Obama’s cool comforting…sigh…yet while McCain’s campaign has veered into Twilight Zone terrority with “Our Sarah” doing him no favors with that bizarre Couric interview aired last night, apparently McCain’s grandstanding on the bail-out is playing well with some; the gallup daily tracking has the Candidates at a dead heat. To quote Dennis Kucinich at the Convention:
    “Wake up America, Wake up America, Wake up America!”

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