Jul 25, 2008

What would you call it? An unease, a nameless worry. Even as Sen. Obama wraps up his trip, which would appear to be a great success — he showed he could play the role of statesman and in some way it seemed he already had the job... Still, the speech in Berlin seemed a little off to my ear. He made solid points, he added all the proper retorts to his critics, he made sure to balance criticism of America with his love for America, and he was almost back to his old glory toward the end in describing the challenge of working together toward a shared destiny. But the speech was no reprise of John F. Kennedy's speech. It did not match his Philadelphia race speech. It seemed flat, overly edited. Perhaps, this is because we've heard this message so many times before. But no, there was something else. A tightness. The fear of being ahead not behind. And then add the latest reports of how his press spokespeople have begun to alienate the press. If the choice for a press spokesperson is between acting as a bridge to the press or as a maxie prison guard, his corps has picked the latter. And that always backfires.

It's that football metaphor: how your home team, forever the underdog, is suddenly in the super bowl, and they're ahead by say 3 points, which is about what it is. But the second half has just started and you have the sense they've lost something, they're not making the plays, they're thinking more about what's at stake than how to play the game, how "to do all the things that got you here."

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