Ok, this one is just silly. Todd has nothing to do with ruining the President's acceptance speech last evening.
Mr. Obama, the technocrat, just "plays down" on important occassions. I do not expect soaring rhetoric. Mr. Obama never manages to "mount up with wings as eagles," but, at huge moments, when he really has a chance to make it happen, Mr. Obama up and disappears.
Understand, I am talking about his speech, his delivery, his ownership of a platform. His first (and perhaps only) inaugural address was a slightly improved version of his stump speech from the campaign. He had an audience ready to erupt. He fizzled.
Last night was not any better.
Admittedly, Mr. Obama photographs most flatteringly from profile, either one, because of, well, those ears. However, his speaking style is like radar sweeping each horizon for low flying enemy aircraft. He looks like someone who fears a vaudeville hook-man is coming to move him off stage before the crowd assaults him with rotted tomatoes.
He is dignified but he never trades on his dignity. His style is stuffy at best.
He has some good basketball skills from what I see on youtube. Apparently he is a fine golfer. Do not castigate him for his links passion. Eisenhower had a putting green built on the East Lawn of the White House, for goodness sake, and Ike was an underappreciated chief executive.
He was also a boring speaker on most public occassions. So is Mr. Obama.
If the plan was to remind everyone he is the president, not a mere candidate, Mr. Obama would have done well to hold his head down, camera front, and still. He did not need to mention Mr. Romney by name. Mr. Obama would have done well to let the incomparably wooden Mr. Romney stand on his own. Instead, Mr. Obama played down to the competition.
No one is electing a First Speaker. Ronald Reagan is not available. Bill Clinton had his last, good night the previous night. I do not think you will see him again on such a platform.
It would just be nice to hear someone rise to the moment.
Opinions expressed here are mine alone.