I don't get it. I'm seeing the same speeches as everyone else, and yet, I just don't perceive Obama as a charismatic individual. When he talks, he is somewhat persuasive, but bland - very bland - to the point of sending me to Drowsyland.
Am I so out of step with things that I fail to recognize an extraordinary, even messianic leader?
Nah. I've heard truly inspiring, engaging speakers before. Pope John Paul II, in the early years of his pontificate. Martin Luther King. Heck, even James Carville has a certain something - he is passionate in his convictions, and it shows. You feel drawn to him, even though you detest his politics. Probably accounts for his happy marriage to a dedicated conservative.
Obama is overly measured and cool. Kind of John Kerry, without the accent or goofy overstatements.
Perhaps what observers see is an aura of mystery - probably from the disinclination to talk much about himself. There are MAJOR chunks of his life that we know nothing about - his years at Occidental, his associations at Columbia, his travels, his academic funding.
At least he's overcome his "Flagophobia".
Check out the earrings on this supporter - the juxtaposition of Obama & MLK - fittingly, Obama is to the LEFT of MLK.
Of course, it helps that the media is completely in the tank for the O. Why else would he be so appealingly framed in this shot - it should be captioned "Ascending to Heaven".
In contrast, John McCain is generally photographed in unflattering light, emphasizing all the wrinkles he's earned. In the photo below, even his quite attractive wife looks bad.
Look at this photo, from a rally in an airplane hanger. The cropping puts his partly unbuttoned jacket squarely in the center of the frame, with wrinkled pants below. You can barely see his head, which looks ill-proportioned compared to a Baby Huey-type body.
The photographer had to work hard to make him look this bad. It's yet another form of media bias.
This is almost Nixonian.