Perhaps, it was the juxtaposition of reading Daniel Henniger’s essay pondering the “point and purpose of the President’s orations” while watching the President’s speech to the NAACP on CNN as I was doing my cardio just moments ago that this thought returned to me.
Obama doesn’t seem to smile when he speaks or even to look at the audience (but then I’ve never been in the audience to see him speak so that could just be my perception). Unlike Reagan (whom I have seen speak), when Obama pauses, he barely changes his expression, not responding to his listeners or even appealing to them, instead titling his chin upward and waiting for acclaim (or expecting deference?).
And this from a man who, in Henninger’s words, appears to be “making the public speech the central act of his presidency.”
Why does he always so earnest? (Perhaps more on this anon.)