Barack Obama's staunchest supporters have always wished he'd show a little more passion, a little more chutzpah, a little more swagger. They're getting their wish, the LA Times observes. Lately Obama has been all-swagger, delivering a frank and confrontational State of the Union, mixing it up with Jan Brewer, and even breaking into song. And his base approves. "Anybody who calls out Jan Brewer is OK in my book," says MoveOn.org executive director Justin Ruben.
The Times speculates that getting out of Washington more may be putting the spring in Obama's step—certainly, he seemed at ease in Las Vegas yesterday, where he rolled up his sleeves and went off-script, declaring the US "the Saudi Arabia of natural gas." "I think what people were waiting for was not just the president taking the right stand, but the fighting spirit that had been lacking," Ruben says, adding that Obama's decision to shelve the Keystone XL pipeline also pleased true believers.