Obama's Contagious Calm Keeps Us Cool

Prez-elect presents smooth-sailing image
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jan 9, 2009 12:59 PM CST

(Newser) – How is it that Barack Obama’s warnings of impending doom manage to console, rather than panic, the nation? First, he’s contagiously calm, “more deliberate in his speech patter than John Wayne in a firefight,” writes Jack Shafer in Slate. The president-elect adopts a paternal tone when chastising: Yes, America, you’ve screwed up the economy, but “we can be redeemed!”

Obama also leaves any “talk of pain” out of his speeches. He insists “the ship is sailing straight and true” by repeating the same messages—and often pointing out he’s repeating them. He constantly pushes America’s bipartisanship and unity over division. But Obama “will remain everybody’s best friend until he makes his first tough decision,” Shafer notes. “Only then shall we really begin to know him.”