[T]he affected “cool” of the president is getting rather creepy as a style of governance.... This was on display in an unfortunate and highly visible way this week. ... [T]he president’s bizarrely inappropriate remarks after learning of the Foot Hood massacre left one puzzled, if not downright troubled. He not only didn’t seem to grasp the gravity of the situation; he didn’t seem emotionally connected to the appalling events.That point would be stronger if Rubin hadn't called it "Foot" Hood. Anyway, yes, the President was in automaton mode, which I don't think is particularly law-professorly. What lawprofs do is ask a lot of questions to try to get you to think and to articulate your thoughts. And we don't intone the questions robotically. We tend to get pretty excited. But getting excited or remaining dispassionate is not the main thing. The main thing is to ask the questions. I don't see Obama doing that. I see him standing back and avoiding taking positions on things. I see him hoping that his mere existence is enough. He needs to get over that confidence.
By the way, "cool" is not the right word. The right word is "phlegmatic."
Now, let's give Ambinder the attention he deserves:
Bipartisan conclaves, bringing industry to the table(s), relative transparency, accommodation and consensus meetings are all ornaments of the Obama brand. But political parties, built around existing alignments of interests, tend to get excited about fighting. Base-tending is crucial to political husbandry. Obama has a gourmand's disdain for populism and picking fights.What the hell is "a gourmand's disdain"? A gourmand is someone who loves to eat and drink. Did Ambinder trip over a thesaurus this morning? "Husbandry" isn't quite the right word either. (It's "a judicious use of resources.")
This is, in some ways, a presidential sickness (or salutation, depending on your point of view.)Salutation? What the hell?! Ambinder did trip over a thesaurus this morning! His utterly silly use of words is a complete distraction. I think he meant "salubriousness" — which would be correct but intrusively professorial. Man, I was trying to get away from the topic of professors that Instapundit initiated, but Ambinder is dragging out the professor in me by writing like a bad student. I feel like printing out his post and making red check marks all over it. I don't give a damn about his purported insights into presidential style now.
Speaking of "salubriousness".... once I saw a play where an idiot character burst through a door and announced cheerfully "The weather is very salaboobious today." That cracked me up so bad, I thought they were going to have to usher me out of the theater so I wouldn't distract the actors who had to get on with the rest of their lines.