Barack amazes me in this: he gives these policy wonk answers that I love because they respect the complexity of the question and show a great understanding of the systemic problems policy has to address. But what freaks me out is that the crowd goes rock star crazy for these wonky answers. It's as if I walked into a frat house and people were doing keg-stands to C-Span. I mean, I'm really excited that they're watching C-Span and all -- but can this really be happening? And can it last? And what am I missing?
I think a lot of the reason people like me love Obama is precisely that--it's not just that he's a wonk, he's a wonk people will listen to and in fact swoon over. I can't make people swoon over my wonky policy speeches. Sometimes, I can make them drool, but that's not the same thing.
Anyway, not even at Carleton (except possibly on our D.C. program) will you see keg stands done to C-Span. But it's a great image, nonetheless.