Who is the real Barack Obama?

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Chelsea came up to me after the debate last night and said, “Mom, you’re doing it again.” I said, “What? I smiled, didn’t I?” She said, “Yes, but you’re still obsessing over Barack, and it shows on camera, especially when he touched you tonight.

She’s right. I’m obsessing. Neither Bill nor I have been able to figure out what Barack does that is so captivating to voters. Obama’s not particularly good looking, he gives good speeches, but his Senate record is as close to a mirror of mine as you can get. Hell, I smile better, and I certainly debate better.

Exasperated, I asked Chelsea, “Honey, we’ve tried everything. What do you think we should do?” Chelsea isn’t much for political strategy and tactics, so some genes just don’t get inherited no matter what they say, but she is observant in ways that exceed the abilities of her father.

Chelsea said, “Which Obama was on stage tonight? There’s more than one Obama, you know? Which one are you up against?

She’s right. There’s more than one Barack Obama. Maybe someone cloned the guy and didn’t get it just right. Whatever it is, the Barack Obama you meet in person is boring, not in the least charming, almost stiff in an Al Gore-in-public way.

The Barack Obama on stage in front of a campaign rally is a gift motivational speaker, the ultimate android. During a debate, he just sits there and stutters, with his head cocked to one side, and struggles to complete a sentence.

Chelsea is on to something. There’s more than one Barack Obama. There’s the arcticulate and intelligent Obama orator people see in the television commercials and on stage addressing a crowd. Then there’s the stilted Obama who sits stiff and awkwardly through a debate and can’t finish a sentence. The problem here is that no one watches the debates so they can’t tell there’s more than one Obama.

Which one is the real Obama?

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