Via JWF, this is where it all starts to turn around, my friends.

This is where the healing begins.

President Obama told a small crowd in Fairfax, Va., on Monday that he would stand in the hot sun with them and “feel their pain.”…

Unlike former President Clinton, who famously felt the pain of voters during a recession, Obama has not connected emotionally with voters over their worries and fears…

“The problem is he doesn’t seem like he’s always trying to be empathetic,” said one Democratic strategist.

“They have been missing the need for the emotional connection people need in times like this — but they’ve needed it for two years,” another Democratic strategist said…

Obama’s professorial style was on display during the backyard discussion, as he ticked off the list of things he has done to help the middle class. He talked about his administration’s support for Wall Street reform, as well as his support for middle-class tax cuts.

Professorial Obama didn’t work, and “feisty” Obama seemed vaguely absurd thanks to his heavy reliance on slurpee jokes and car metaphors, so here’s the latest incarnation. The good news: Now that he’s morphing into Clinton before our very eyes, does this mean he’s ready to tack right when the GOP takes back the House? The bad news: Do we … really want to watch this guy emote over the next eight weeks? Two of the key components of that “first-class temperament” we heard so much about during Election ’08 were his cool, unflappable demeanor and the above-the-fray messianism that made no problem seem too large or difficult. Not only was Zeus going to throw thunderbolts at the economy until it perked up, he wasn’t even going to break a sweat while doing it. Now, suddenly, he’s quoting lines from a predecessor made famous by clammy expressions of empathy; if not for the fact that Clinton vet Rahm Emanuel is on his way out, I’d half-expect lip-biting and tearing up to begin before the end of the year.

Note, please, that once again they’re tweaking the “messaging” here rather than policy. I guess the deeper Clintonian lesson will come in due time. Exit question: Is it really that The One is having trouble relating to Americans? Or is it that we’re all simply too insane to appreciate him?

Update: Actually, I think the pain-feeling won’t begin in earnest until next week. This week he’s got a lot of parties to go to.