Less irritating than you’d expect thanks to his self-deprecation and candor. There’s no nutrootsy pretense here about having closely studied anyone’s platform; he wants a black president and he likes what he’s seen of the guy’s character, case closed. Most people will vote for similar intangibles, or because there’s one issue above all on which they agree with their candidate (e.g., me backing Captain Amnesty for his Iraq policy). Which, incidentally, explains why the Wright and Ayers associations are legitimate issues.

Exit question one: Is it really true that Adams’s succession of Washington was the first peaceful transfer of power to a non-relative in history? The Romans managed that once or twice, I believe. Exit question two: Who cares what Tom Hanks thinks? Answer: Who cares what anyone thinks? Celebrity endorsements are supposed to be inherently ridiculous but do you really hold his opinion in any lower regard than, say, the Times editorial board’s?