What happened to Obama's oratory?

resses these days may not resonate quite the way they did. Speeches that once set pulses racing now feel more familiar. And if that remains the case heading into next year, it could make it more difficult for the Democrats’ own Great Communicator to promote his program and carry along allies in crucial midterm elections.

“Really inspirational speeches like the Iowa caucus victory speech set expectations for Obama’s rhetoric that would have been difficult to meet, and he hasn’t met them,” said Michael J. Gerson, who was President George W. Bush’s chief speechwriter. “He’s had one really large explanatory task, which is trying to motivate people on health care reform, and the polls have gone the other way. He will now have another very difficult task, to explain his Afghan policy, whatever it is, to a country that’s deeply skeptical.”…

“When you do four or five speeches a day, not any single speech is going to be the biggest speech he ever does,” said one White House official who requested anonymity to speak more candidly. “In a media environment like this, the attention span is rather short so it may seem like the magic isn’t there. But there are still moments when he rises to the occasion when he needs to.”

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