Ennui the people

Why do people think we need a kind of political genius? Because they know exactly how deep our problems are and exactly how divided our nation is. We need a president who knows and understands politics because he knows and understands people and can galvanize them. When he speaks, you listen, in part because you believe he’ll give it to you straight, in part because his views seems commonsensical, in part because something in his optimism pings right into your latent hopefulness, and in part because he’s direct and doesn’t hide his meaning in obfuscation, abstraction, clichés and dead words. …

Both candidates seem largely impenetrable—it’s hard to know them, figure them. With Mr. Romney, you have a sense of what he’s been, what jobs he’s held, and his general approach. But do you have a solid sense of who he’d be and what he’d do as president? Probably not. Even he may not know. As for Mr. Obama, the more facts you know, the more you don’t understand him, the more you can’t quite grok him. …

What does all this suggest? That voters this year will tend to be practical in their choice and modest in their expectations. Which isn’t all bad. But joy would be more fun.