Why is the thrill gone? I can think of three big reasons:
1. Public impatience. After six years in office, any president has been seen and heard too many times to satisfy the public’s relentless appetite for something fresh and new. “We claim that a president is tired or looks tired,” wrote presidential scholar James Mann in a recent New York Times op-ed, “when what we really mean is that we are tired of him.”
2. An anti-incumbent reflex in news media. The most powerful media bias, I often have argued, is our bias against any political narrative that sounds like old news. Our current president looks less exciting than the menagerie of wannabes on the horizon.
3. Obama’s own distaste for the politicking that is an inevitable and, in many ways, an essential part of presidential leadership.