But it is to say that considering the political position he is in, and considering his ideology, and considering the fact that most Americans now are looking inward and are very happy to stop thinking about wars abroad, I thought he threaded every needle he could thread and was effective in saying what a whole lot of less-than-political, less-than-ideological Americans want to hear. He said the troops are coming home. He said we must focus on our economy. He said that Iraqis and Afghanis must learn to fend for themselves — a stance with which probably 80+ percent of Americans believe. He credited our military personnel again and again and sounded heartfelt in doing so. He sounded proud of America and of its efforts. He sounded a bit more generous to his predecessor than in substance he actually was. He never once sounded peevish. He didn’t cast blame. He also didn’t sound anywhere near as arrogant, self-referential, self-reverential, and self-absorbed as he usually does. He didn’t sound flat. His intonation was good. And his language had just the right mix of understated eloquence with conversational approachability.