That’s a failure of politics and salesmanship, but it’s more than that. To a disconcerting number of people I talk to, Mr. Obama comes across as remote, detached, inauthentic and arrogant. All that’s deeply unfair, I think, but it’s the stark reality.

It’s puzzling — candidate Obama could be so inspiring and eloquent, while President Obama has been flat. I wonder if he hasn’t absorbed too much of Mario Cuomo’s dictum: “We campaign in poetry, and we govern in prose.”

Please, Mr. Obama! The prose needn’t be as dry as the Harvard Law Review. And we wouldn’t mind being lifted by an occasional verse of poetry.