The autumnal notes in Obama’s stump speech suggest that an older-but-wiser motif is going to be an important part of his public persona this year, as he presents himself as a sensible protector of progressive values in his confrontations with congressional Republicans, and next year, as he asks voters to trust him with another four years in office.

The language apparently has its origins at least partly in Obama’s own mid-life musings.

Valerie Jarrett, the White House senior aide who is closest to Obama personally, said in an interview that the trend began with spontaneous references to graying hair and the challenges of public life that cropped up in private settings, or in impromptu comments to audiences…

“It’s not weighing on him – he’s very comfortable with the stage of life that he’s in,” Jarrett told POLITICO. “He shares it in a very lighthearted way. It’s just a reality. It’s a common feeling that many men and women of his age experience as life moves on.”