If we've learned nothing else about Obama through this campaign and the debates, it's that his is a mind that is always on level ground. Through all of the ups and downs of the campaign, through all of the attacks aimed to incite a fierce response from him, he has shown a personal stability which says volumes about what type of leader he would be.
David Brooks of the New York Times writes:
We’ve been watching Barack Obama for two years now, and in all that time there hasn’t been a moment in which he has publicly lost his self-control. This has been a period of tumult, combat, exhaustion and crisis. And yet there hasn’t been a moment when he has displayed rage, resentment, fear, anxiety, bitterness, tears, ecstasy, self-pity or impulsiveness.
There has never been a moment when, at least in public, he seems gripped by inner turmoil. It’s not willpower or self-discipline he shows as much as an organized unconscious. Through some deep, bottom-up process, he has developed strategies for equanimity, and now he’s become a homeostasis machine.
Through the debate, he was reassuring and self-composed. McCain, an experienced old hand, would blink furiously over the tension of the moment, but Obama didn’t reveal even unconscious signs of nervousness. There was no hint of an unwanted feeling.
... it is easy to sketch out a scenario in which he could be a great president. He would be untroubled by self-destructive demons or indiscipline. With that cool manner, he would see reality unfiltered. He could gather — already has gathered — some of the smartest minds in public policy, and, untroubled by intellectual insecurity, he could give them free rein. Though he is young, it is easy to imagine him at the cabinet table, leading a subtle discussion of some long-term problem.
Ruben Navarrette Jr. of CNN adds to this:
Make no mistake, Barack Obama is one cool customer. Now, after the last debate, it seems all but certain that the Iceman cometh to the White House.
In this week's match-up, Obama snatched the gloves out of McCain's hands and slapped him silly with them. I suppose the hope was that Obama would get rattled and make a mistake. But Obama doesn't get rattled or make many mistakes.
If nothing else, Obama's intellectual and analytical approach to the issues is a welcome change to the last eight years of George W. Bush. With the financial crisis still smoldering and tensions abroad in Iran, a resurgent Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, and a defiant North Korea, it should be no question who would be more fit to guide us through the gauntlet of domestic and foreign affairs.