Consensus: When Clinton said he felt our pain, he appeared to be really hurting. When Obama says it, we don't doubt his truthfulness, but he does not come across as feeling it deeply in his heart. This jibes with my frequent criticism that he sounds too much like a professor and not enough like a politician. I don't expect him to be a prophet. That is another vocation.
I wonder sometimes if deep in his heart he is an idealist who wants everybody just to get along, despite his schooling in and sometimes practice of "Chicago politics." He does not want to offend anybody-- Republicans, big business--remember FDR who said they hate me; I welcome their hatred. He wants everybody to like him--generals, bankers, school kids, dogs, and canaries. Now cooperation in ventures that promote the national interest and the common good is a wonderful thing. But sometimes one has to get nasty in the spirit of Lee Atwater and Karl Rove to be successful.
Would it help if we saw more of the latter in Obama's pragmatic political practice? I wonder.