John McCain's impetuosity is either thrilling or disturbing. Barack Obama's cool is either sober or detached. It's clear now how each would govern.
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It would be comforting, of course, if there were such a man as Mr. Just Right, but human nature is rarely so accommodating. Politicians, like the rest of us (only more so), tend to overcompensate. Obama cannot afford to be seen by voters as an Angry Black Man, but he sometimes appears calm to the point of passivity. At moments during the past two weeks of dizzying market gyrations and grim economic tidings, he seemed more like a bystander than a player. This may, in fact, have been the wise choice, both for the country and for his political fortunes. He understood that, by butting into the delicate negotiations between the White House, Treasury and Congress to shape a rescue package, a presidential candidate risked injecting politics and partisanship into a situation that demanded statesmanship and discretion.