President Obama's meteoric political rise was fueled largely by his ability to give a great speech. Almost a year into his presidency, pundits are starting to ask, "Where's the fire?" From what some called his lackluster speech announcing his Afghanistan troop surge to his sometimes "low-key" rhetorical reaction to the Christmas Day attack by the would-be "underwear bomber," is no-drama Obama too cool for his — and our — own good? (Watch rapper and actor LL Cool J stand behind Obama)

Obama's rhetorical fire has gone cold:
Obama's soaring oratory was once "universally recognized" as his "greatest political strength," says Michael Gerson in The Washington Post. But in "the most unexpected development of his presidency," Obama's speeches are now flat, "workman-like utterances." Emotionally, Americans "want their president to be both the father and the mother of his country." Ronald Reagan got that; no-drama Obama is too cool to care.
"Where has Obama's inspiring oratory gone?"

It may bug pundits, but Americans like it: The "frequent claim by pundits that Obama is too 'cool' or 'detached'...or not enough of a 'daddy'," says Greg Sargent at The Plum Line, is hard to square with actual public opinion. In a new CNN poll, a "big majority" of Americans — 64 percent — approve of Obama's "temperament and leadership." Despite what we're told, we "don’t seem to want him to flaunt his emotions more...or treat voters like children."
"Too cool? Big majority approves of Obama’s temperament and leadership"

Less Spock, more rock:
It's not that Obama doesn't have a paternal side, says Maureen Dowd in The New York Times. It's just that "the Spock in him" makes him "so sure of himself and his actions" that he comes off as "the aloof father who's turned the Situation Room into the Seminar Room." But when we're attacked, like we were in the failed Christmas Day bombing, we need Obama to be "the strong father who protects the home from invaders."
"Captain Obvious learns the limits of cool"