For most Democrats, Mr. Obama is the Illinois senator who riveted the Democratic National Convention with a keynote speech that marked him as one of the most powerful speakers his party had produced in 50 years. But as Mr. Obama methodically worked his way across swaths of rural northern Iowa — his towering figure and skin color making him stand out at out diners and veteran’s homes, at high schools and community colleges — it was clear that he is not presenting himself, stylistically at least, the way he did two years ago when he gripped Democrats at the Fleet Center in Boston.
He is cerebral and easy-going, often talking over any applause that might rise up from his audience, and perhaps consciously trying to present a political style that contrasts with the more charged presences of John Edwards, the former trial lawyer and senator from North Carolina, and Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York.
You want cerebral? See my 6.3 Obama Cliches Per Minute post.