A worried conservative at American Thinker spells out his concerns in unusually plain language... in terms of personal charisma and likability, he might be FDR, JFK and RWR rolled into one:
Sensible McCain supporters need to begin this struggle with the following painful acknowledgement: on a personal level Barack Obama is one of the most ingratiating, likeable, least threatening, and intelligent-seeming men to run for the Presidency in the last hundred years.
There. Though I would no more vote for him than for Robespierre, I said it. It is a fact of consequence that needs to be faced.
In personal gifts relevant to political success, only three Americans during the twentieth century merit mention with Obama: Roosevelt, Kennedy and Reagan. This trio, as the historically well-schooled will recall, shared not only great political talent, but a common destiny: they all won.
So let's have no more talk of how much obviously weaker an opponent Obama is than what's-her-name. He is formidable enough, particularly for the execrable circumstances we confront.
A bit of history that seems relevant to the present situation: In 1980, back when communication was effected through messages chipped into stone tablets carried by horses, Ronald Reagan ran for the presidency against an incumbent named Carter. Carter enthusiasts breathed a collective sigh of relief when the Republican nomination was settled. They all knew their man was in trouble, but what luck! The Republicans had nominated an out-of-the-mainstream right wing extremist! The only man Carter could beat! Reagan's overall world view in fact was probably somewhat to the right of most Americans'. But in the event, Reagan won in a landslide, tremendously assisted by his ingratiating manner. There's more, of course, to why he won, but no one would dispute the importance of his manner.