Given that Barack Obama so obviously hasn't closed the deal, as they say, with blue-collar Democrats, the question is why, and reporter John McCormick makes some useful observations in Friday's Tribune. Obama's "sometimes aloof," can sound "a bit smug," and "tends to pace across the stage as if there is a giant blackboard behind him." What's more, according to a Tribune analysis, he "tends to speak two grade levels above" Hillary Clinton -- high school senior to her high school sophomore.
What all this adds up to is an apparent deficiency of what pundits who probably don't have it either like to call the "common touch." I sounded this alarm myself back in 2006, but the matter went untended and now the partridges have come home to roost.
If there's an undertone to McCormick's matter-of-fact report it's more amused than alarmed. Nobody likes a didact, but Obama actually was a professor -- he taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago. And McCormick rounds up a colleague to testify that "the notion that he looks down on working people is the most ludicrous thing you could imagine" and a former student to say that "he was one of the least hubristic professors I had."
So now we have both a University of Chicago law professor and a U. of C. law school graduate vouching for Obama as a man of the people.
It's a start.