But there's a price one pays in becoming president. Giving up being liked is the ultimate public sacrifice. This was the hardest lesson for Bill Clinton, who loved people and found the isolation of the presidency particularly brutal. Similarly, Obama wants to stay in touch with everyday Americans, as symbolized by his reluctance to surrender his BlackBerry.
There was a time last week when Obama looked younger than usual. Not youthful so much as not fully formed. He seemed out of place in his presidential role. In a word, he seemed haunted. Had he been visited by the ghosts of Christmas future?