The Illinois Democrat rode into town with a halo and has worked hard ever since to prove he's a mere mortal. Obama, 44, has focused on important but low-profile issues, such as making sure the U.S. is prepared for an outbreak of avian flu and securing nuclear-weapon stockpiles in the former Soviet Union. He has reached so often across the aisle on, say, controlling Katrina spending, that some Democrats complain he won't be their firebrand.
Replacing South Carolina's aged Strom Thurmond, Republican Graham, 50, was every bit the contrast--boyish, fast talking and a maverick. He hit...