Where's Obama's Passion?

His style worked in the spring but hurt him over the summer. In the fall, says Joe Klein, it might cost Obama the election

Callie Shell / Aurora for TIME

A few days before Barack Obama was to announce his choice for Vice President, he was asked at a North Carolina town meeting what qualities he wanted in a running mate. He wandered through a derisive, if desultory, critique of Dick Cheney, then switched gears. "I want somebody ... who shares with me a passion to make the lives of the American people better than they are right now," he said. "I want somebody who is mad right now that people are losing their jobs." And I immediately thought, Uh-oh.

Memories of John Kerry in 2004...

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