Where's the Fire?

Barack Obama has Democrats worried. But the candidate is calm. Here's why

Callie Shell / Aurora for TIME

Obama with aides David Axelrod and Valerie Jarrett and wife Michelle before a stop in Boardman, Ohio.

The Democratic Party is having one of its periodic freak-outs. John McCain has pulled ahead in a few polls, and the party's many doom-and-gloomers are fretting that Barack Obama is frittering away a can't-lose election, lagging behind generic Democrats in a generic Democratic year. They worry that he's too professorial, too nuanced, too dispassionate, too above-the-fray cool. They want him to run straight at McCain's distortions, throw some fastballs, show voters he's a scrapper. They fear that his message of change has grown stale, that his efforts to paint McCain as another George W. Bush aren't working, that Sarah Palin flat-out...

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