The kind of talk that won the votes-- and the hearts-- of the left-wing base of the Democratic Party during the primaries may not be enough to carry the day with voters in the general election. So Senator Obama has been changing his tune or, as he puts it, "refining" his message.
This was not the kind of "change" that the true believers among Obama's supporters were expecting. So there has been some wavering among the faithful and some ups and downs in the polls.
Despite an impressive political machine and a huge image makeover this year to turn a decades-long, divisive grievance-promoting activist into someone who is supposed to unite us all and lead us into the promised land of "change," little glimpses of the truth keep coming out.
The elitist sneers at people who believe in religion and who own guns, the Americans who don't speak foreign languages and the views of the "typical white person," are all like rays of light that show through the cracks in Obama's carefully crafted image.
The overwhelming votes for Obama in some virtually all-white states show that many Americans are ready to move beyond race. But Obama himself wants to have it both ways, by attributing racist notions to the McCain camp that has never made race an issue.
The problem with clever people is that they don't know when to stop being clever-- and Senator Obama is a very clever man, perhaps "too clever by half" as the British say. But maybe he can't keep getting by with glittering generalities, any more than Galbraith could.