While the topic of temperament is on the table, it's worth pointing out how someone as inexperienced and left-wing as Barack could come so far, so fast. In large part, it's because he combines radical views with a moderate temperament.
Of course, he's to the left even of, for example, Howard Dean. But for many, that doesn't seem possible because Barack's so "cool," so quiet (in contrast to Dean's "hot" temperament). Even those like me, who knew him professionally, didn't quite understand the extent of his leftism -- because he wasn't openly ranting about America's injustice in the fashion stereotypically associated with far-left ideologues.
To the extent that Americans are lulled into a false sense of complacency about Barack's plans because he seems so low-key and even-keeled about them, we're making a huge mistake. Just because he's quiet, that doesn't mean he's not committed. As his history of hard-left causes and associations makes patently clear, he believes in those principles -- and what's more, he knows how to present himself (and them) to make them seem much less extreme than they really are.