Although I don't agree with everything in Peggy Noonan's column today, I agree with this:
This is an opportunity, for Mr. Obama needs an Act II. Act II is hard. Act II is where the promise of Act I is deepened, the plot thickens, and all is teed up for resolution and meaning. Mr. Obama's Act I was: I'm Obama. He enters the scene. Act III will be the convention and acceptance speech. After that a whole new drama begins. But for now he needs Act II. He should make his subject America.
Obama can wrap up the nomination without an Act II. But it's become clear over the last few weeks (Wright/Cling etc) that he's got a way to go to convince many Americans that he's not just a media darling, or just a creature of the liberal middle-class. That he's a president for everyone. And for that to happen he needs to move his story along. It's in danger of getting stuck.
I think, if you spend the amount of money he did in Pennsylvania, and you campaign as hard as he did, and you lose by nine points, you should maybe take that as a sign that it's time to freshen things up. Most candidates reinvent themselves somewhere along the line, and the best ones do it without losing touch with who they are. Obama and his team should pause for a moment and have a think about how they can use Indiana and North Carolina as pivots to propel them towards the next part of his story.
But, er, apparently not.