In a sign of where we are in the race, the NYT's conservative columnist David Brooks writes a great column on the temperament and potential of Obama whilst barely mentioning McCain. Indeed the only contest in Brooks's column is between two possible President Obama's:
...it is easy to sketch out a scenario in which he could be a great president. He would be untroubled by self-destructive demons or indiscipline. With that cool manner, he would see reality unfiltered. He could gather — already has gathered — some of the smartest minds in public policy, and, untroubled by intellectual insecurity, he could give them free rein. Though he is young, it is easy to imagine him at the cabinet table, leading a subtle discussion of some long-term problem...
...It could be that Obama will be an observer, not a leader. Rather than throwing himself passionately into his causes, he will stand back. Congressional leaders, put off by his supposed intellectual superiority, will just go their own way. Lost in his own nuance, he will be passive and ineffectual. Lack of passion will produce lack of courage. The Obama greatness will give way to the Obama anti-climax.
Overall it reads like a cautious, qualified endorsement based on Obama's impressive temperament. The New Yorker's George Packer writes a post that also extolls the virtues of Obama's temperament and makes a similar point about his "lack of passion":
Obama’s character is a political triumph. His cool, unlike McCain’s tic-filled anger, is tactically deployed; throughout the campaign it’s become his main weapon against crisis and attack. But if he wins, he’ll need to play far more of his psychic register to have any chance of succeeding at the impossible job he’s so skillfully pursued. He’ll have to draw on humor, on empathy, on audacity, on courage, in order to inspire the kind of confidence the country badly lacks and needs. He might even have to get angry.