This effect explains how Barack Obama has captured the attention and the approval of even those who, a year ago, would have been skeptical or hostile. The guy is steady. His campaign has now made the word its mantra, and, boy, has he earned the right. There has rarely been a moment when the United States needed an unflappable leader more, and there has rarely been a candidate who has so steadfastly refused to rattle.
For nearly two years the man has played his own methodical game, ignoring the cries of pundits or party regulars. During those times when it looked as though he were faltering or fading, most conspicuously after the Republican convention, when Sarah Palin seemed like a bright idea instead of a "Saturday Night Live" skit, the Greek chorus rose: Strike out! Fight back! Be tough! Be rough! Obama proceeded apace.
I have to say that I agree. I've been consistently impressed this past year at how calm and intelligent and civil Obama has remained, no matter what kind of crap his opponents threw at him. As Quindlen goes on to say "he's a smart and temperate person who is really comfortable in his own skin." That's definitely something to admire about the guy, regardless of whether you agree with his platform or not.