Obama rising above the sea?
When I moved to Washington around four months ago, the front cover of a local magazine proclaimed 30 reasons to live in DC.
Number one was: our new neighbour is cool. It had a picture of Barack Obama in red shorts.
He and the first lady are still cool. The walls of the White House are adorned with some serious art, bubba rock isn't banned, but the White House now hosts poetry slams and R&B and Latin bands.
Michelle grows her own veg and persuades kids it's hip to go organic.
For millions of Americans, particularly black Americans, they are an inspiration.
But as far as the media and political classes are concerned, he's the man who fell to earth. And even to many supporters the answer to "can we do it?" is "well, we certainly hope so".
He's a curious mixture. On the one hand, coolly, even coldly intellectual, trying not to show exasperation with the childish demand of voters for results now, this instant.
On the other, he loves the limelight of campaigning. You see a different, more relaxed Obama when he is in front of a crowd shouting "we love you" and he answers, "I love you, too" - doing his little shuffle and slipping into folksy idiom.
It's probably because it's easier than governing. And he has made mistakes. The biggest over health care.
Bill Clinton tried to write the bill while he was in the White House and it got shot to pieces.
He has let the politicians on Capitol Hill have their protracted say. The result is a confusion of competing plans with different price tags.
He will get a lot of advice following last night's elections, and some of it, like this article by Robert Creamer, pretty sound.
But if I was a presidential adviser, I would be more worried about reports that the health care bill may slip into next year.
I've talked to lots of voters who are anxious about what will happen to their health care.
They don't know. No one knows. No one can know.
Those who want to brand any outcome as costly big government interference easily fill the vacuum.
Pictures of Obama, hand on chin, in the White House situation room listening to four-star generals and CIA chiefs and ambassadors, show him looking thoughtful.
He's done 20 hours of thoughtful, and there still isn't an Afghan strategy.
Now we are being told not to expect a decision until the end of the month.
It's a rare example of government at the very highest level looking very seriously at a complex issue from all the angles.
It's also an example of why it doesn't happen very often. It looks like dithering in a world that values action over reflection.
His team talk constantly about the need to rise above the 24-hour media. Their frustration with voters who want a microwave government - it's not as good, but at least it's quick - and their anger at the media, who they say are stuck in a narrative arc of decline and fall is understandable.
But like any contact sport, politics is more about blocking the blows and making feints than practicing perfect punches.
To paraphrase Enoch Powell, it's a bit like a sailor wanting to rise above the sea. And the days when Obama could walk on water are over.