A new and much more emotional President Obama has hit the town, with a second-term confidence that sees him dropping his tightly controlled expressions in favor of a softer, at times tearful, approach to selling his agenda.
It's a technique Hillary Rodham Clinton deployed to masterful effect on the eve of the 2008 Democratic primary in New Hampshire. She scored the Granite State win, stalled Obama's momentum from Iowa and set the two on a brutal primary path.
Now, Mr. Obama is increasingly employing the technique.
He's using anecdotes.
He's sharing personal tales of his youth. And at times — twice, in recent history — he's even crying.
Mr. Obama got emotional during his address about the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in December, and again last week, during a ceremony to honor those who died in that spree while shielding the children, The Hill reports.
In between, he's talked about the hardships of single motherhood — while referring to his own upbringing — and, on a separate occasion, about how he stuck with his community activism even when he "got so discouraged, I thought about giving up," he said, during an address before a crowd of at-risk youth, The Hill reports.
He's also shared family waymarks: His daughters are now dating, he revealed in January.
That all follows his emotion-filled, choked-up re-election moment with staffers, when he actually wiped away tears — and the ensuing YouTube video that was captured and released by his campaign staff went viral. (Waterworks are nothing new for world leaders as George W. Bush and even Vladimir Putin were known to get a little weepy on occasion.)
"What interests me is that President Obama began feeling comfortable enough to show his softer side only — but immediately — after his re-election," Ryan Biaya, a political science lecturer at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, told The Hill.
"We're used to re-elected presidents feeling emboldened to pursue policies that might have gotten them in electoral trouble during their first terms. But what we have here is something else: a president who apparently feels buoyed not only politically, but also emotionally."
One unnamed political official in The Hill report expressed more cynicism with the president's sudden show of emotion.
"Nothing in Washington is coincidental," the official saidl. "There's a reason for everything."
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