Last Updated Sep 29, 2008 5:32 PM EDT
Obama appears to be blessed with an equanimity that is not shared by most people. He seems secure in his personality and willing to see things through the other person's eyes. And he's more than willing to share credit.
Since he's so articulate, he can get away with things other speakers can't, and shouldn't try. The first is his use of the phrase, "John's right about this..." in the debate Friday night. As a speaker with the objective of building one's own case, it's not helpful to repeatedly praise the other party -- let them and their supporters take care of that. A better way to phrase it would be "We agree on some points, but Sen. McCain and I differ on key aspects..."
Of more concern is his continued repeating of negative sentiments about himself, as when he used the word "naive" about half way through the debate. After he said that, McCain repeated it several times, feasting on a word that played right into his strategy of portraying Obama as inexperienced.
The only cure for "repeating a negative" is practicing not to. Obama, with his strong oratorical skills, can get away with it. The rest of us shouldn't try.