Afterthought on the health care adagio dance: Obama must have been a really good law prof. I know, I know, his friends have been saying so all along. I didn't really doubt it so much as take it with a large grain of salt. Trust me, I've seen it happen: it's pretty easy to inflate a bit of adjunct work into a full-bore academic resume.
But watch him work the crowd at the health care summit and you see a guy with some formidable situation-specific skills: he's the master of his brief, of course, but he is also effective at orchestrating the room, including both the dunces and the unruly (not always the same). I now testify: on the professor-meter, I think he deserves all the credit he gets.
But hold your horses there, big guy: situation-specific skill as a professor has almost nothing to do with skill as a president; it may be negative. Remember Bill Clinton: the wonks love him for his wonkiness, but the vulgar mob embraces him (and he embraces back) because he is trailer trash. If Obama had really wanted to polish up his political skills, he might have been well advised to skip the seminar room and punch his card as a per diem classroom substitute at a junior high.