Obama is really good at speeches, really good at set pieces and seems good with people face-to-face, but something he seems less good at is being 'off the cuff'. One imagines that advisers helped every television appearance prior to his victory, perhaps they need to now. On Jay Leno last night his first gaffe was to say that his bowling was: "It's like -- it was like Special Olympics, or something" - that got an instance response from the White House to reduce any damage. Then there was the dog question, on campaign he promised to buy his daughters a dog if he won, dog has not appeared yet. The joke: "Listen, this is Washington. That was a campaign promise," was ok, though perhaps not wise. But the vaguer "We're going to get a dog that is -- that I think the girls will have a great time -- I think I'm going to have a lot of fun with it. You know, they say if you want a friend in Washington, get a dog." does not inspire confidence. Now you can say it is normal to make a few gaffes and this just proves Obama is human; or you could worry that he makes similar (but more important) gaffes when doing is presidential diplomatic work. Whatever it could be a credibility issue and he may be encouraged to think about being more guarded and less unplanned if he wants to retain is good image.