Is that a fair characterization about Obama or is it simply a way to frame him out of the mainstream? Or is it just another way to say that he is an empty suit?
I would suggest that Obama is far from a cult leader and also far from an empty suit. He taught constitutional law for 10 years. And I would suggest that he is far more than a good speaker. Hilzoy has this post from 2006:
But I do follow legislation, at least on some issues, and I have been surprised by how often Senator Obama turns up, sponsoring or co-sponsoring really good legislation on some topic that isn't wildly sexy, but does matter. His bills tend to have the following features: they are good and thoughtful bills that try to solve real problems; they are in general not terribly flashy; and they tend to focus on achieving solutions acceptable to all concerned, not by compromising on principle, but by genuinely trying to craft a solution that everyone can get behind.Sully has a list of thoughtful policy speeches here. Slate's John Dickerson talks about Obama sitting in a health-care forum and demonstrating a depth of knowledge about the details of the issues.
I am already tired of the right, but the fact that anyone from that side would have criticism of our candidates is ridiculous after the last 8 years. We have had to listen to the dumbest speeches with everything dumbed down to "they hate us for our freedom" or "childrens do learn." Perhaps Obama's appeal is simply the ability to communicate in complete sentences and discuss ideas with some depth? Not only did Bush give us the stupid speeches and butchered English language, but we had people "amening" Bush's speeches and talking about what a Godly man he is. And that nonsense continued after preemptive wars, torture, and violations of the constitution. If you want to talk about cultish figures, Bush was that at one point, and still is for some members on the right.
Now that we have a couple of speakers who can command an audience and actually engage people--we are two steps away from Jonestown Kool Aid. That is frankly ridiculous.