It's easy to look at this whole Barack Obama "train thing" and call it a grand PR thing.

It is. But it's much more.

It's about reaching out to average folks with whom he connects and sending a message to Congress, with whom he not always will.

Because the next president's toughest sell isn't with voters who are giving him the benefit of the doubt.

But with Congress — many from his own party who doubt the costs of his benefits.

Democrats who want to spend more. Republicans who want to spend less. And a president-elect who wants to avoid feeling spent.

So he's taking his case to the people.

A velvet glove on iron rails, at a time Barack Obama knows full well his sky-high poll numbers are hardly iron-cast.

They change, because whistles do stop. Ask Abraham Lincoln. Ask Harry Truman.

But that doesn't take away from their grand gesture and grand message. Even as this latest whistle-stopper pulls out all the grand stops to make the grandest spending plans of all.

I guess we can rail about those plans later. Barack Obama's mission these next few days is to convince the American people he's on the right track, no matter how much we do.

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