In its coverage of the inauguration, the Daily Show ran a segment with Jason Jones reporting from DC. The structure of the sequence was as follows: Jones would describe how wonderful Obama's speech was and then Jon Stewart would play a brief clip of a Bush speech with highly similar rhetoric. Stewart was pushing Jones to say something about why this was change, why Obama was different. Haven't we heard these words before? (Like, what's the difference between 'I'm a uniter not a divider' and Obama's calls for unity?) Jones complained, saying Stewart was a buzz kill, that it's different because it's Obama, and then, the clincher: it's different because we don't think Obama means it.
So we have here a situation where two statements seem to say the same thing. Their content seems indistinguishable. The difference is in the position from which they are enunciated, Bush v. Obama. A first reading would say that this means that there is no difference, that Obama does not provide any change at all, that in fact the one thing he does not provide is change (he provides everything but change). But, there is nonetheless a difference in the position of enunciation. The person is not the same; time has passed, etc. And this is where the Jones' point is surprising: we would expect Bush to be the cynic, but it seems that he is saying that Obama is or his supporters are.
But Jones must be a Lacanian. The problem of Bush is that he believes his words. There is no gap between himself and his words or his words and the world. He is fully identified with his words, completely certain, with no space for doubts or disagreement. This full identity of words and reality (White Noise) is properly psychotic.
But no one thinks Obama is crazy or psychotic. He is described as professorial, calm, cool, technocratic, a lover of argument and debate. We don't think that he views his words as indistinguishable from the Real. We know that for him they have symbolic efficacy, that they are chosen as elements of a common political rhetoric, that they assert this commonality and do not deny the multiple valences of rhetorical choices. Obama, then, enables a kind of distance or disindentification. He provides a kind of relief from the intense, all-or-nothing psychosis of the Bush years, the relief of a shared-lie, of disavowal, the relief that comes from the intervention of the Symbolic.
Obama's non belief in his own words is thus not cynicism (correlatively, the non-duped err). Rather, it's an attempt to reinsert Symbolic distance and authority.