That's how Maureen Dowd describes Paul Ryan's demeanor and she sure doesn't want you to be fooled by it. I've said before that the left has a Reagan problem with Ryan. They painted Reagan as this mad man who would start WWIII(although they pine for Reagan the reasonable Republican today) and when people didn't see a raving lunatic in Reagan the strategy backfired.
So Dowd could be the first lefty to understand the danger of this disconnect. Her warning is beware the radical extremist you don't see. Sure he looks harmless; handsome, intelligent, reasonable. But pull back the curtain and AHA! And her evidence is all the lefties who've previously attacked Ryan.
What Dowd is missing is that it's not the superficial that sells with Ryan. It's the substance. And that makes her just another liberal now trying to change the subject from the debate her side claimed it so badly wanted.