This interview comes after Obama's second address on the State of the Union. Alter suggests that popular expectations had Obama being a great communicator but struggling in terms of executive leadership. Alter poses that things have been just the opposite: Obama's had communication troubles and accomplished more in terms of his record since President Lyndon Johnson.
I like the way that Alter communicates in this interview. I haven't read much of his work, but his interview has my interest piqued about his new book.
(And interesting factoid from my Wiki research: Alter's wife, Emily Lazar, is a producer of a little show called The Colbert Report.)