Jonah Goldberg finds Barack Obama kind of swell-headed, even for a politician.
In his pre-campaign book, “The Audacity of Hope,” Barack Obama proclaims, “I find comfort in the fact that the longer I’m in politics the less nourishing popularity becomes, that a striving for rank and fame seems to betray a poverty of ambition, and that I am answerable mainly to the steady gaze of my own conscience.”
Some might think this odd testimony from a young and inexperienced freshman senator on the cusp of seeking the highest rank, and the most famous position, in the world. It’s a bit like a parish priest saying he’s happy with his modest lot in life and then declaring he’s throwing his hat in the ring to become pope.
But a closer reading reveals a possible explanation. Perhaps he’s an adulation junkie. Maybe the diminishing “nourishment” Sen. Obama receives from “popularity” is actually causing him to ratchet up his pursuit of more and more praise just to get the minimal fix he needs.
That would account for why a man who thinks striving for popularity is a character flaw has nonetheless decided to give his nomination acceptance speech in a 76,000-seat football stadium.
Or it might tell us why a candidate who hasn’t even been nominated yet wants to re-enact some of the most famous scenes from both Reagan and JFK’s highlight reels by holding a rally at Germany’s Brandenburg Gate, even though he’s not a head of state yet. (German authorities, aware of Obama’s rock-star status with the German public, diplomatically suggested that it was up to Obama to decide what is in “good taste.”)
Perhaps Dominic Lawson, writing in the British newspaper The Independent had it right when he recently wrote that Obama is “a man of stunning articulacy, but also stunning self-regard.” …
there’s little evidence that he’s interested in dispelling or rebutting the cult of personality he’s developed. Obama himself talks of reversing the ocean’s tides.
The overarching theme to his entire campaign – “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for,” and all that – is that voting for Obama is proof of the cosmic superiority of . . . Obama voters.
In a speech in Madison, Wis., Obama told his supporters that rallying to his cause was today’s equivalent of the “greatest generation” rallying to defeat Hitler and Tojo. Oprah merely calls him, “The One,” saying he will help us “evolve to a higher plane.”
Someone get that man one of those “I’m Kind of a Big Deal” T-shirts.
Read the whole thing.