23 July, 2008

And People Call Bush Arrogant?

President George W. Bush (R-USA) could take arrogance lessons from Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) and his team.

From a senior advisor, discussing his speech in Germany (emphasis mine):

“It is not going to be a political speech,” said a senior foreign policy adviser, who spoke to reporters on background. “When the president of the United States goes and gives a speech, it is not a political speech or a political rally.

And remember the earlier quote I brought up from the Senator (emphasis mine):

I wasn't saying anything I hadn't said before, that I didn't say a year ago or when I was a United States senator.

Did the election already happen?  I must've missed it.

I'm not the only one who's noticed.  I've seen three different articles this week about Mr. Obama's ego.

Joan Vennochi in The Boston Globe has it this way:

JUST LIKE the Obama girl, Obama has a crush on Obama.

She compares him to Senator John McCain (R-AZ):

McCain's humility comes through in his book, "Faith of my Fathers," which he wrote at age 63, after completing a career in the US Navy and moving onto politics. Obama wrote the more self-reverential "Dreams from My Father," after he was elected president of the Harvard Law Review.

Charles Krauthammer is more blunt in Investor's Business Daily:

Americans are beginning to notice Obama's elevated opinion of himself. There's nothing new about narcissism in politics. Every senator looks in the mirror and sees a president. Nonetheless, has there ever been a presidential nominee with a wider gap between his estimation of himself and the sum total of his lifetime achievements?

Obama is a three-year senator without a single important legislative achievement to his name, a former Illinois state senator who voted "present" nearly 130 times.

As president of the Harvard Law Review, as law professor and as legislator, has he ever produced a single notable piece of scholarship? Written a single memorable article? His most memorable work is a biography of his favorite subject: himself.

And then there's Tom Bevan for Real Clear Politics who quotes both Jim Geraghty and Marc Andreessen in his dissection of Obama's ego:

SPIEGEL: Critics say the trip is nothing but a PR stunt to strengthen his foreign-policy credentials and that he has only rarely been to Europe before.

Rice: Senator Obama has travelled to Europe, Africa, the Middle East and South Asia many times before. He lived in Asia. He bows to nobody in his understanding of this world.

Intentional or not, the phrase "he bows to nobody" is the kind of tone deaf rhetoric that reinforces the narrative about Obama's arrogance.

That from Geraghty, and also:

Far more telling than what a surrogate says publicly, however, is what the candidate himself says privately. And the Der Spiegel item reminded me of this post by Netscape founder and internet wunderkind Marc Andreessen. The post is dated March 3, 2008, but in it Andreessen recounts a conversation he had with Senator Obama in early 2007 as he was gearing up to run for President.

Near the end, Andreessen asked Obama directly about his lack of foreign policy experience, and this is how Obama responded:

We then asked, well, what about foreign policy -- should we be concerned that you just don't have much experience there?

He said, directly, two things.

First, he said, I'm on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where I serve with a number of Senators who are widely regarded as leading experts on foreign policy -- and I can tell you that I know as much about foreign policy at this point as most of them.

Even the McCain team has noticed, calling Obama "The One":

"I don't know that people in Missouri are going to like seeing tens of thousands of Europeans screaming for The One," quipped a McCain aide, deploying a moniker some in the campaign use to poke fun at Obama's exalted status in certain quarters.

And Glenn Reynolds opined:

If Barack Obama is elected President, he'll be far more warlike than President Bush, and far more warlike than his pre-election rhetoric suggests. Because before he's elected President, attacks on America are just attacks on America. But after he's elected President, attacks on America will also be attacks on Barack Obama.


Add it all up, and it's definitely not good for Mr. Obama.

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