AP veteran Ron Fournier has coined a potentially harmful look-out, watch-out description of Obama: He thinks he’s hot stuff.
[T]here’s a line smart politicians don’t cross — somewhere between “I’m qualified to be president” and “I’m born to be president.” Wherever it lies, Barack Obama better watch his step.
He’s bordering on arrogance
The man from audacity “can be a bit too cocky for his own good,” says Fournier.
“To know me is to love me,” Obama said in July. “Every place is Barack Obama country once Barack Obama’s been there,” he said later.
True, there’s a certain amount of tongue-in-cheekiness to such remarks — almost as if Obama doesn’t want to take his adoring crowds and political ascent too seriously. He was surely kidding when he told supporters in January that by the time he was done speaking “a light will shine down from somewhere.”
“It will light upon you,” he continued. “You will experience an epiphany. And you will say to yourself, I have to vote for Barack. I have to do it.”
Kidding on the square, as my father used to say?
O. and his wife “ooze a sense of entitlement.” She recently laid it on heavily, calling him “one of the smartest people you will ever encounter who will deign to enter this messy thing called politics” — we should be very grateful — and we will get only one chance to elect him.
With the entitlement will come his feeling very hurt if we don’t elect him, with accompanying emotions from his supporters, especially those who seethe with their feelings of victimhood — the other side of the volatile entitlement equation.
Update: A former reporter for the Hyde Park Herald recalls O. from his state senate days, when he was prone to a hot response and willing to bully a newsman:
It’s not quite eight in the morning and Barack Obama is on the phone screaming at me. He liked the story I wrote about him a couple weeks ago, but not this garbage.
Months earlier, a reporter friend told me she overheard Obama call me an asshole at a political fund-raiser. Now here he is blasting me from hundreds of miles away for a story that just went online but hasn’t yet hit local newsstands.
It’s the first time I ever heard him yell, and I’m trembling as I set down the phone. I sit frozen at my desk for several minutes, stunned.
Yet more interesting, in those days he was Emil Jones’s man. Jones, senate president, became his “kingmaker,” writes Todd Spivak in the Houston (TX) Press:
“Cliff, I’m gonna make me a U.S. Senator,” Jones told former alderman, now talk-show host Cliff Kelley, an old friend. “Oh, you are? Who might that be?” asked Kelley in a conversation both confirmed for Spivak. “Barack Obama.”
Jones appointed Obama sponsor of virtually every high-profile piece of legislation, angering many rank-and-file state legislators who had more seniority than Obama and had spent years championing the bills.
O’s earmark requests were to include “tens of millions for Jones’s Senate district.”
Back to O. as intimidating:
I was 25 and had no problem interviewing big-wig politicians. But I always had to steel my nerves when calling Obama. His intelligence was intimidating, and my hands inevitably shook with sweat.
Barack, we hardly know ye.