July 26, 2008
Obama the PridefulBy Jeff Dobbs
When Hillary Clinton was beating the stuffing out of Obama beginning in March, she was paying off the notion that Obama is elitist, via the infamous bitter and clingy remark. Though Hillary eventually succumbed to Obama, elitism remains the candidate's fatal flaw.
Many people are noticing the high regard Obama has for himself as a defining hallmark of the candidate and his campaign. He has proven unable to stop the flow of telling signs.
His attempt to earn Joe Sixpack cred by bowling a line blew up in his face. The cool kids at the Punahou School, Columbia and Harvard probably didn't hang out at the bowling alley, I suppose.
Obama created his very own presidential seal.
Obama felt that 17,000 people watching his speech at the DNC convention was too small, and moved it to Invesco Field at Mile High to try and give another 60,000 or so the privilege of watching him.
Only after striking out in trying to grab the Brandenburg Gate to cast himself in the same light as John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan. did he settle for a speech at the a Prussian battle monument relocated by Hitler.
A campaign willing to showcase this large an ego without any evidence of modesty or shame is underway. Obama's last gasp effort at combating the notion that he considers himself more highly than he ought came in his victory speech in St. Paul upon securing enough delegates to claim the Democratic nomination:
Give Obama points for associating himself with the word "profound" while seeming to claim humility.
But even that humility lasted all of a few seconds, when he quickly shed it with this:
History and literature are rich in examples of pompous, overly proud, and arrogant figures. They make familiar objects of mirth and contempt. Chanticleer, the rooster of fable who takes credit for the rising of the sun, may be the ultimate archetype of the popmpous
Edmond Rostand's play Chantecler offers one of the more famous satirical expressions of pride:
Of course, were high self-regard enough to launch a successful bid to become a major party nominee for president, there would be hundreds of members of Congress lined up for the competition. A person with such regard needs willing messengers who not only believe they have found the one they have been waiting for, but who are in a position to carry that message in a convincing way to a large audience.
For Obama, he has captured the hearts of the media for this very purpose.
John Kass in the Chicago Tribune uses his own literary reference to help describe the relationship between Obama and the media:
And since we have started down the path of casting Obama as Chantecler, let us use Rostand's play again to cast the media as would-be love interest Pheasant-Hen.
In the play, Chantecler reveals his secret for making the sun rise to Pheasant-Hen, though she begins with some hesitation in believing that Chantecler possesses such power:
And yet, as Chantecler begins his song, performing brilliantly and beautifully as dawn begins, Pheasant-Hen cannot help but be swept up in the moment:
The media doesn't laugh because you can't make fun of Obama. The sun would refuse to rise.
What else is left but to mock such a notion?
Jeff Dobbs blogs at The Voice in My Head