3:31 PM, Jul 18, 2008 • By DEAN BARNETT
'hammer time! Dr. Krauthammer's article has justifiably set off quite a firestorm of delight in conservative circles. My email box has overflowed with links to the column and comments like "Krauthammer's best ever!" Since this is much higher praise than, say, "Krugman's best ever," the column is must reading.
Krauthammer's theme is not new. A lot of us, ranging from Obama critics to even Andrew Sullivan, have explored Barack Obama's unattractive self-regard that risks tripping into a full-on case of hubris. But Krauthammer says it better than anyone else has or likely will:
I know you're going to read the whole thing, so I don't even have to encourage you to do so. But before clicking along, allow me to expand on the point that Krauthammer makes above. If someone told you in 2003 that a guy who was a part-time law professor, part-time lawyer and part-time state legislator would be president in five years, you probably would have laughed. If you were further informed that the individual in question's greatest accomplishment as an adult was his stellar performance in law school, you would have pled for mercy because the ensuing hysterics would have made your sides ache.
Of course we don't elect rÃ©sumÃ©s for president. That much is understood. But other presidential candidates with modest accomplishments knew enough to at least try to look humble. It's worth pondering why Obama isn't capable of doing the same or self-aware enough to know he ought to.
I kind of wish the title were ironic, but it isn't. Lehigh actually thinks Obama has had a wildly successful summer. Yes, Lehigh is talking about the same smoldering summer in which Obama managed to convince a majority of Americans that he tells them whatever they want to hear and transformed himself from a Lightworker to just another politician.
Give Lehigh special bonus points for the stirring display of hyperbolic Boston parochialism. In the Lehigh telling of things, John Sasso has played an important role in almost every presidential campaign of the last quarter century. At least we've finally cleared up the mystery why Sasso was advising both Bush and Gore in 2000.
Personally, I hope Obama and his campaign listen to Lehigh rather than Krauthammer.
Allah piggybacks on an essay by Patrick Ruffini that suggests Romney would be crazy to accept the running mate slot since it (not to mention the vice presidency itself) is the traditional burial ground of presidential ambitions. Quoth Ruffini:
I've steadily avoided vice-president talks, especially those involving Romney. When it comes to discussing Mitt Romney, I don't exactly have Nixon-to-China credentials. For what it's worth, in private conversations over the past several months I've expressed deep ambivalence about Romney joining the ticket because I wasn't sure he would help the ticket. (My wife would usually end those private conversations by saying, "I didn't ask you about Mitt Romney. I asked you to pass the peas.")
But $4 gas, a crushing credit crunch and a general (and accurate) sense of economic crisis change everything. It's been obvious during the past few weeks that neither candidate can address the economy with any authority. That's understandable enough - during their long careers, each candidate barely paused long enough in the private sector to enjoy a triple grande latte.
It will be the smart candidate who tabs as his running mate an expert who knows something about how an economy works and can communicate effectively with the public on such matters. Romney had his faults as a candidate in the primaries, but he was very strong when he discussed the economy. Additionally, it's not like either party has a strong roster of economic experts waiting to join the ticket. I can't think of a single Democrat who would fit such a bill, and on the Republican side the Phil Gramms, Jack Kemps and Warren Rudmans are mercifully non-starters.
As to what joining the ticket would do to Romney's long term ambitions, who cares? We've got four consequential years to get through. As Allah points out, if Romney were asked to serve, he would be unlikely say no so he could begin munching rubber chicken preparing for 2012 when duty calls.
Last week I mentioned a letter the airlines sent out to their customers blaming their woes on oil speculators. Today, Strassel responds with a letter of her own:
When the airlines come looking for their next federal bailout, one wonders whether they'll be shocked at the public's indifference to their woes.
5) From YouTube.com, Andrea Mitchell chatting with David Petraeus
You'll want to watch the whole thing, but here's a brief nugget from the conversation:
So what's the Democrats' next move? Is it "Betray Us" time again? Or does Barack Obama posit that he knows more about the independent variables in question than David Petraeus does?
The most likely scenario is that Obama continues his clumsy and inelegant straddle in which he tries to please the left's anti-war base while keeping at least a big toe dipped in reality. I would wager that Obama's position on Iraq will keep evolving throughout the campaign. I'd also wager that every time he discusses the subject, he won't be able to resist wedging in a little homage to his own magnificent judgment.