Krauthammer: The Solo Act that is Obama
Charles Krauthammer has an observation one the unique “oneness” of Obama:
Barack Obama is an immensely talented man whose talents have been largely devoted to crafting, and chronicling, his own life. Not things. Not ideas. Not institutions. But himself.
Nothing wrong or even terribly odd about that, except that he is laying claim to the job of crafting the coming history of the United States. A leap of such audacity is odd.
The air of unease at the Democratic Convention this week was not just a result of the Clinton psychodrama. The deeper anxiety was that the party was nominating a man of many gifts but precious few accomplishments — bearing even fewer witnesses.
When John Kerry was introduced at his convention four years ago, an honor guard of a dozen mates from his Vietnam days surrounded him on the podium attesting to his character and readiness to lead…Eerily missing at the Democratic Convention this year were people of stature who were seriously involved at some point in Obama’s life standing up to say: I know Barack Obama. I’ve been with Barack Obama. We’ve toiled/endured together. You can trust him. I do….
So where are the colleagues? The buddies? The political or spiritual soul mates? His most important spiritual adviser and mentor was Jeremiah Wright. But he’s out. Then there’s William Ayers, with whom he served on a board. He’s out. Where are the others?
The oddity of this convention is that its central figure is the ultimate self-made man, a dazzling mysterious Gatsby. The palpable apprehension is that the anointed is a stranger — a deeply engaging, elegant, brilliant stranger with whom the Democrats had a torrid affair.
Obama always seemed to have been working toward the next plateau–from Harvard to community organizer to state legislator to Senator to nominee for President. As a result, with the obvious exception of his wife, there are precious few people who have shared his journey on his impressive historical run. He’s been in such a mad rush to go ever higher, that he hasn’t taken the time to set down roots anywhere. I think many Americans, perhaps intuitively, find that a little weird. Of course, many others could care less–they either agree with him or don’t based on his espoused ideas, not his life journey.