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.

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Chuck
12 years ago

Krauthammer has always been a deeper thinker than most other talking heads, even among those I like.

Pragmatist
Pragmatist
12 years ago

Uh, yeah, it is such a natural leap of ambition to toil as a community organizer in Chicago after a stint at Harvard.
Do you read the stuff you right before you post?

Tom W
Tom W
12 years ago

>Uh, yeah, it is such a natural leap of ambition to toil as a community organizer in Chicago after a stint at Harvard.
It is if your ambitions lie in political rewards rather than (immediate) monetary rewards.
The fact that Obama has been entrenched in the radical left element there (Wright; Ayers) and a “go along to get along” figure with the notoriously corrupt Democrat-Chicago political machine tells us all we need to know about his “higher aspirations.”
One thing we do know, Obama will be in good graces with the Chicago political machine and its ability to help steal the election for him, as it did for JFK.

Anthony
Anthony
12 years ago

Obama had 143 days of work experience in the Senate before he decided he was qualified to be leader of the free world and lauchned his presidential bid.
Krauthammer brings up a valid point. Obama’s whole career appears to have been about promoting himself and finding a path that allowed him to do it.
The community organizer position allowed him to make the necessary contacts to run for the state legislature–which gave him the necessary contacts to run for Senate–which gave him the position from which he could run for President.
All of this was done in a very short time, indicating that he really wasn’t passionate about what he was doing. He was passionate about where he was going.
As Hillary Clinton said about Obama’s qualifications, “Barack Obama’s given a speech..”

OldTimeLefty
12 years ago

Hello all you “experience” worshippers. I’d like to point out that Abraham Lincoln was the least experienced of the four presidential candidates in the 1860 election. John Breckenridge was a sitting Vice President. John Bell had 14 years’ experience in the U.S. House of Representatives and served as Speaker of the House in 1834 and 1835. Stephen Douglas was a sitting senator from Illinois with 14 years experience. Lincoln had served for only two years in the U.S. House of Representatives.
As a freshman House member in 1846, Lincoln was not a particularly powerful or influential figure. However, he spoke out against the Mexican-American War, which he attributed to President Polk’s desire for “military glory” and challenged the President’s claims regarding the Texas boundary. – Republicans today call this “cutting and running”.
Let me be clear. I am not saying that Obama is another Lincoln. I am saying that I am damned glad Lincoln, the inexperienced, won the election. I am saying that “experience” is a straw that many who write to this blog cling to in order to satisfy their own predisposition to reject any Democrat for any reason.
OldTimeLefty

Anthony
Anthony
12 years ago

OTL,
You attempated to make this point before, but you’re only telling half the truth.
Lincoln had far more experience than you give him credit.
-He was the captain of an Illinois militia company during the Black Hawk War.
-He was a small businessman and owned a store in New Salem, IL.
-At the time of his election to Congress, Lincoln was an established lawyer with a thriving law practice, generally considered as one of the leading lawyers in IL.
Only then did Lincoln enter politics, where he spent four terms in the state legislature before running for Congress.
Finally, Lincoln ran for President after serving two terms as a Congressman.
Apparently, you only consider it to be “experience” if the person in elective office. By this standard, Eisenhower would have been the most inexperience president. Here on the conservative side, we give Eisenhower some “experience” points for having won World War II.

Anthony
Anthony
12 years ago

OTL,
You attempted to make this point before, but you’re only telling half the truth.
Lincoln had far more experience than you give him credit.
-He was the captain of an Illinois militia company during the Black Hawk War.
-He was a small businessman and owned a store in New Salem, IL.
-At the time of his election to Congress, Lincoln was an established lawyer with a thriving law practice, generally considered as one of the leading lawyers in IL.
Only then did Lincoln enter politics, where he spent four terms in the state legislature before running for Congress.
Finally, Lincoln ran for President after serving two terms as a Congressman.
Apparently, you only consider it to be “experience” if the person is in elective office. By this standard, Eisenhower would have been the most inexperience president. Here on the conservative side, we give Eisenhower some “experience” points for having won World War II.

Richard
Richard
12 years ago

Charles Krauthammer has a history as a thinker and writer of rabid partisanship, ignorance, the spreading of lies and rumors, ultra-rigid prejudice and the repeater of falsehoods about moderates and progressives. He throws poison darts at his enemies. On top of that, he is a priggish elitest. Altogether, an unpleasant person. Forget him.

OldTimeLefty
12 years ago

Anthony,
With due respect, you missed the point which still stands, that Lincoln was the least experienced of the four candidates.
You might also want to reflect that Lincoln was the most radical candidate in the race and that he was backed by radical abolitionists. He represented CHANGE, a very radical change from the previous eight years.
OldTimeLefty

Anthony
Anthony
12 years ago

>>you missed the point which still stands, Lincoln was the least experienced of the four candidates
Great. So your point is that the least experienced candidate in the 1860 election had far more experience than Barrack Obama?
Got it.

OldTimeLefty
12 years ago

Anthony,
This is my last attempt to make a point which is clear to everyone but you.
My point is that the least experienced candidate made the best president. My point is also that Lincoln was the far out radical of the group and that he had the support of the radical abolitionists. A more subtle point, which you obviously need help with is to ask you to think about conservatives being the worshippers of dead radicals.
OldTimeLefty

Monique
Editor
12 years ago

So Sarah Palin will make a wonderful V.P. Agreed.

Anthony
Anthony
12 years ago

Oh, so THAT’s what OTL was trying to say. Thanks, Monique!
Yes, OTL, I agree with you and Monique. Sarah Palin will make a wonderful VP.

OldTimeLefty
12 years ago

Monique, Anthony,
It’s impossible to tell who of you is Tweedle-Dum and who is Tweedle-Dee.
I’ll try one more time. The experience factor is irrelevant. You can bring Sarah Palin into the argument, you can leave her out of the argument and the argument does not change… Abraham Lincoln was the least experienced of the four politicians running for the presidency in 1860. I’m personally delighted that he won the election despite being the least experienced person in the race. Sarah Palin is irrelevant to the argument. Now go play with your rattles.
OldTimeLefty

Anthony
Anthony
12 years ago

OTL, I’m sorry you don’t understand satire. So on a serious note, I understand your point, but I don’t think you understand my point. You may be correct that Lincoln had “less” experience in relative terms than other candidates in 1860, but he still possessed a great deal of political experience and professional success that qualified him to be President. Lincoln had served as an officer in the military and was at least familiar with how a military organization should be run. He cited this experience as helping give him the confidence to fire George McClellan when the Union was on the verge of collapsing. Lincoln ran a business, which at the very least gave him a rudimentary understanding of how to develop a budget. Lincoln was one of Illinois’ top lawyers and had an understanding of the effects that laws can have after they are passed. Such an understanding helps a president whose runs the EXECUTIVE branch and is in charge of implementing (ie: executing) the nation’s laws. As a lawyer, Lincoln work on more than 5,100 cases and practiced law for 23 years, appearing before the Illinois Supreme Court hundreds of times. He handled significant cases that were responsible for spurring western expansion and the creation of new jobs in western Illinois. When Lincoln was elected to the state legislature, he became a leader of the Whig Party and brokered compromises, an important skill for a President. Compare that to Barack Obama. Obama really has NO experience that would prepare him for the nation’s top job. His most noteworthy success came when he was a student and was named editor of the Harvard Law Review. Consider: Obama has no experience managing a budget. Obama’s time in the Illinois state legislature was undistinguished. He wasn’t a leader. Unlike Lincoln… Read more »

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