Only a celebrity of Barack Obama's magnitude could attract 200,000 fans in Berlin who gathered for the mere opportunity to be in his presence. These are not supporters or even voters, but fans fawning over The One. Only celebrities like Barack Obama go to the gym three times a day, demand "MET-RX chocolate roasted-peanut protein bars and bottles of a hard-to-find organic brew -- Black Forest Berry Honest Tea" and worry about the price of arugula.
Yet, despite all of the fans, paparazzi and media adoration, the American people still have questions: Is Barack Obama prepared to lead? Is being famous the same as being a credible commander in chief?
Like most worldwide celebrities, this status has fueled a certain arrogance. As The Washington Post reported this morning, Barack Obama has gone from his party's presumptive nominee to "its presumptuous nominee." His advisers are constantly reminded that their candidate is not actually the President of the United States, despite the "presidential" seal. On his plane, his chair reads "President."
The arrogance of a man with so few accomplishments is really hard to stomach when you think about it. The man has been a U.S. Senator for 3 years and has been campaigning for president for more than half of that time. He was an undistinguished member of the Illinois Senate where he engaged in "politics as usual", lining the pockets of his political contributors with government contracts and jobs. The Washington Post's Richard Cohen hit one out of the ballpark today with this simple question to those fawning over Obama's candidacy:
"'Just tell me one thing Barack Obama has done that you admire,' I asked a prominent Democrat. He paused and then said that he admired Obama's speech to the Democratic convention in 2004. I agreed. It was a hell of a speech, but it was just a speech. On the other hand, I continued, I could cite four or five actions -- not speeches -- that John McCain has taken that elicit my admiration, even my awe."
McCain's campaign manager has Obama pegged. "As the world's biggest celebrity, Barack Obama has the entourage and all the trappings of fame," Davis says. "Today, his campaign is more about advancing Barack Obama and less about solving the challenges facing our country." In my view, Obama epitomizes everything I abhor about my generation. People of my generation expect everything without working for anything. They look down upon and disrespect people who've found their place through hard, honest work. They hate their parents for what they aren't. They admire people who trample all over others resorting to any means, legal or otherwise, to get that 5,000 square-feet home with a 3-car garage to fit their Lexus and BMW automobiles. Ronald Reagan used to look at our country and say confidently that the best days for America are still ahead of us. Does anyone really believe that anymore? Does the Obama generation really have any respect for a 70-plus year-old former prisoner of war who demonstrated unselfish valor in service to his country? Sadly, I think not.