Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Icarus Syndrome






Obama’s Descent to Earth
It’s hard to maintain a celestial conceit for four years — even if you believe it yourself.

By Charles Krauthammer

The Democrats are in a panic. In a presidential race that is impossible to lose, they are behind. Obama devotees are frantically giving advice. Tom Friedman tells him to “start slamming down some phones.” Camille Paglia suggests, “be boring!”

Meanwhile, a posse of Democratic lawyers, mainstream reporters, lefty bloggers, and various other Obamaphiles are scouring the vast tundra of Alaska for something, anything, to bring down Sarah Palin: her daughter’s pregnancy, her ex-brother-in-law problem, her $60 per diem, and now her religion. (CNN reports — news flash! — that she apparently has never spoken in tongues.) Not since Henry II asked if no one would rid him of his turbulent priest, have so many so urgently volunteered for duty.

But Palin is not just a problem for Obama. She is also a symptom of what ails him. Before Palin, Obama was the ultimate celebrity candidate. For no presidential nominee in living memory had the gap between adulation and achievement been so great. Which is why McCain’s Paris Hilton ads struck such a nerve. Obama’s meteoric rise was based not on issues — there was not a dime’s worth of difference between him and Hillary on issues — but on narrative, on eloquence, on charisma.

The unease at the Denver convention, the feeling of buyer’s remorse, was the Democrats’ realization that the arc of Obama’s celebrity had peaked — and had now entered a period of its steepest decline. That Palin could so instantly steal the celebrity spotlight is a reflection of that decline.

It was inevitable. Obama had managed to stay aloft for four full years. But no one can levitate forever.

1 comment:

Laree said...

If I was the media I would look into who else belongs to her funny religion before they start making fun of it.

http://wesley.nnu.edu/wesleyan_theology/theojrnl/31-35/32-2-6.htm

The Media gives the impression of being in the know but it appears to be a some kind of mental gauze applied to the camera lense. I really miss Tim Russert, who was the real deal.