Obama's Brief Moment Is Over

The country has regained its senses, and rebuffed 'the One'
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 1, 2010 3:40 AM CST
In this Jan. 27, 2010, file photo President Barack Obama delivers the first State of the Union address of his presidency on Capitol Hill in Washington.   (AP Photo/Tim Sloan, Pool, File)

(Newser) – The brightest stars burn out in the shortest time, and few have burned brighter than Barack Obama. But a year after his inauguration, we have seen the end of a "brief un-American moment in our history," writes Fouad Ajami. This shouldn't come as a surprise: Obama was "made by charisma, and political magic, and has been felled by it." In succumbing to Obama-mania, Americans forgot their characteristic political empiricism and fell prey—more in the manner of Latin American or Arab electorates—to a cult of personality.

Obama projected a blank slate that devotees could project upon, offering indistinct cultural "cool" and the inherent promises of racial reconciliation. As president, he mistook this moment of national hysteria for "a plebiscite granting him a writ to remake the basic political compact of this republic" by ushering in unprecedented levels of government involvement, Ajami writes in the Wall Street Journal. But the public has drawn a line for Obama in Massachusetts—and only his true believers still think that "magical moment" in 2008 still represents the country at large.

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