Posted by lex, on July 9, 2010
We’ve all spent rather a fair amount of time discussion the perils of selective outrage.
Charles Krauthammer spends some thinking about selective modesty:
Obama habitually refers to Cabinet members and other high government officials as “my” — “my secretary of homeland security,” “my national security team,” “my ambassador.” The more normal — and respectful — usage is to say “the,” as in “the secretary of state.” These are, after all, public officials sworn to serve the nation and the Constitution — not just the man who appointed them.
It’s a stylistic detail, but quite revealing of Obama’s exalted view of himself. Not surprising, perhaps, in a man whose major achievement before acceding to the presidency was writing two biographies — both about himself.
Obama is not the first president with a large streak of narcissism. But the others had equally expansive feelings about their country. Obama’s modesty about America would be more understandable if he treated himself with the same reserve.
It’s understandable really. America isn’t president, after all.