-- Charles Krauthammer --
The fact that he would never release his college transcripts was a telltale sign:
The Wizard of ObamaThe thrill is gone.
The president didn't just lose a debate. He lost an entire image of genius and control.
By William McGurn, Wall Street Journal
Perhaps Barack Obama can ... reassert himself in Tuesday evening's town hall in Long Island. But his problem is this: In Denver he didn't just lose a debate—he lost the carefully cultivated illusion of a larger-than-life figure who was Lincoln and FDR and Moses all wrapped in one.
Mostly this image was the making of his own immodesty, starting the night he clinched the 2008 Democratic nomination. Mr. Obama might have simply declared victory and congratulated Hillary Clinton on a valiant fight. Instead it became the backdrop for one of his more infamous egoisms. History, he said, would look back at his victory as the moment "the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal."
This was no aberration. A man who interviewed for a job on the campaign was told by Mr. Obama: "I think that I'm a better speechwriter than my speechwriters. I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And I'll tell you right now that I'm gonna think I'm a better political director than my political director."
Everything about his campaign fed that idea. The Styrofoam Greek columns at the Democratic convention when he was nominated. The faux presidential seal with its own Latin motto. And before the campaign, the two books he authored about—himself.
The press, far from exhibiting any skepticism about this immodesty, bowed before it. Leave aside the NBC reporter who conceded it was hard to remain objective in the face of all the "infectious" energy emanating from Mr. Obama's quest for the White House. Or the New York Times commentator who knew Mr. Obama was meant to be president by the crease in his pants leg. Or the historian who told radio host Don Imus that Mr. Obama's IQ was "off the charts"—but when asked what it was could only answer that he was probably "the smartest guy ever to become president."
An editor at Politico (and veteran of the Washington Post) put it this way: "I have witnessed the phenomenon several times. Some reporters need to go through detox, to cure their swooning over Obama's political skill."
None of this abated after Mr. Obama was elected. He arrived in Washington for his inauguration in a train to provoke comparisons to Lincoln. Soon he was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for—well, it's still not exactly clear what he was awarded it for. He affected unworthiness, but it is more telling that he didn't decline it.
In short, Mr. Obama was the man who declared that he would change the thinking of the Muslim world by the mere fact of his election, restore science to its rightful place, and win what he called the "necessary war" in Afghanistan.
And then came this month's debate in Denver. [link]
Only question is: Why did it take so long?