The only comparison to the veneration with which Barack Obama is treated is the near sainthood bestowed posthumously upon Diana, Princess of Wales. He is the “People’s President” to her “People’s Princess”.
I recall the mountains of flowers and hysterical declarations of adoration and loss that piled up in every town in Britain in the days following her death. It was closer to religious fervour than any rational assessment of her life.
So it is with President Obama. “He’s a rock star,” gushed one man on the lawn of Parliament Hill. “When he got elected, I knew everything was going to be okay,” said a young woman. For some perspective, she should perhaps read the Financial Times, in which esteemed economics columnist Martin Wolf asked this week if the Obama’s presidency might not already have failed.
It was a surreal day on Parliament Hill. Just as the Queen thinks the world smells of fresh paint, so presidents must think their very election has solved traffic congestion. Despite the absence of cars and buses from downtown Ottawa, a large crowd managed to brave the swirling snow and make it on to Parliament Hill. Protestors were few and far between - the only note of discord I saw was a large sign from the Canadian Council for Tobacco Control, which read: “Please stop cigarette smuggling from the U.S. to Canada”. A very Canadian protest.
The suspension of critical faculties extended to people who should know better. The Governor-General looked as if she was weak at the knees when she met the President. Cabinet ministers snapped pictures for posterity. Media coverage ran the gamut from fawning to cringe-inducing.
In the foyer of the House of Commons, seasoned journalists melted as the President flashed his 1000 watt smile and waved, en route to his meeting with Stephen Harper in the Prime Minister’s Hill office. It felt more like covering Oscar night on Hollywood Boulevard than a visiting politician. The only people who, if not disgruntled were certainly less than gruntled, were Liberal MPs, who grumbled about having to head out to the airport to get their 15 minutes of fame with the President.
It is quite remarkable that this man, whose father left his him at the age of two and who was raised by his white grandparents, has the self-assurance and confidence to make it look as if he has been visiting foreign leaders his whole life.
Some of the comments regarding the article:
... Jabez: I believe the "Bush hatred" in America was created by the left-wing MSM and entertainment industry. I believe that their opposition to the war and economy were merely excuses to cover a left-wing, anti-Christian social agenda.
... The American MSM and entertainment industry swept Obama into power to promote this agenda. They are already cooling to him as he quickly becomes a survivalist centralist.
... It is identical to the media generated hatred of Mulroney, then Chretien takes over, changes nothing, yet the media loves him.