He killed Osama bin Laden. He ended the war in Iraq. He can lower oceans and heal the planet. He has a better command of policy than his policy advisers and can craft better speeches than his speech writers; indeed, he told Harry Reid, “I have a gift.”
Such self-regard is no surprise from a man able to coax two autobiographies out of life experiences equivalent to about 45 minutes in SEAL Team Six.
Yet even for a man with such an outsized ego, last night’s phrase, “when the Tunisians began to protest, this nation – me – my administration, stood with them” was peculiarly self-reverential. It’s not unknown for presidents to have a high opinion of themselves, but few would offer up an elocution — before a national television audience — conflating themselves with the nation.
Yes, perhaps just a sloppy choice of words. Except this president repeatedly fosters the idea that the world thinks better of America merely because of his presence at the helm. He rams Obamacare through Congress and imperiously signs executive orders obviating even the need for a legislative branch. He boasts that he personally chooses drone targets and compares himself to Lincoln. Directing millions to violate their religious convictions is simply a casual morning’s work.
So it’s not inconsequential when he tells the Russian president he’ll have more flexibility after the election. The concerns that statement raises are not confined to foreign policy alone.