Fournier on Obama: It's the arrogance

The AP’s political analyst Ron Fournier attempts to put his finger on a sour note creeping into the Barack Obama campaign. Despite the near-adulation Obama has received from the press and his fainting fans on the campaign trail, something off-putting has begun to seep from the interactions of both Barack and Michelle Obama in public His diagnosis — arrogance:

He’s bordering on arrogance.

The dictionary defines the word as an “offensive display of superiority or self-importance; overbearing pride.” Obama may not be offensive or overbearing, but he can be a bit too cocky for his own good. …

But both Obama and his wife, Michelle, ooze a sense of entitlement.

“Barack is one of the smartest people you will ever encounter who will deign to enter this messy thing called politics,” his wife said a few weeks ago, adding that Americans will get only one chance to elect him.

Of course, arrogance comes with the territory, as Fournier acknowledges. One can hardly get more arrogant than the Clintons, who have acted as though the nomination process should have been nothing more than a coronation, but with voters casting flowers at her feet all along the way.  Obama would have to display at least a little arrogance just to elbow his way onto the stage, let alone compete.

There is something a little presumptuous, though, about selling one’s husband as the only salve for broken souls.  It may be a little over the top to suggest that America will only get one chance to support a 47-year-old candidate who’s spent all of three years in national office.  That especially hits a sour note, as though the Obamas will act like petulant children unless the entire country falls in a dead faint at their feet.  At least Hillary had an argument for the coronation, with the Clintons  having spent the last several years working towards it.

This analysis sounds like more of a personal observation than a political diagnosis, however.  Rumors of poor relations with the media have risen, especially now that Obama has come under the kind of scrutiny that should have been applied last year.  That arrogance got displayed two weeks ago when answering — or rather, not answering — questions about Tony Rezko.  He instead told reporters how pointless the exercise was and then complained that he had taken eight whole questions during a press conference, before skedaddling out the side door.

That could prove dangerous for Obama.  In large measure, the press made him, and the press could easily break him with just a little serious coverage of Rezko and Wright.  If Obama thinks he can out-arrogant the media, well … I triple-dog-dare him to try.