More! Most! Biggest! And when he wasn’t praising his accomplishments, he was praising himself: “One thing I hope people have seen during this lame-duck, I am persistent. I am persistent. You know, if I believe in something strongly, I stay on it.”
Careful, Mr. President. What got Obama in trouble in the first place were the extraordinarily high expectations that the nation had for his administration – and that Obama’s campaign had encouraged. The humility forced on him by the Republicans’ triumph in November served to focus Obama, leading him to cut a tax deal with the GOP that infuriated fellow Democrats but made possible the string of legislative achievements he rightly boasted about on Tuesday.
The frantic worries of recent weeks of a “failed one-term presidency” (as Katrina vanden Heuvel warned) were overstated. But now Obama’s return to messianic status – his campaign-style event to sign the “don’t ask, don’t tell” repeal on Tuesday was held in the Interior Department auditorium to accommodate the huge and raucous crowd – risks unlearning the valuable lesson in humility.