Earlier this week the New York Times published a story in which it asked, “What’s so funny about Barack Obama? Apparently not very much, at least not yet.” There has been little humor directed at Mr. Obama, we learn, from the likes of Jay Leno, David Letterman, Conan O’Brien and Jon Stewart. The conceit of the story is that Obama is unmockable.
Leave it to Charles Krauthammer to do what others cannot. In a brilliant column on Obama’s vanity, Krauthammer, playing off of Obama’s victory speech upon winning the nomination, in which Obama declared it a great turning point in history and when, among other achievements, “the rise of the oceans began to slow,” writes
Obama may think he’s King Canute, but the good king ordered the tides to halt precisely to refute sycophantic aides who suggested that he had such power. Obama has no such modesty.
Krauthammer concludes his column this way:
For the first few months of the campaign, the question about Obama was: Who is he? The question now is: Who does he think he is? We are getting to know. Redeemer of our uninvolved, uninformed lives. Lord of the seas. And more. As he said on victory night, his rise marks the moment when “our planet began to heal.” As I recall — I’m no expert on this — Jesus practiced his healing just on the sick. Obama operates on a larger canvas.
Let’s see, now; in Barack Obama, we have a man who is prickly, seemingly humorless, and stunningly arrogant (even for a political figure). He has a legislative record that places him on the outer (liberal) fringes of American politics. He’s been associated with radical figures like Jeremiah Wright, Jr. and William Ayers and got a sweetheart housing deal from the convicted felon Tony Rezko. He has moved away from his past positions at a pace that makes Bill Clinton look like a rock of consistency. And Obama apparently views himself, at least in some respects, as more than a Messiah.
Gosh, you’d think in all of that there might be some material for Jon Stewart to work with. On the other hand, I suppose it’s hard to poke fun of someone with whom you’re utterly enchanted. Comedians who have fallen in love often aren’t very funny.