Obama's World Tour was planned as the high point of his campaign, with the candidate retracing the footsteps of great presidents of the past, hobnobbing with world leaders and as one pundit put it, "making the Europeans love us again."
Obama drew huge crowds in Berlin where he addressed them, oddly enough, as "fellow citizens of the world." It was a typically flowery Obama speech, but it hit an unexpectedly sour note when he dramatically intoned:
"People of Berlin – people of the world – this is our moment. This is our time. ... With an eye toward the future, with resolve in our hearts, let us remember this history, and answer our destiny, and remake the world once again."
Pundits on both sides are trying to sort it out. It's a great speech, like I said, if somebody is running for president of the world, but it was too much, even for a compliant and Obama-friendly press corps.
The politically "progressive" newspaper of record, the Washington Post nicknamed Obama the "presumptuous nominee" after his European performance.
The Boston Globe's Boston.com ran a piece in its "Political Intelligence" section called the "Obama Arrogance Watch." David Letterman did one of his signature "Top 10" skits entitled, "Top Ten Signs Obama is Overconfident," leading off with a proposed bill to change Oklahoma to "Oklabama."
The London Sunday Times Online ran a brilliant satire piece called "He ventured forth to bring light into the world."
A sample paragraph: "When he was 12 years old, they found him in the temple in the City of Chicago, arguing the finer points of community organization with the Prophet Jeremiah and the Elders. And the Elders were astonished at what they heard and said among themselves: 'Verily, who is this Child that he opens our hearts and minds to the audacity of hope?'"
Before wrapping up his tour, Obama stopped by to address a gathering of minority journalists in Hawaii, where he once again apologized for what a rotten place America either used to be, or still is. It is hard to tell from his comment, "I personally would want to see our tragic history, or the tragic elements of our history, acknowledged."
(Wouldn't anybody besides me personally like to see somebody in the White House who doesn't think America needs apologizing for?)
Barack has apologized to the French and Germans for Americans who are too ignorant to learn their language before embarking on their once-in-a-lifetime two-week visit abroad.
He's apologized for the simple Midwestern rednecks who, forced to cling to religion and guns to justify their antipathy, just can't help themselves.
There was a time when it was considered unpatriotic to be ashamed of America, but that time is long past. Being proud of America means you are probably a Bush-loving neoconservative, so the only sure way to prevent such misidentification is to apologize for it at every opportunity.
America has never faced so many different crises at the same time in living memory. The war with al-Qaida and Islamic terror, the Iran crisis, Afghanistan, nuclear proliferation, the rising price of oil, the falling dollar, enemy acronyms like OPEC, NAM, OIC, U.N. ... Obama is correct in saying that the world is ready for someone like him – a messiah-like figure, charismatic and glib and seemingly holding all the answers to all the world's questions.
And the Bible says that such a leader will soon make his appearance on the scene. It won't be Barack Obama, but Obama's world tour provided a foretaste of the reception he can expect to receive.
He will probably also stand in some European capital, addressing the people of the world and telling them that he is the one that they have been waiting for. And he can expect as wildly enthusiastic a greeting as Obama got in Berlin.
The Bible calls that leader the Antichrist. And it seems apparent that the world is now ready to make his acquaintance.