"But amid the bad news and pressures of late 2009, the trip unexpectedly passed like a brief, happy fantasy for the president, a Nordic alternate reality where citizens were learned and pensive, discussions were thoughtful, and everyone was a fan. "It wasn't hero worship," said one adviser who accompanied them. "Okay, it was."
For one day, the Obamas lived in the dream version of his presidency instead of the depressing reality. At meals and receptions, they mingled with the members of the Royal Academy – government officials, academics…
[In his speech, the president] laid out standards that he privately must have known he would not reach. "The United States of America must remain a standard-bearer in the conduct of war," he said. "That is why I ordered the prison at Guantanamo Bay closed. And that is why I have reaffirmed America's commitment to abide by the Geneva Conventions." He did not acknowledge that the effort to close Guantanamo was failing or address the questions of whether his detention policies violated those guidelines. "We lose ourselves when we compromise the very ideals we fight to defend," he said. It was as if he had pressed some sort of rewind button to 2008.
The trip spurred a thought the Obamas and their friends would voice to each other again and again as the president's popularity continued to decline: the American public just did not appreciate their exceptional leader. The president "could get 70 or 80 percent of the vote anywhere but the U.S." [President Obama's old friend] Marty Nesbitt told [another old friend of Obama] Eric Whitaker indignantly."
And that's not all, Gentle Reader: http://www.nationalreview.com/campaign-spot/296848/obama-i-can-do-every-job-better-those-i-hire-do-it
Obama had always had a high estimation of his ability to cast and run his operation. When David Plouffe, his campaign manager, first interviewed for a job with him in 2006, the senator gave him a warning: "I think I could probably do every job on the campaign better than the people I'll hire to do it," he said. "It's hard to give up control when that's all I've known." Obama said nearly the same thing to Patrick Gaspard, whom he hired to be the campaign's political director. "I think I'm a better speechwriter than my speechwriters," Obama told him. "I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And I'll tell you right now that I'm gonna think I'm a better political director than my political director."
Both those passages appear in Jodi Kantor's apparently authorized biography "The Obamas:" http://www.amazon.com/dp/0316098752/
What can we conclude from these revelations in the light of Thomas Sowell's exceedingly well argued thesis in "The Vision Of The Anointed:" That the political Left (when not consciously venal or vicious) regards itself as intellectually and morally superior to anyone not on the Left?
There's a principle in jurisprudence that gives presumptive weight to what's called "a declaration against penal interest." That is: If a witness testifies in a fashion that exposes him to a legal hazard that would otherwise leave him untouched, the jury is supposed to grant his statement the presumption of truth. Considering the enormous implications of the two passages above, I'm minded to give Miss Kantor's reportage that presumption, even if she does write for the New York Times.