Ed Driscoll

Leading by Example, Then and Now

Candidate Barack Obama, May of 2008:

Pitching his message to Oregon’s environmentally-conscious voters, Obama called on the United States to “lead by example” on global warming, and develop new technologies at home which could be exported to developing countries.

“We can’t drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times … and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK,” Obama said.

“That’s not leadership. That’s not going to happen,” he added.

President Obama, July 17, 2010, as reported by the Maine’s Morning Sentinel newspaper:

“Arriving in a small jet before the Obamas was the first dog, Bo, a Portuguese water dog given as a present by the late U.S. Sen Ted Kennedy, D-Mass.”

As the Professor notes, “I don’t want to hear one goddamn word about my carbon footprint.”

Related: “Lobster for everyone” in the First Family, Matt Drudge writes, as “Obamas continue busy Maine holiday.”

Hippocritico could not be reached for comment.

Update: Related thoughts on “Noblesse Oblige” from Warner Todd Huston at Right Wing News.

Update: Victor Davis Hanson on “Pampered populists:”

It’s surreal to see President Obama play the class-warfare card against the Republicans while on his way to vacation on the tony Maine coast, and even more interesting to note that now gone are the days when the media used to caricature Bush I (“Poppy”) for boating in the summer off the preppie-sounding Kennebunkport. The truth is that the real big money and the lifestyles that go with it are now firmly liberal Democratic.

And it’s a trend that’s been going on for quite sometime; note the year of this post. More from VDH:

One can use an entire array of evidence — the preponderance of Wall Street money that went to Obama over McCain in 2008, the liberal voting patterns of the high-income blue-state congressional districts, the anecdotal evidence of a Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, or George Soros, or the ease by which an eco-populist like Al Gore buys estates and creates corporations, or the rarified tastes of men of the people like John Edwards of two-nations fame, or John Kerry of multiple estate residences.

Before David Brooks became RINO #1, he was Bobo #1, and Bobos in Paradise from 2000 actually did a great job of making sport of the complexities and contradictions of those with eight figure net worths while hectoring the average middle-class consumer about his lifestyle.

And speaking of Brooks, I wasn’t the only person to note that while his latest column is primarily focused on Mel Gibson, in building up a head of steam over a relatively successful actor-director, his first paragraphs do a great job of defining The World’s Biggest Celebrity. Or as Jennifer Rubin writes:

OK, Brooks is working his way around to discussing Mel Gibson, but, by golly, it sounds like… well, Obama. Now, stop. I’m not comparing the president to an abusive spouse. (Obama’s one indisputably good quality is that he seems to be a good husband and dad.) But the personality — super-sensitive and so very self-absorbed – is unmistakably familiar to those who have watched Obama in action.

Brooks’s description of our times (”we’ve entered an era where self-branding is on the ascent and the culture of self-effacement is on the decline”) beautifully sums up the Obama campaign. A man with virtually no public accomplishments (other than writing about himself) branded himself as a political messiah and entered office with the expectation that he would remodel not only America but the entire world.

Once in office, Obama has continued on his narcissism jaunt. The speeches are littered with “I,” and his tolerance for criticism, whether from voters or political opponents, is nonexistent. You don’t get to be president without a whole lot of self-confidence, but Obama stands out, and not in a good way.

I don’t think Brooks intended his column as an indictment of the president who was supposed to have such a superior temperament. Still.

It’s yet another symbol of malaise. Or spoiled Americans. Or something.