Obama isn’t the first Democrat to not bother hiding the fact that he sees his constituency as too big to fit between two shining seas. Here’s a bit from a piece I wrote back in January 2004:
“Six days from now New Hampshire will speak, and America and the world will listen,” Kerry said, “because you are not just electing a president, but the leader of the free world.” Shortly after his inauguration “on behalf of you and the other 96 percent of the people on this planet, I will go to the UN and begin a proud new chapter in our history.”
It was inevitable that Obama would cop the phrase–repeating the idea as though it had come to him as a revelation, in front of supporters and journalists who apparently have been hypnotized into believing they’ve never heard it before. Anyone with a long memory and the patience to listen knows that Obama is truly shameless in this regard. Sometimes his stump speeches sound like a Time-Life greatest-hits compilation of Unforgettable Classic Political Baloney from the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s, with one cant phrase after another lifted from speeches by Ronald Reagan, Al Gore, Bill Clinton, Elizabeth Dole, John Kerry, Ross Perot, George Bush–yes, I said Elizabeth Dole–Jesse Jackson, Howard Dean, Newt Gingrich, everybody. Like most of those phrases (“choose hope over fear,” “we’ll take this country back”), CGTYOSI hasn’t been fresh for years. It wasn’t even fresh 43 years ago, when Lyndon Johnson announced, in his inaugural address, that Americans “want to be part of a common enterprise–a cause greater than themselves.” Look where that got us.