Can you spell “hubris”?
You probably could. But I had to look it up because lately the word has kept popping into my head (along with a selection of other more “earthy” words) in connection with the boldness of the Barack Obama campaign.
Not long ago, candidate Obama wooed voters in France, acting as if he was already elected president and savior.
Then he campaigned in Iraq and pretended the surge didn’t work when, it is quite apparent, our humble American G.I. engaged in the surge brought more than enough peace and stability to that country to allow Obama and his television campaign entourage safe passage.
And now back home last week we hear just plain weird reports of the young Obama parading through Washington, D.C., like the pope. As the Washington Post reported:
“Along the way, he traveled in a bubble more insulating than the actual president’s.
Traffic was shut down for him as he zoomed about town in a long, presidential-style motorcade, while the public and most of the press were kept in the dark about his activities, which included a fundraiser at the Mayflower where donors paid $10,000 or more to have photos taken with him.
“His schedule for the day, announced Monday night, would have made Dick Cheney envious:
“11:00 a.m.: En route TBA.
“12:05 p.m.: En route TBA.
“1:45 p.m.: En route TBA.
“2:55 p.m.: En route TBA.
“5:20 p.m.: En route TBA.
“The 5:20 TBA turned out to be his adoration session with lawmakers in the Cannon Caucus Room, where even committee chairmen arrived early, as if for the State of the Union. Capitol Police cleared the halls — just as they do for the actual president. The Secret Service hustled him in through a side door — just as they do for the actual president.
“Inside, according to a witness, he told the House members, ‘This is the moment … that the world is waiting for,’ adding: ‘I have become a symbol of the possibility of America returning to our best traditions.’ ”
The dictionary defines “hubris” as “overbearing pride or presumption; arrogance.” Hmmm. Can you spell “Barack Obama”?
And, while we’re on the topic of arrogance, let us remember the senior senator from Nevada, Harry Reid. Earlier this summer, Harry told — no he “guaranteed” — the nation that Sen. Obama would win the state of Nevada.
Pretty bold prediction from a guy who can barely squeak out a statewide race himself. If I had to predict the future minds of Nevadans, I’d say the state goes Republican, in spite of Sen. John McCain.
But, I’ll be the first to admit: It’s close and could go either way.
I will add, however, that if Nevada tilts toward Obama on Election Day, it won’t be because voters here were standing on tiptoe for The One “the world is waiting for” or because of Harry Reid’s far-seeing “leadership.”
I can’t tell the future like Harry. But I know how to spell “hubris.” And, as a general rule in Nevada politics, hubris is not a good thing. Even if you are the Senate majority leader — or The One.
Sherman Frederick (firstname.lastname@example.org) is publisher of the Review-Journal and president of Stephens Media.