A few things have unsettled me these past couple of weeks about the Obama campaign. It is not the small adjustments to previously-held positions - FISA, the Second Amendment, Iraq. It's a sense that Obama's ample self-regard is lapsing into hubris. The signs of this are pretty trivial on the surface, but they are troubling nonetheless.
That simulated faux-presidential seal was both tacky, silly and presumptive - a small version of "Mission Accomplished" Obama could well do without. The decision to give his acceptance speech in a stadium, rather than the traditional convention hall is also an unnecessary over-reach. The night will be freighted enough with history; it needs no new drama to set it apart. And the drama of the first black man accepting the nomination - with Obama's rhetorical brilliance - will be more than enough for impact. Lastly, I was gob-smacked by the Obamas' decision to include their children in a soft-focus TV interview.
I can barely credit that Michelle Obama agreed to this and that Barack Obama went along with it - it's not what they would have done a few months ago. One great aspect of the Obama marriage has been the way in which they appear to have brought up their daughters as very regular girls, down-to-earth, normal and sane. Displaying them in this way was bad judgment and poor parenting. Fame is a toxin. Children deserve to be protected from it as much as they would from lead paint.
Any one of these misjudgments would be a trivial lapse - and we all make mistakes. It's the combination that concerns me - and the possibility that this campaign is becoming far too cocky for its own good.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.