IN A BASEMENT OF A BIG BUILDING IN WILKES-BARRE, PA --

A. Stanley writes:


But it’s not pro-Obama bias in the news media that’s driving the effusion of coverage, it’s the news: Mr. Obama’s weeklong tour of war zones and foreign capitals is noteworthy because it is so unusual to see a presidential candidate act so presidential overseas. Mr. Obama looks supremely confident and at home talking to generals and heads of state, so much so that some viewers may find the pose presumptuous — as if Mr. Obama believes that not only is his official nomination at the Democratic convention in August a mere formality, so is the November election.



Well -- the news, surely, but what precisely about the news?

Well, the leaders of Europe and the Middle East are treating Obama as if he were the next president. And it shows, in words and pictures.

That's because, probably, they expect him to be the next president even if they're not entirely sure that the crisp cut of his jib reflects an inner competence. It's a soft power world now, and Obama exudes soft power these days. And cuddling up to the guy who most people think will be next leader of the free world is probably a smart thing to do.

It is possible to make too much of King Abdullah's turn as a chauffeur by the way; after all, he once drove our own Jeffrey Goldberg -- a man of esteem and substance, but, alas, with no pretensions of power, around Amman.

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