“This is all because, I mean, count the number of times he uses the word I in any speech, and compare that to any other president. Remember when he announced the killing of bin Laden? That speech I believe had 29 references to I – on my command, I ordered, as commander-in-chief, I was then told, I this. You’d think he’d pulled the trigger out there in Abbottabad. You know, this is a guy, you look at every one of his speeches, even the way he introduces high officials – I’d like to introduce my secretary of State. He once referred to ‘my intelligence community’. And in one speech, I no longer remember it, ‘my military’. For God’s sake, he talks like the emperor, Napoleon,” – Charles Krauthammer, psycho-analyzing the president.
Building on the work of the first Roosevelt, the second Roosevelt gave us the idea, the shimmering, glittering idea of the heroic presidency. And with it the hope that complex problems would yield to charisma. This sets the country up for perpetual disappointment.
And what, one wonders, was the cult of Reagan all about if not a “heroic presidency”? And who, one wonders, was more of an advocate for it than Will?
(For a glossary of the Dish Awards, including the Malkin Award, click here.)