- - Thursday, July 28, 2016

President Obama is not the incarnation of Demosthenes, or even William Jennings Bryan, as he seems to think, but he’s not bad on a good day with the right subject matter. His favorite subject matter, which is not necessarily the people’s choice, is about him. When he spoke up Wednesday night to endorse Hillary Clinton he gave a speech about himself, talking about the legacy he’ll leave and how he expects Hillary to treat it with reverence and take care of it. He didn’t leave Hillary much to say Thursday night.

He speaks highly of himself, and he talked about how generous he has been to Hillary. He invited her to pitch in from time to time over the past seven years and counting. She was being trained to be his faithful legacy-keeper.

He has been a pretty darn good president, he wants everyone to know, and his America is not the dark, dystopian place inhabited by the likes of Donald Trump. He looks around him and all he sees are happy people reaping the material and spiritual rewards he has bestowed on them. The economy was left in a shambles by the Republicans, but it recovered in the glow of his management, and now it’s producing more jobs than ever and if nobody has noticed that’s not his fault. Didn’t he pursue and kill Osama bin Laden, radical Islamic terrorist that he was, and didn’t he allow his secretary of State to join him in the Situation Room to watch the killing go down? Hasn’t he made the world safer than it was before he became president? Millions of Americans have health insurance now, and have the doctor they wanted to keep [uh, ummm, no, that line was never meant to get on the teleprompter]. Isn’t the air everyone breathes, like the water we drink, sparkling and pure except in backwoods places like Michigan, where redneck Republicans have stood in the way?

Mr. Obama’s America is on the right track, even if nobody else thinks so, and if she does what he tells her over the next four years Hillary can keep it there. He’ll always be available (no calls, though, at 3 in the morning). He didn’t tell the Democrats in convention that most Americans say things aren’t as rosy as he says they are. But what would they know? He’s the smartest guy in the room, isn’t he? That means he knows more about everything, including his own popularity, which is great even if nobody else thinks so.

The president, like the Donald, suffers from overexposure, but the Donald has the excuse of a campaign to win. The president doesn’t. Could it be that the people have heard everything he has to say, several times and then several more times, and have tuned out? Mr. Obama should follow the example of Demosthenes, who practiced his speeches in an underground room built just for that. He could make his own standing ovations. But the smartest guy in the room is about to get the hook, legacy and all. Hillary is about to be on her own.

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