Stephen Webb amusingly asks whether or not the High Church of Obama is a cult. At least Paul Krugman thinks so. Yesterday he said that the Obama campaign “seems dangerously close to becoming a cult of personality.”
Mind you, almost all presidential campaigns are, to some degree, cults of personality. Especially among staff, but also among (at least) their primary-election supporters. But having spent an awful lot of time following Obama around, I’d submit that his campaign is a bit more so than the average. Nothing wrong with that; it’s just an observation, not a value judgment.
However I do wonder, from an electoral standpoint, what that means for Obama’s future. Is this sort of cult of personality sustainable? Certainly, if the media have anything to say about it, it will be. Bill Clinton was right that Obama’s press is at least fawning and perhaps bordering on the porno-hagiographic. And from time to time, giant figures really are able to dominate politics by the sheer force of their personalities. Perhaps Obama is one of those rising giants.
However it seems equally possible that the High Church of Obama is a bubble, a craze, or a fad that at some point will become outmoded. All of which is to say, that as he is pushed further along, I wonder how well his personality will wear.