The year 2009 might be classified as the year Barack Obama came down to Earth. The latest NBC-Wall Street Journal poll found that 47 percent approve of the job Obama is doing, and 46 percent disapprove. Those are not exactly Messiah numbers.
And that's the big difference between the public and the press. The media do believe he's God.
Evan Thomas of Newsweek has a way of summing it all up. On "Hardball" in June, Thomas explained that while Ronald Reagan was just a "parochial" and "provincial" president of the United States, Obama can lead the whole world. "In a way, Obama is standing above the country, above the world. He's sort of God. He's going to bring all different sides together." After the inevitable furor, Thomas said he "wasn't being literal."
No one thought Thomas was being literal. It would suggest the people at Newsweek believe in God. But all the verbiage surrounding this quote suggested Thomas thought Obama could lead the world into a calm new era. "He's the teacher. He is going to say, 'Now, children, stop fighting and quarreling with each other.' And he has a kind of a moral authority that he can do that."
That's obviously not true in America, where conservatives continue to fight fiercely against his socialist agenda. It's also obviously not true abroad, since the world didn't exactly surrender to Obama's "moral authority" at Copenhagen. Many Third World countries still hate America's guts, and always will.
The Thomas literary levitation act won him "The Audacity of Dopes Award" for the wackiest media analysis of the year, one of the 17 winning citations in the Best Notable Quotables of 2009, as voted by a panel of 48 expert judges from conservative journalism, academia and talk radio. Ardor for Obama dominated the entries.
The year started with an intensely passionate winter of love around Obama's inauguration. ABC's Bill Weir captured the "Coronation of the Messiah Award" when he proclaimed, "Never have so many people shivered so long with such joy. From above, even the seagulls must have been awed by the blanket of humanity."