The Obama of 2008 was a figure who came out of nowhere trailing clouds of glory. His followers hailed him as a new phenomenon, of a type unseen in America since JFK and perhaps not ever. He was hailed as superhuman, with more than a touch of the divine. Some openly called him a messiah. One of his media supporters stated for the record that Obama was a godlike entity.
Perhaps it seemed like that to some after his November victory. The stunned opposition among Republicans and conservatives were certainly tempted to view it that way. How else to explain the near-mad adulation, the absolute certainty, the pseudo-religious frenzy? People rushed to make offerings at Obama's feet. Buildings and schools were renamed for him. The Nobel committee trashed its reputation to offer him a prize normally given only after lengthy and productive careers.