Ace nails it, completely and totally, here.
The press is the key to the whole shebang.
So I’ve got a question for you all: by which mechanism does this happen to the MSM?
It’s a serious question, not a sarcastic one, about a serious and even frightening phenomenon.
There’s got to be a fairly large number of people in the press who aren’t actually too overwhelmed to ask Obama the tough questions, but who just prefer to avoid challenging him because they favor his politics. But I take the man in the video at his word that there are also a lot of people in the MSM who are truly so awed just to be in the presence of The One that they are reduced to tongue-tied worship (or the use of sock puppets, as discussed in the clip).
Why? Here’s a stab at an answer.
Some people give off different vibes in person than they do onscreen. My guess is that Obama has that quality. Is he more intimidating, more charismatic, more arrogant and powerful-seeming in person? So certain that he’s the smartest and most competent person in the room that he somehow projects that view so strongly that others believe it? The effect he has is certainly not just one that emanates from the office of the presidency itself (George W. Bush did not have this effect on the press, for example). And in fact this effect for Obama seems to have long predated his presidency; he appears to have gone through most of his adult life with a certain je ne sais quoi that caused a great many people to believe he ought to be president someday and to tell him so.
There’s another, seemingly-stranger possibility, which could work in concert with the others. You may recall that during the 2008 there was a lot of blogosphere and internet speculation about Obama’s use of the power of suggestion/hypnosis during his public appearances. I read some of it, and although I thought it was overstated, he certainly did appear to use some of these techniques. But that’s not so unusual; in fact, many family therapists do some of this (for example, being very careful to state things in ways that shape action effectively, such as asking a client “when are you going to do such and such?” rather than just “are you going to do such and such?”). Milton Erickson, on whose work it has been claimed that Obama’s hypnosis is based, was, after all, a family therapist.
So although there’s nothing especially straightforward about using these techniques, there’s nothing especially spooky or otherwordly about them, either. Salesmen use them all the time (and what is a politician if not a salesman?).
Race probably enters into it in some way I have yet to understand. For me, and for most conservatives I know, Obama’s race is inconsequential in our evaluation of him as president. In the abstract, it’s a very nice historical fact that American has elected a black man as president, but this particular black man is way too far to the left to allow us to approve of his actions. We are not awed by the strangely racist thought that Obama is (as Joe Biden once famously put it) “the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.” We don’t think in those terms, but perhaps a lot of liberals in the MSM do.
It’s often forgotten what Biden said right after that, which was, “I mean, that’s a storybook, man.” And there I think he may have actually put his clumsy finger on something rather important: the mythic aspects that Obama holds for a lot of people on the left. He is, almost literally, a dream come true. That alone might be enough to make a person somewhat tongue-tied.