For now, the president-elect is coming to terms with something noted by Ambrose Bierce, the 19th-century American wit who wrote "The Devil's Dictionary." He defined "president" as the leading figure in a small group of persons of whom it is positively known that immense numbers of their countrymen did not want them to be president. Tuesday night, Obama, in his agreeably subdued speech in Grant Park, seemed to feel the weight of that.
With opinion writing such as this, I always wonder: which comes first?
Did George F. Will being George F. Will have this Ambrose Bierce quotation endlessly rattling around in his head and so he conveniently conjured up a patently unprovable assertion just so he could use it?
Or did George F. Will get assigned a talking point (remind everybody how many people didn’t vote for Obama!) and George F. Will being George F. Will snapped to attention, saluted, and then ran to his computer, exclaiming: I have the absolutely perfect 19th-century Ambrose Bierce quotation for that. And in his excitement he never heard his “assignment editor” snickering.