"Two weeks ago a journalist, a moderate liberal, spoke to me of what he called Mr. Obama's arrogance. I said I didn't think it was arrogance but high self-regard. He said there's no difference. I said no, arrogance has an air about it of pushing people around, insisting on your way. Mr. Obama doesn't seem like that. He took down a machine without raising his voice. Extremely high self-regard, though, can itself be a problem.
"What's wrong with that?" my friend said. "You want a self-confident president."
I said yes, but it brings up the Churchill question. Churchill had been scored by an acquaintance for his own very high self-regard, and responded with what was for him a certain sheepishness. "We're all worms," he said, "but I do believe I am a glowworm." He believed he was great, and he was. Is Mr. Obama a glowworm? Does he have real greatness in him? Or is he, say, a product of the self-esteem campaign, that movement within the schools and homes of our country the past 25 years that says the way to get a winner is to tell the kid he's a winner every day?
Is Mr. Obama's self-conception in line with his gifts, depth, wisdom and character? That's the big question, I suspect, on a number of minds."