The chorus of voices suggesting that Barack Obama might be getting ahead of himself and more than a little full of himself is growing louder.
The Washington Post reported that in a closed pep talk session with US House Democrats Tuesday evening, Obama talked about his triumphant visit to Europe and declared, "I have become a symbol of the possibility of America returning to our best traditions."
Democrats are already telling reporters that the comment was taken out of context -- that he was really saying that the campaign was more than about him and that he was a mere symbol.
They say Obama prefaced the declaration that is getting so much buzz by saying something along the lines of, "It has become increasingly clear in my travel, the campaign, that the crowds, the enthusiasm, 200,000 people in Berlin, is not about me at all. Itís about America."
That didn't stop Republicans from forwarding the report as the latest entry in the Obama "audacity watch."
The Republican National Committee just launched a website compiling all the examples it claims shows Obama's arrogance, and said it will update it through the election.
Also, Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank weighed in with a piece published this morning that starts: "Barack Obama has long been his party's presumptive nominee. Now he's becoming its presumptuous nominee."
"As he marches toward Inauguration Day (Election Day is but a milestone on that path), Obama's biggest challenger may not be Republican John McCain but rather his own hubris," Milbank writes later.
The Obama campaign disputes portions of the column, including its mention of unconfirmed reports that it was already planning his post-election transition to the White House.
UPDATE: A new CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll, however, suggests that this line of Republican attack is having mixed results.
Only 37 percent of those surveyed said they believe Obama is arrogant, about the same as the 34 percent who view McCain that way. But 44 percent said they believed that Obama was "acting as if he had already won the election," far more than the 19 percent who believed that of McCain.
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.