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Obama, Trump and — Oprah? Bye, boring candidates. Hello, hysteria

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“It was a ceremony fit for the gods.” That was The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank, way back in August 2008, describing Barack Obama’s history-making acceptance of the Democratic presidential nomination.

It seems so long ago, doesn’t it? Though somewhat tongue-in-cheek, the description wasn’t that far off. If the Beatles, as an insouciant John Lennon once claimed, were more popular than Jesus, Obama could certainly qualify as the Beatles of politics. Remember the crying fans? The Newsweek and Rolling Stone covers mocked up with a halo and a saintly glow? The infamous fake Greek colonnade, which the John McCain campaign christened the “Temple of Obama”?

I remember thinking, about midway through Obama’s second term, that the next president would probably be the quiet type, and maybe even a bit of a bore: a Scott Walker, perhaps, nitpicking budget ideas while punctually tweeting about his bargain-basement daily ham sandwiches; or maybe even the glorious Mitch Daniels, beacon of Indiana competence and occasional member of the Midwest’s most responsible middle-aged motorcycle gang. Who, after all, could keep up with an Obama-esque spectacle for another four years? Don’t we all, deep down, really wish for Washington to simply handle the basics and otherwise leave us alone?

If you’re snickering right now,........

© Chicago Tribune