First, let me be the first to say that I'm not the brightest bulb on the block (but I can mix a metaphor....right? Right?) but I have read George F. Will's essay in the latest issue of Newsweek no less than four times and I still can't figure out what the hell he's trying to say.... except that he thinks Barack Obama is a boastful snob.
He seems to take issue with Obama's statement that he (Obama, not Will) is "America's first Pacific President." calling it "an exercise in rhetorical grandiosity." He then goes on to admit that Obama did live in the Pacific for 14 years but that two Presidents lived on the Pacific and many others had really important things happen to them ....wait for it..... in the Pacific. So, basically, he's trying to say that Obama shouldn't get to claim the Pacific for himself.
He ends by saying that Obama spent seven days in Asia recently and that was what earned him the (self-proclaimed) title of the First Pacific President and "Such rhetorical inflation devalues the currency of words with which we think."
May I be the first to say WTF?
If Obama were the first politician to be guilty of rhetorical inflation then George F. Will would have something to complain about. Rhetorical inflation is practically a job requirement. If Obama wants to say he's the first Pacific President instead of the first President from Hawaii what the hell does it really matter?
By pointing his finger at this, the nerdy, pouty kid in the corner trying to show off his knowledge of history and his big vocabulary looks like a big baby and renders his essay .... in his own words....exquisitely meaningless.