Barack Obama certainly made news today with his announcement that he has changed his position and now favors same-sex marriage. But one part of his statement has evidently aroused a firestorm in the conservative blogosphere. “When I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors,” he said, “who are out there fighting on my behalf . . . .” “My behalf”? They are fighting on behalf of the United States of America of which Obama is, like all his predecessors have been and all his successors will be, temporarily president and commander-in-chief. Obama could have accurately said “at my command,” since that is literally true. But that would conflict with his campaign message that he ends wars rather than wages them. And if he were a constitutional monarch like Elizabeth II he could, I suppose, say “on my behalf.” But we're not a monarchy and he's not royal.
Others have noted that in his spike-the-ball statements on the dispatch of Osama bin Laden, Obama has used first person pronouns in a way that presidents like George W. Bush, Dwight Eisenhower and Franklin Roosevelt were careful to avoid. With Obama, it’s always all about him.