I've often been curious how so many wily politicians are following down a political path that will reap very few short term political gains and quite certainly will cost most officials their...yuck..."careers." It appears that they are all still intoxicated on the crowds and cheers that Candidate Obama was able to generate. He's telling them "Don't be scared. Although you walk through the valley of tea parties, thou shalt not fear..cuz hey, ya got me."
One of the best things I learned in high school was the principle of hubris. Pride before the fall. It is constant and it is true. Arrogance is always a fatal flaw in leaders and greek protagonists alike. Local politicians (and challengers) would do well to know humility. Take inner pride, shun external praise. Be serious, but don't take yourself too seriously. Listen, and talk only to encourage others to speak. Be solid, but not immovable. Don't ever think that you are bigger than the people.