Occasionally in our mature and seemingly predictable western democracies comes a politician who claims to represent something new, but not revolutionary, reports CNN.
Neither a populist nor even a radical, but a politician who is at once of the system and beyond it. Think Tony Blair, who transformed the British Labour party just before the 1997 landslide and, more recently, Emmanuel Macron, who went further by circumventing France's party system entirely in his bid for the top job.
Both were centrists who believed the center had lost its way, both came in on a wave of euphoria and hope after what had felt like years of inertia. And both had an almost messianic belief in themselves and in their ability to change the system -- not, in their view, to threaten it, but rather to save it.
With hindsight, the confidence and sense of mission that gave Tony Blair the ability to change the Labour Party and then Westminster ended up being hubris that would, in 2003, lead him so confidently into a catastrophic and hugely unpopular war in Iraq.
It was his supreme confidence and extraordinary belief in himself (not to mention the chutzpah it took to present so much flimsy evidence on the existence of weapons of mass destruction as fact) that went a long way to convincing many a wavering lawmaker to back him in that now infamous vote in the spring of 2003.
Of course, Emmanuel Macron has not done anything nearly as controversial. But his own hubris threatens him in ways that are strangely familiar.
Just as Tony Blair once claimed to have the ear of George W. Bush, Emmanuel Macron has gone out of his way to establish a rapport with Donald Trump.