"We can't be lulled into complacency. You have to remember that Adolf Hitler was elected in a democratic Germany. I'm not comparing him to Adolf Hitler. What I'm saying is there is the potential of going down that road."
As someone who has been using the Mussolini trope from the beginning to understand Obama's appeal (for me), I'm in a poor position to be outraged at this statement. I have actually heard rumblings even from very liberal Americans much earlier in the campaign. Some had attended his rallies and were genuinely concerned about how Obama was able to make them feel. George Clooney told Charlie Rose (someone added very cheesy music to this) that Obama is the kind of man he'd follow anywhere, a real leader. Mainstream European journalists could not entirely conceal their mental associations of the DNC with the Nuremberg rallies. Etc.
Here's Norman Mailer's prelude to his assessment of Kennedy:
It was a hero America needed, a hero central to his time, a man whose personality might suggest contradictions and mysteries which could reach into the alienated circuits of the underground, because only a hero can capture the secret imagination of a people, and so be good for the vitality of a nation; a hero embodies the fantasy and so allows each private mind the liberty to consider its fantasy and find a way to grow. Each mind can become more conscious of its desire and waste less strength in hiding from itself. Roosevelt was such a hero, and Churchill, Lenin and De Gaulle; even Hitler, to take the most odious example of this thesis was a hero, the hero-as-monster... (PP, p. 42)*
I think it is safe to say that Obama has a pretty firm hold on the American imagination at this point. That gives him a particular kind of power that Bush has never had. And look at what Bush was able to accomplish. So the worry is a real one, and the only hope (I'm afraid) is that Hitler was not all bad, i.e., that his "heroism" (better: heroics) and "vitality", his power, could have been used for good—that his fantasy only incidentally became a monstrous reality.
*I think it is worth emphasizing that Norman Mailer here, in 1961, before Kennedy's election, in an article that he himself believed contributed to Kennedy's victory, but only 16 years after the end of WWII, is comparing Kennedy to Hitler. And Hitler to Roosevelt and Churchill. I don't think the remark stirred any public outrage. (If anyone knows of some, I'd love to see it.) Keeping the full argument in view: note that Pound wrote a pamphlet called simply Jefferson and/or Mussolini.