Heaven help me, I'm starting to feel sorry for this vain, petty man. William Kristol:
At his November 12 press conference in Seoul, President Obama was asked the following question by CBS’s Chip Reid: “What was the number-one complaint, concern, or piece of advice that you got from foreign leaders about the U.S. economy and your stewardship of the economy?”Pair that with another recent "But let's get back to me" moment and you might detect a pattern:
Whereupon the president began his response with a complaint: “What about compliments?” he asked. “You didn’t put that in the list.”
MR. KANSAGRA: Thank you. Welcome, Mr. President, to India. As a fellow Kenyan, I’m very proud to see that you have made –Obama's an egomaniac and that's bad news for our country. It's a weakness that separates him from reality and hampers his ability to do his job. A high level of denial is needed to support his inflated view of himself. President Sarkozy reportedly pointed this out a year ago:
THE PRESIDENT: Made something of myself. (Laughter.)
MR. KANSAGRA: — India as the focus of your drive for exports out of the U.S.
"And they both say that [France's President Nicolas] Sarkozy thinks that President Obama is incredibly naive and grossly egotistical - so egotistical that no one can dent his naïveté. And he's very worried about what that means for the West. Because the President of the United States is the leader of the free world. And if the President of the United States isn't going to lead the free world, it's not going to be led."This analysis has been confirmed and reconfirmed by Obama's behavior over the past year.
Back to Bill Kristol:
Poor President Obama. He’s (allegedly) getting all these compliments from his fellow world leaders—and the press just isn’t interested in having him tell us about them. True, President Obama became accustomed, as a candidate, to having a compliant press corps. But even so. After a contentious economic summit where the president was forced to defend the Fed’s ill-advised monetary policies, a summit that followed on the heels of the biggest midterm electoral defeat ever suffered by an elected first-term president, a defeat partly due to his ill-advised fiscal policies, did Obama really expect a reporter to stand up at the end of last week and ask, “Mr. President, what compliments did you receive from foreign leaders?”I'm not sure any astute Obama watchers really assumed that Obama would be able to correct course. That would require admission of error, something that's not in his repertoire. But blaming others -- his predecessor, his opponents, his party, his base, and the American electorate -- is something he's elevated to an art form.
And that has us worried. We’ve assumed the president would learn from the voters’ repudiation of his party on November 2. We’ve assumed he would learn from reality’s refutation of his policies over the last two years.
Jonathan V. Last covers the towering ego quite nicely in his column, American Narcissus:
All presidents are hostage to self-confidence. But not since Babe Ruth grabbed a bat and wagged his fat finger at Wrigley’s center-field wall has an American politician called his shot like Barack Obama.(Now he's praising the virtue of hitting singles, but that's another story.)
He announced his candidacy in Springfield, Illinois, on the steps where Abraham Lincoln gave his “house divided” speech. He mentioned Lincoln continually during the 2008 campaign. After he vanquished John McCain he passed out copies of Team of Rivals, a book about Lincoln’s cabinet, to his senior staff. At his inauguration, he chose to be sworn into office using Lincoln’s Bible. At the inaugural luncheon following the ceremony, he requested that the food—each dish of which was selected as a “tribute” to Lincoln—be served on replicas of Lincoln’s china. At some point in January 2009 you wanted to grab Obama by the lapels and tell him—We get it! You’re the Rail Splitter! If we promise to play along, will you keep the log cabin out of the Rose Garden?That kind of vanity would be bad enough if he actually did possess that gift. RTR.
It’s troubling that a fellow whose electoral rationale was that he edited the Harvard Law Review and wrote a couple of memoirs was comparing himself to the man who saved the Union. But it tells you all you need to know about what Obama thinks of his political gifts and why he’s unperturbed about having led his party into political disaster in the midterms. He assumes that he’ll be able to reverse the political tide once he becomes the issue, in the presidential race in 2012. As he said to Harry Reid after the majority leader congratulated him on one particularly fine oration, “I have a gift, Harry.”
**Follow-up: More on the Ego
Many thanks to Michelle Malkin for the Buzzworthy link.
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