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Monday, June 24, 2024

Obama: An ‘over-competitve egotist’ who is not as good as he thinks he is

Barack Obama: A legend in his own mind? (AP Photo)

Four years ago, Barack Obama could do no wrong in the eyes of the mainstream media.

That was then, this is now.

Recent articles by a once-fawning media portray Obama as an egomaniac, obsessed with winning at all cost, convinced of his own self-perceived superiority and unable to admit his faults.

Even the mighty New York Times is questioning the former golden boy of American politics.

Writes Jodi Kantor this week:

Even by the standards of the political world, Mr. Obama’s obsession with virtuosity and proving himself the best are remarkable, those close to him say. (Critics call it arrogance.) More than a tic, friends and aides say, it is a core part of his worldview, formed as an outsider child who grew up to defy others’ views of the limits of his abilities. When he speaks to students, he almost always emphasizes living up to their potential.

“He has a general philosophy that whatever he does, he’s going to do the very best he can do,” Marty Nesbitt, a close friend, said in an interview.

Mr. Obama’s aides point to the seriousness he brings to the tasks of the presidency — how he virtually never shows up for a meeting unprepared, say, or how he quickly synthesizes complicated material. When Mr. Obama was derided as an insufferable overachiever in an early political race, some of his friends were infuriated; to them, he was revising negative preconceptions of what a black man could achieve.

But even those loyal to Mr. Obama say that his quest for excellence can bleed into cockiness and that he tends to overestimate his capabilities. The cloistered nature of the White House amplifies those tendencies, said Matthew Dowd, a former adviser to President George W. Bush, adding that the same thing happened to his former boss. “There’s a reinforcing quality,” he said, a tendency for presidents to think, I’m the best at this.

Politico notes that despite all the hype from four years ago, Obama turned out to be — at best — just a conventional politician.

Writes John F. Harris and Jonathan Martin:

The surprise is that a leader who arrived in office amid such unprecedented times and with such an unusual biography would infuse his presidency with such a relentlessly familiar style.

The expectation was that Obama represented a new brand of politics, marshaling ideas, language and tactics in ways that would constitute a break from Democratic orthodoxy. The reality is that Obama, so far, has presented no set of ideas that collectively represent anything that might last beyond his term as “Obamism.” His West Wing staff, and his governing agenda, have their roots deep in the traditional Democratic soil of Chicago and Capitol Hill.

White House insiders tell Capitol Hill Blue that Obama is “terrified” of being viewed as “conventional” or “normal” and that his ever-present ego is raging out of control.

“His convinced of his own superiority, his own intellectual dominance,” says one West Wing aide.  “No one is willing to risk his or her job by telling him he’s wrong on anything.”

Aides describe a White House where even senior aides “walk on egg shells” and approach the President with caution.  Obama’s temper tantrums, they say, invited comparisons with his predecessor, George W. Bush, another President with a massive ego whose tongue-lashings were legendary.

And in Obama’s mind, he is the best at everything he does.

“I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors,” Obama told his 2008 political director, Patric Gaspard.  “I’m a better political director than my political director.”

The bottom line?

Politico’s Dyan Byers notes that articles like the recent critique in The New York Times reveal Obama as “a hyper-competitive egotist who often is not as good as he thinks he is at endeavors ranging from politics to poker.”


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8 thoughts on “Obama: An ‘over-competitve egotist’ who is not as good as he thinks he is”

  1. Woody, you are right! There is little difference in either party with the exception of how women are treated. As you know, I have always written in Ron Paul believing in his appreciation of women in America. This time, Paul went with the platform and sold out to what he believes is the way Republicans want to have for a platform.

    That stunned me and for the first time in my long life, I will vote for a Democrat. There has always been one loyal to women candidate but not in 2012. The religious right runs the show and I cannot stay in line. Gary Johnson might be my candidate except I would never vote against my sister women.

    Apparently Americans want a Constitution to tell them what not to do. A ban on abortion has always been in the platform but this time they want an Amendment to the Constitution claiming a fertile egg is a person. When I lived in the Malibu area, we had 6 hens and one rooster. All the eggs they laid were fertile and today, if the amendment gets added, I could be sent to prison for murder.

    Even to know that this amendment has gone this far has removed what respect I ever had for America is gone….long gone. This kind of legislation goes back to the days of the Inquisition.

  2. A lot of Obama policies are the same as Bush policies, because Presidents actually have very few acceptable options in many situations. But if you want to see a real difference, look at their Supreme Court nominations. Those are lifetime appointments!

    President Romney’s SC nominees would certainly be best-buddies with the corporations and Wall Street, because that is his vision of America. And there is even more damage that could be done to the balance of power between individuals and corporations, given a Supreme Court that would back that. Maybe they can make it illegal for an individual to sue a corporation! Wouldn’t that be lovely?

  3. Any sort of “Obamism” can easily be called Bushism. Obama is an accomplished orator, but the same tyrannical policies of his predecessor are continued and expanded despite his 2008 campaign promises to the contrary. Any hope for change has been dashed by Obama’s last 4 years of more of the same.

    The scary part is the characteristics his staff laments are the hallmark characteristics of a tin pot dictator. When things get so bad that trusted advisers can’t disagree without fear of severe consequences, the administration is running like a dictatorship and is headed for a monumental disaster.

    Might as well vote for Mitt Obama or Barack Romney. They are the same when you get past abortions and gay marriage. Which means a vote for either will give you another term just like every other since at least 1980. More war, more money printing, more “jobless recoveries” and more wealth accumulation to the few at the expense of the many.

    The game is rigged. The jig is up. Yet the music plays on and we dance as if in a trance from cradle to grave, slaves to our obsessions and delusions.

  4. Doug, I am not doubting your articles merit, regardless I wii not vote for Romney. Write in or 3rd party perhaps.

  5. “He has a general philosophy that whatever he does, he’s going to do the very best he can do,” Marty Nesbitt, a close friend, said in an interview.

    And that is somehow a character flaw?

  6. If there was any word to describe President Obama, it would have to be naive. Nobody would have ever believed that a Tea Party made up of huge nunbers of fools could actually cause great damage from their numbers within the Congress.

    Finnegan, obviously you and I interpret the U.S. Constitution with a different set of eyes. It was written for a large number of very diverse interpretations.

    I’ve beern a registered voter since 1953 when I was 21. My political work has exposed me to thousands of interpretations of the Constitution with what was the most important part for me, not even mentioned except in letters written by Jefferson and Madison.

    In 1999, THE SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE was declared redundant when Bush 43 promised to hand out federal grants to the Churches.

    Being a reader of History it was very obvious that the religious right was ready for action and all the old racism, making our miniorities second class citizens, focusing on women would soon remove “equality” from our world. Bush 43 was warned but he needed the win more than the “equality” which would soon be missing,.

    • Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act, abolishing habeas corpus and the Bill or Rights, and permitted the indefinite detention — without charge or trial — of American citizens at home and abroad. He further claims the power to murder American citizens without indictment, trial or conviction whenever he determines it is in the interest of national security.

      Interpret that!

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