Posted by: bkivey | 6 November 2012

Barack Obama – Four Commentaries

Commentary Three – Barack Obama is a narcissist.

nar·cis·sism  (närs-szm) also nar·cism (-szm)n.1. Excessive love or admiration of oneself.

With Mr. Obama, it’s all about him, all the time. This is a man who published an autobiography at 34, when he was a Lecturer at University of Chicago Law. Very few people have had a book-worthy life at 34, and when the sum total of your achievements amounts to teaching law and community organizing, you’re not one of them.

Mr. Obama’s rise has been much less about his ability, and much more about the people around him. It’s true that every successful person must have competent people around them, but in Mr. Obama’s case, those people used him as a vessel for their own ambitions. Specifically, it seems likely that those around Mr. Obama saw in him a way to validate their beliefs and assuage White Guilt.  Certainly those factors have played no small part in his electoral success.

Mr. Obama has come to believe his own press. People have been telling him he’s special his entire life, and he believes it.

“I think that I’m a better speechwriter than my speechwriters, I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And I’ll tell you right now that I’m going to think I’m a better political director than my political director.”

September 2008

A good leader surrounds themselves with people who are excellent in their specialties, provides direction and resources, then gets the hell out of the way. Mr. Obama does none of that.

Mr. Obama’s notional sense of superiority even extends to his gift-giving, although the record argues against this.

One of the more egregious examples of Mr. Obama’s inflated sense of self came during a 13 December 2009 Oprah interview, when he gave himself a ‘B+’ for his performance. At the time, we had two ongoing wars, unemployment was over 10%, GDP was -3.5%, the federal deficit was approaching $1.5 trillion (that’s ‘trillion’ with a ‘t’), and the national debt was approaching $12 trillion. A ‘B+’, really?

And shows like Oprah are about the only place you’ll find the president. Long criticized for his infrequent press conferences, the president has increasingly retreated to liberal-friendly enclaves like Hollywood, talk shows, urban radio shows, and college campuses. Harry S Truman once famously remarked “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen”. As the heat on Mr. Obama has increased, he has gotten out of the kitchen and into the warm embrace of his Progressive friends.

Mr. Obama has shown a remarkable avoidance of responsibility. He spent the first two years of his administration blaming his predecessor for his and the country’s woes, and has continued in that vein. People don’t hire a leader to complain, they hire them to plan, to execute, to lead. I’ve been in situations where I was brought in to turn operations around, and if I’d taken my cues from Mr. Obama, I’d have been out on my ass in short order. Mr. Obama talks about taking ownership of the country’s problems, but when the time comes to actually do so, he disappears.

When Mr. Obama does take ownership, it’s usually to the detriment of the people who actually did the work. In his speech announcing the demise of Osama bin Laden, in the three paragraphs describing the action and the events leading up to it we have “I directed”, “I determined”, “at my direction”. It’s true that for matters of such import the president must make decisions, but a good leader will use the more inclusive ‘we’ when referring to those decisions.

Mr. Obama hasn’t been content to turn the spotlight on himself during current events, he’s inserted himself into the official White House biographies of past presidents. A few examples:

  • On Feb. 22, 1924 Calvin Coolidge became the first president to make a public radio address to the American people. President Coolidge later helped create the Federal Radio Commission, which has now evolved to become the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).   President Obama became the first president to hold virtual gatherings and town halls using TwitterFacebookGoogle+LinkedIn, etc.
  • President Herbert Hoover signed the bill founding the Department of Veterans Affairs July 21, 1930. President Obama is committed to making sure that the VA, the second-largest cabinet department, serves the needs of all veterans and provides a seamless transition from active duty to civilian life, and has directed his Administration to modernize the way health care is delivered and benefits are administered for our nation’s veterans.  First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden launched Joining Forces to mobilize all sectors of society to give our service members and their families the opportunities and support they have earned.
  • On August 14, 1935, President Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act. Today the Obama Administration continues to protect seniors and ensure Social Security will be there for future generations.

And so on. This is breathtakingly egotistical. I have no doubt that if he could, Mr. Obama would have himself inserted into textbooks, as dictators are wont to do.

Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, declaring slaves in the Confederacy free. On January 20, 2009, Dear Leader Barack Obama became the first African-American President of the United States.

Mr. Obama displays all the character traits of the  self-centered and insecure. His constant need for positive reinforcement, his micro-management, the hyper-sensitivity to criticism, and his avoidance of responsibility. The country deserves much better.

 

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