September 3, 2012

Obama has entered manic phase of his cycle

In the New York Times, veteran White House reporter Jodi Kantor dogwhistles desperately about the President's psyche: 
The Competitor in Chief 
By JODI KANTOR 
As Election Day approaches, President Obama is sharing a few important things about himself. He has mentioned more than once in recent weeks that he cooks “a really mean chili.” He has impressive musical pitch, he told an Iowa audience. He is “a surprisingly good pool player,” he informed an interviewer — not to mention (though he does) a doodler of unusual skill. 
All in all, he joked at a recent New York fund-raiser with several famous basketball players in attendance, “it is very rare that I come to an event where I’m like the fifth or sixth most interesting person.” 
Four years ago, Barack Obama seemed as if he might be a deliberate professor of a leader, maybe with a touch of Hawaiian mellowness. He has also turned out to be a voraciously competitive perfectionist. Aides and friends say so in interviews, but Mr. Obama’s own words of praise and derision say it best: he is a perpetually aspiring overachiever, often grading himself and others with report-card terms like “outstanding” or “remedial course” (as in: Republicans need one). 
As he faces off with Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential nominee, Mr. Obama’s will to win — and fear of losing — is in overdrive.  
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. ... 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. ... 
For someone dealing with the world’s weightiest matters, Mr. Obama spends surprising energy perfecting even less consequential pursuits. He has played golf 104 times since becoming president, according to Mark Knoller of CBS News, who monitors his outings, and he asks superior players for tips that have helped lower his scores. He decompresses with card games on Air Force One, but players who do not concentrate risk a reprimand (“You’re not playing, you’re just gambling,” he once told Arun Chaudhary, his former videographer). 
His idea of birthday relaxation is competing in an Olympic-style athletic tournament with friends, keeping close score. The 2009 version ended with a bowling event. Guess who won, despite his history of embarrassingly low scores? The president, it turned out, had been practicing in the White House alley. 
When he reads a book to children at the annual White House Easter Egg Roll, Mr. Obama seems incapable of just flipping open a volume and reading. In 2010, he began by announcing that he would perform “the best rendition ever” of “Green Eggs and Ham,” ripping into his Sam-I-Ams with unusual conviction. Two years later at the same event, he read “Where the Wild Things Are” with even more animation, roooooaring his terrible roar and gnaaaaashing his terrible teeth. By the time he got to the wild rumpus, he was howling so loudly that Bo, the first dog, joined in. 
“He’s shooting for a Tony,” Mr. Chaudhary joked. (He has already won a Grammy, in 2006, for his reading of his memoir, “Dreams From My Father” — not because he was a natural, said Brian Smith, the producer, but because he paused so many times to polish his performance.) 
... Even some Democrats in Washington say they have been irritated by his tips ... 
Those were not the only times Mr. Obama may have overestimated himself: he has also had a habit of warning new hires that he would be able to do their jobs better than they could. 
“I think that I’m a better speechwriter than my speechwriters,” Mr. Obama told Patrick Gaspard, his political director, at the start of the 2008 campaign, according to The New Yorker. “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.” 
... No matter what moves Mr. Romney made, the president said, he and his team were going to cut him off and block him at every turn. “We’re the Miami Heat, and he’s Jeremy Lin,” Mr. Obama said, according to the aide.

Notify the Asian vote.
... When local campaign staff members ask him what they need to do better, he talks about himself instead. “I need to be working harder,” he recently told one state-level aide. 

By the way, I wonder if he's having his doctor give him a little synthetic testosterone top-off?

Back in February I wrote in my Taki's Magazine review of Kantor's book, The Obamas:
Kantor is struck by the less flagrant but still marked swings in Obama’s mood and energy level. These mostly correlate with his approval ratings, but they sometimes go off on random jags of their own. For instance, Obama’s reaction to his party losing the House in 2010 was blithe. He assumed he might be better off without all that Democratic dead weight holding him back, only to be predictably disillusioned in the disastrous debt-ceiling showdown. 
Oddly, Obama’s down spells never seem to undermine his ego, which in Kantor’s telling remains bizarrely expansive for such an otherwise rational individual. Perhaps as a metaphor for a lifetime of affirmative action’s warping effects, Kantor is fascinated by this middle-aged politician’s obsession with competing on his White House basketball court against invited NBA superstars. Whether Obama can keep clear in his head that they’re just letting him score remains unclear to the author. 
Kantor’s most intriguing finding is that Barack and Michelle’s mood cycles are generally out of sync. ... As her husband’s popularity declined, however, Michelle’s attitude improved ...

Do you ever get the impression that Democrats who write books about Obama, like Kantor and David Maraniss, generally wind up not liking him very much? Of course, all they are allowed is this kind of passive-aggressive toting up of facts, which 99.9% of readers won't get. But, at least, Jodi and David, you can take comfort in knowing that I feel your pain.

On the subject of Obama's vanity, Jonathan Last's 2010 article in the Weekly Standard, American Narcissus, remains canonical.

85 comments:

Discard said...

"For someone dealing with the weightiest matters..."
Like choosing which of his handlers he's going to agree with?

Anonymous said...

If the article is accurate, he seems not to understand that governing means building relationships with people with whom you share governing.

DYork said...

Obama's competition has been a wife beater, a swingers club visiting weirdo, followed by Alan Keys, John Edwards, Hillary Clinton and everyone's friend the serial plane crasher John McCain.

Kindova Hall of Fame of mediocrity isn't it.

dearieme said...

"He has played golf 104 times since becoming president": hell, that's less than once a fortnight. He should play golf more often. It would be good for him. Far too many Top People are permanently tired and consequently make bad decisions.

Anonymous said...

Your trying to make an election between 2 Adelson candidates interesting. The correct way to handle this election is to disregard the candidates except maybe for the occasional Sheriff Arpaio. Showing any interest in some like Akins just adds legitimacy to the system. So I suggest a moratorium on election stories.

JustAClown said...

all high level politicians are most likely a special breed of sociopath. They all use Big Money to get there, and Big Money ain't gonna give you no money less'n you are some sort of sociopath.

I would much rather see obama in the white house than romney, who is also just another of these special breed of sociopath. A little rich boy sociopath.

The GOP does nothing for the white working man. At least obama has done a LITTLE for the white working man. He has done some bad, of course, with the continuation of the race-spoils regime and other multiculti evils.

But the GOP did nothing for the white working man. Bush let in the greatest surge of cheap labor invaders EVER. And he oversaw the slackening of regulations on predatory Capital. At least obamacare is SOMETHING. Not much, but something. And obama has at least allowed SOME states rights, e.g., medical marijuana, so that if an old white man wants to smoke a bowl, he can.

Yeah, obama is a special type of sociopath, almost as evil in his own way as Bush and Clinton. But not QUITE as bad. And you touch on the competitive aspect of Obama. ALL high level politicians are like that--driven to succeed. Harvard, Yale, etc.

But obama has been far better than romney at humanizing himself during this campaign. The personal touches he uses as PR, e.g., the recent beer recipe news item. Masterful.

But back to statistical anomalies: Again, as far as I can tell, I am the one of only a handful of americans who dare to mix and match platform issues from both the GOP and Dem. Literally, only a mere handful have written on the internet, saying, in effect, "I think that the dems are right on economics and the GOP is right on being against affirmative action and political correctness and immigration."
A mere handful of us on the internet, out of all the many thousands who write and post on the internet about politics. Tells me a lot about the nature of homo sapiens.

Of course, in reality, the GOP not really against being against affirmative action and political correctness and immigration. They just pretend to be.

A statistical anomaly is what I am. What don't you write about that, Steve? You are intrigued by statistical anomalies that are ignored by the masses and by the establishment. No? Why not?

Anonymous said...

""He has played golf 104 times since becoming president": hell, that's less than once a fortnight. He should play golf more often. It would be good for him. Far too many Top People are permanently tired and consequently make bad decisions."

Peacetime leaders should cruise along in third gear. (Let's assume for these purposes that 'perpetual', distant wars don't count. )

Gilbert P.

Maurice said...

People like Obama rely heavily on words to tell of their 'great' deeds. Often their own words, or sometimes the words of a sycophantic toady.

The truly great can stand on their strength of their accomplishments without having to say a word.

DCThrowback said...

@anon 3:37

Quiet you. There is no one out there connecting the dots like Steve. This stuff is fascinating.

Steve, keep up the great work.

@anon 1:00am

That would take time, effort and and an acknowledgment that you at least care superficially about what others want. The "O" has no time for that. Can't he just give a speech and make that happen? Jeez.

Anonymous said...

Narcissism is one of the hallmarks of despotic dictators like Stalin, Hitler and Saddam. True, it is in these individuals of a peculiarly malignant flavor, but I would say that Obama is a considerable way down that road.

In my estimation, it's a toss-up whether he loves himself more than he hates white people, or vice versa; ie it's an open question whether he's driven more by narcissism or by racial animus. Probably both.

Watching him preening, and gushing his fatuous sociobabble, I would guess that only the genuinely stupid could be attracted to him; the rest of his "supporters" just have to think that, like many people whose reach exceeds their grasp, he can be manipulated for gain.

In this, they are correct.

Anon.

Bill said...

Apparently, his grandstanding really annoys the intelligence community..

Anonymous said...

farcissus

Chicago said...

The more one searches for anything substantive about him the less one finds, leading to a grasping at trivial anecdotes as a way of trying to understand what makes him tick. There's nothing there except the unlovely traits of megalomania, aversion to hard work, deceitfulness, opportunism, and a contempt for everyone else. He probably snickers at all his starry-eyed true-believer followers. American politics has really hit bottom when candidates for the highest office in the most powerful country in the world have been Hillary, McCain or Obama.

Dahlia said...

"The 2009 version ended with a bowling event. Guess who won, despite his history of embarrassingly low scores? The president, it turned out, had been practicing in the White House alley."

LOL, but seriously, Is there really much of a problem for Obama here? This reminds me so much of a boss my husband had once: spoiled son, but a cocky alpha, type A guy who inherited the business (would never have had it otherwise). He had his dad's drive, and it's a drive that every business owner I've ever known had, but only this son shares Obama's ego.
Every single thing that the guys showed interest in, he had to get involved, but with the absolute best. I'll never forget some of them taking their r.c. cars to work and racing them. The son saw this and went out and bought a $500 plus gas powered r.c. car that night and smoked all their cars the next day.

Dahlia said...

"Kantor’s most intriguing finding is that Barack and Michelle’s mood cycles are generally out of sync. ... As her husband’s popularity declined, however, Michelle’s attitude improved ..."

I always feel a little sorry for Obama when it comes to his wife. I remember the look of doom she gave him when he got too into the Latin dances with the beautiful singer. What was he supposed to do? And for her to make a spectacle about it was demeaning to her husband and made him look like a wimp.

Anonymous said...

"Young men," said he, "come up to that throw if you can, and I will throw another disc as heavy or even heavier. If anyone wants to have a bout with me let him come on, for I am exceedingly angry; I will box, wrestle, or run, I do not care what it is, with any man of you all except Laodamas, but not with him because I am his guest, and one cannot compete with one's own personal friend. At least I do not think it a prudent or a sensible thing for a guest to challenge his host's family at any game, especially when he is in a foreign country. He will cut the ground from under his own feet if he does; but I make no exception as regards any one else, for I want to have the matter out and know which is the best man. I am a good hand at every kind of athletic sport known among mankind. I am an excellent archer. In battle I am always the first to bring a man down with my arrow, no matter how many more are taking aim at him alongside of me. Philoctetes was the only man who could shoot better than I could when we Achaeans were before Troy and in practice. I far excel every one else in the whole world, of those who still eat bread upon the face of the earth, but I should not like to shoot against the mighty dead, such as Hercules, or Eurytus the Oechalian--men who could shoot against the gods themselves. This in fact was how Eurytus came prematurely by his end, for Apollo was angry with him and killed him because he challenged him as an archer. I can throw a dart farther than any one else can shoot an arrow. Running is the only point in respect of which I am afraid some of the Phaeacians might beat me, for I have been brought down very low at sea; my provisions ran short, and therefore I am still weak.

Galvani's Frog said...

By the time he got to the wild rumpus, he was howling so loudly that Bo, the first dog, joined in.

Video! Video!

Anonymous said...

Obama really is a top 10 percenter surrounded by mediocrity if he thinks everyone is impressed with his chili recipe and his musical pitch.

Anonymous said...

a swingers club visiting weirdo

Especially weird considering that the dude's wife at the time was seven-of-phreaking-nine.

PS: Cue Albertosaurus to exclaim "Hey, c'mon now, guys - it isn't all THAT weird!"

eah said...

Blah blah blah. All this intellectualizing by Whites over this not at all impressive black man, someone who was elected solely via a massively stupid electoral expression of massively mis-assumed white guilt.

After four years of watching him, nothing could be clearer to me than: 1) He's a crap President who doesn't deserve to be reelected; 2) he's a racial demagogue who either doesn't know when to, or absolutely cannot, keep his mouth shut (e.g. Gates and Trayvon Martin) -- 'Minority Occupation Government' only begins to describe it; and 3) he's a jerk, not at all likeable, someone whose 'niceness' quite often seems veneer thin -- to me just underneath he seems to be sneering at others out of his own arrogance and from underneath the wide umbrella of racially sensitive political correctness (e.g. only a 'racist' would criticize him) gifted him by the media.

A tragedy if he doesn't get the boot in November.

Anonymous said...

I'm reminded of Teddy Roosevelt, who was said to want to be the corpse at every funeral, the bride at every wedding, etc. This kind of desire to be the center of attention is not unusual among Presidents - it's how they get to be President.

Truth said...

48/2(9+3)=?

What is the answer, oh great gods of IQ?

Anonymous said...

Why Obama would seem to the the world's most interesting man.

Matthew said...

From that article "American Narcissus": "In case you’re keeping score at home, there was some confusion as to what book young Obama was writing. His publisher thought he was writing about race relations. His employer thought he was writing about voting rights law. But Obama seems to have never seriously considered either subject. Instead, he decided that his subject would be himself. The 32-year-old was writing a memoir.

Blacks love to talk about being black. They can go on all day about being black. Race relations? About being black. Voting rights law? About being black. A memoir? About being Barack Obama and black.

Who would we have to pontificate about blackness if we didn't have blacks und to do so?

At the end of it, President Navel Gazer chose the most navel gazingly-ist subject of all - himself.

Matthew said...

"Obama's competition has been...a swingers club visiting weirdo...

Oh. Em. Gee. He wanted to sleep around!

Jack Ryan had a pretty damn impressive CV - way better than Obama's. It too bad we obsess so much about people's sexual pecadilloes, or maybe we'd get some better candidates to run for office.

pat said...

This seems pretty silly. Of course Obama is competitive and of course he works hard in spurts. That's hardly the point.

Obama is lazy and undisciplined. Take it from me another example of someone who is lazy and undisciplined.

Let me mention an odd fact. I have never lost at darts. Ever. In my whole long life. Why? Simple competitiveness. It's certainly not eye hand coordination. If I had had any of that I would have had a decent jump shot. No I just wanted to win, so I concentrated. Everyone else I ever played was more casual. They were indeed playing while I was working. Also I don't go to bars so I never had to compete with guys who took darts seriously.

The same is true of bowling. I'm really no good at bowling either but I do well in casual games because winning means more to me.

Obama of course is the big boss. He gets to name the game. In a way he's like Castro who liked to play baseball with his staff. He was always the pitcher and if his team was behind he'd declare some more innings. Playing anything against your own subordinates is a huge self indulgence. It denotes lack of character.

Obama is self indulgent. He's hard driving and competitive in the small but lazy in the big. The really hard work in life is to tackle whatever you fear - to do what you don't do very well. Obama can't seem to muster the courage and energy to pick up the phone and call members of Congress. He lets the top issues of the day slide. He then indulges himself with a card game or round of golf where his opponents are trying to lose.

He likes to campaign and make political speeches. I can appreciate that. I used to love to jump to my feet and make a speech. It calmed me down and made me feel comfortable. I always hated speaking at a conference table. Sitting there made me nervous. I would look for an opening to get on my feet and deliver a mini-speech.

I know that most people fear and hate public speaking but not all. For Obama and myself it is an indulgence - something we do instead of whatever we should be doing.

Like Obama I have difficulty making myself follow through on projects I've started. It feels so much better to start something new rather than finish yesterday's brain storm. Administration is boring. It takes character to do well. It takes discipline - and neither of us has much of that.

Albertosaurus

Anonymous said...

"Do you ever get the impression that Democrats who write books about Obama, like Kantor and David Maraniss, generally wind up not liking him very much? Of course, all they are allowed is this kind of passive-aggressive toting up of facts, which 99.9% of readers won't get"

Yet, when the context of their piece doesn't even call for it, the press at every turn inserts references to Obama's "likeablity" while similarly, when the contest of their piece doesn't call for it, inserts references to the lag in Romney's "likeability."

It's pretty clear that this trait of likeability or lack of it is something created by the Media Machine. Mrs. Clinton faced the press,' "Lookie here, people, he's sooo likeable and affable," spin in the '08 primaries while Romney faces their "lags in likeability" spin even when new polls claiming to measure the public's take on that trait aren't even fresh.

Media fall-back position when it looks as if an opponent might be gaining or leading their boy? Remind them of how important it is to like a Prez and then tell them Obama is still likeable.

From almost the the beginning and certainly during this rocky last 4 years, I wondered if something were wrong with my perception when I'd turn on the tv only to hear that he is likeable. "What am I missing?" I wondered.

The slow-jammin' the news thing when too far as did the Al Green rendition. Yes, he has a good voice to do Green songs, but it was a huge turn-off. It was like he had a sign hanging around his neck saying, "Yea, this is why I wanted to be President,to do this stuff."

Anonymous said...

I first read the title of the post as: "Obama has entered the magic phase of his cycle."

Ex Submarine Officer said...

Follow the trend line. If you are wondering what comes after Obama, just think, "What could be worse than Obama".

Bush I was pretty mediocre overall, although I don't think he gets enough credit for managing the end of the Cold War and the dissolution of the USSR. The outcomes of that could have been a lot worse.

When Clinton was running, I thought, "This guy is the Antichrist". Which turned out to be true, more or less, at least by comparison w/his predecessors. Compared to his successors, heck, it was a golden era.

Bush II was an unmitigated disaster, pounding the last nails in the coffin of the Republic.

Obama, of course, is even worse yet. The light isn't on whether the refrigerator door is open or closed and his socialist hacks are more or less running riot while Wall Street continues to squeeze blood from the turnip, no end in sight to perpetual war, and the police state blooming into full glory.

Hard to think what could be worse, but it will be.

Matthew said...

Falling polls and competitive blue states (Michigan, Wisconsin): This is the point where he puts his feet in his mouth. He's going to say something stupid, something big, and the Romney campaign will put it in every other commercial.

Mostly this race is Romney's to lose. Obama is a known quantity, and the economy stinks. But Obama will probably help him win it.

Anonymous said...

Most of these "victories" are meaningless, which gives great insight into the infantile personality of this basketcase. Does he think if an NBA player lets him score, he's actually scored? Does he think those opposing bowlers didn't throw gutter balls to stay on the good side of their boss, knowing how fragile his ego was? Does he think his winning gold scores aren't aided by purposely shanked, late hole shots by his competitors? Talk about living in a dream world!! This guy is hopelessly delusional and what's dangerous about that is that such people fight desperately hard to maintain their delusional structure. It's more important than life to them; it IS life to them.

Anonymous said...

The man obviously lacks self-esteem.

No, wait. Do I mean self-esteem or...?

Maya said...

Why is it always steroids with you, Steve? Amphetamines work just fine in making one energetic, optimistic, competitive, social and focused. Hey, worked for Hitler. Well... it kinda worked for Hitler, and Hitler's doctor didn't have the benefit of experience of half of today's college students and the majority of gainfully employed Koreans. Oh, and it would explain the depressed, lethargic spells. A user who hopes to keep his looks/health/abilities more or less intact long term needs serious downtime.

Anonymous said...

I suspect it is an interaction between his mother's white genes and his father's black genes.

Those black genes are trying to make him enormously self-confident, but those white genes are trying to hold him back with self-doubt.

So, a little bit of success gives him a big head, while the smallest of problems sends him into fits of depression.

The Legendary Linda said...

Obama's competition has been a wife beater, a swingers club visiting weirdo, followed by Alan Keys, John Edwards, Hillary Clinton and everyone's friend the serial plane crasher John McCain.

And he only beat Hillary because Oorah's endorsement netted him a million votes in the Democratic primary, according to a brilliant analysis by 2 economists at the university of Maryland, and because he was lucky enough to have opposed the war in Iraq (which she supported)


He certainly didn't beat Hillary in the debates. The pundits declared her the winner of virtually every single one.

Once he beat Hillary it was pretty much inevitable that he would win the presidency (after 8 years of the disastrous bush administration, republicans were toast)

Given that he was unusually lucky, my guess is he's probably kind of overrated and perhaps not as brilliant as he thinks he is.

Anonymous said...

The hyper competitiveness, even with his own kids, actually reminds me a lot of George H.W. Bush. It's a personality type I find exhausting to be around, but it's no surprise to find a person like that in the presidency.

DirkY said...

I will still happily vote for Obama over Romney. He is an easy case to psychoanalyze. Like moste all successful financiers, he's a sociopath.

Anonymous said...

How can you NOT be manic when you have people like this on your side?
http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2012/09/nj_woman_to_break_new_ground_a.html

Anonymous said...

"He has played golf 104 times since becoming president": hell, that's less than once a fortnight. He should play golf more often. It would be good for him. Far too many Top People are permanently tired and consequently make bad decisions.

Everyone knows the President must spend every waking hour being Presidential with Batman-like intensity, otherwise he just doesn't care about the job!

Evil Sandmich said...

It kind of puzzles me how someone who thinks of himself so much can carry such strong political opinions. Sure that's his worldview, but Obama's world seems to end at his epidermis.

Anonymous said...

Competitiveness and self-confidence are associated with testosterone, which for high status men with opportunities is often associated with infidelity (think Tiger or Kobe). No credible rumors of such for Obama, but maybe the press isn't motivated to muckrack on him. It caught up with Clinton in his second term, and maybe the same thing will happen to Obama.

Anonymous said...

I went to high school with Jodi Kantor, she turned out to be pretty damn impressive.

Anonymous said...

Geez, is Tina Brown editing the NY Times now too...

Ramble said...

I absolutely love when Truth gets defensive.

Anonymous said...

“it is very rare that I come to an event where I’m like the fifth or sixth most interesting person.”

Thats nice for you Mr President, usually you are the tenth or twelth.

Sarawak said...

"In my estimation, it's a toss-up whether he loves himself more than he hates white people, or vice versa"

I get the impression that he doesn't actually hate white people any more than he actually loves black people. He uses both to get himself what he wants. He makes hollow appeals to both when he wants votes, and then does what the elites of his party expect a black man to do- side with black rights groups and spit on middle class whites whenever the opportunity arises. He fills a role to get himself ahead, everyone else including his preacher, his mother, his grandmother be damned- he'd chuck'em under a bus to get ahead.

Pretty typical stuff for a liberal if you ask me, kind of like a white college professor who preaches the anti-white nonsense to get himself ahead at the expense of his children and his ancestors.

More and more I think a liberal is simply someone who has no integrity and does whatever is best for his or herself, everyone else be damned. This is really the essence of modern liberalism, why they preach moral relativism, and why anything goes except questioning them.

Matthew said...

Way off topic (or maybe not), but heh.

Matthew said...

"it is very rare that I come to an event where I’m like the fifth or sixth most interesting person."

He said this to...basketball players. Of all the people he does meet, could meet as president, he says this to...basketball players.

Anonymous said...

“I think that I’m a better speechwriter than my speechwriters,” Mr. Obama told Patrick Gaspard, his political director, at the start of the 2008 campaign, according to The New Yorker. “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.”

This calls for a little perspective. There are actually lots of brilliant people in politics. Let's take the state of NY which I happen to call home. According to the Wikipedia, our senior senator Charles Schumer scored 1600 on the old SAT. Our former governor Eliot Spitzer scored 1590 on the old SAT and got a perfect score on the LSAT. I think this is IQ 160 or above. Unfortunately the Wikipedia does not report mayor Bloomberg's scores, but believe me, he's brilliant. I don't approve of many of his policies as mayor, but the guy's brilliant. Daniel Patrick Moynihan seemed even smarter than any of the guys I mentioned above.

So yes, there lots of geniuses in politics. And some of them start their careers as speech writers, policy directors, legislative assistants. Things are a mess because of a lack of altruism and honesty at the top, not because of a lack of brains.

Obama is delusional to think that he's at the same level as the cream of the crop in Washington.

Anonymous said...

@Steve Sailer


"By the way, I wonder if he's having his doctor give him a little synthetic testosterone top-off?"

You are so sad...it's like debating with an autistic broken record.

kudzu bob said...

You are so sad...it's like debating with an autistic broken record.

A run-of the mill writer would have written "like debating an autistic." A merely bad writer would have written "like debating a broken record." But an exceptionally bad writer would mash them together into "like debating an autistic broken record." You're really Thomas Friedman, aren't you?

Pitchfork said...

Off topic, but since Steve takes an interest in the "Human Germ Theory":
http://tinyurl.com/8bu26r5

eah said...

Obama Sent Personal Letter of Condolence to Rapper’s Family… Sent Form Letter to Families of Fallen SEALs

Dear Mr Sailer,

Please suggest to Ms Kantor that she next analyze the above. You know, tell us what we ought to think about Obama, in all his complexity. (She'll probably pay more attention if the suggestion comes from you.) Thanks in advance.

Anonymous said...

"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."

Anyone with half a brain should be able to recognize that a person saying things like this must be very stupid. It's either not true and he is stupid for not recognizing obvious truth, or, if it is true, he is stupid for hiring obviously wrong people.

Anonymous said...

A run-of the mill writer would have written "like debating an autistic." A merely bad writer would have written "like debating a broken record." But an exceptionally bad writer would mash them together into "like debating an autistic broken record." You're really Thomas Friedman, aren't you?

None of those phrases are as humorous.

Baloo said...

I'm reminded of Doc Savage and his followers. I remember that so-and-so was the greatest geologist in the world EXCEPT FOR Doc Savage, another the greatest chemist and so on. Doc Savage was the Golden Man, Obama is the Puce Man.

Whiskey said...

Obama has a fragile ego, to need both the boasting and Valerie Jarrett to pump him up all the time.

Bill Clinton knew he was good at politics, the retail level certainly and enough of the wholesale level. He did not need to boast about his golf game, his running, his basketball prowess. Or his chili cooking.

Obama, seems to have a very fragile ego, when his bubble pops as it will, look out America.

pat said...

Whisky has been so 'on point' lately I'm sorry to catch him in a false notion. But he's very wrong about Clinton.

Bill Clinton was caught in an elaborate ploy to promote the idea that he is a genius. He had a compatriot at the New York Times (hardly surprising). This mole sent Clinton the answers to the crossword puzzle in the next day's paper.

Then Clinton set up a staged scene for visiting members of the press in the Oval Office. The press would wander in and there would be 'Boy Clinton' lounging on a sofa filling in all the answers to the crossword - in ink!!!

Two reporters reported on this. Then they caught on but did not make much of it. Boy Clinton was always forgiven.

Albertosaurus

Difference Maker said...

He has a fake and childish nature to his testosterone bouts. Given his fey mannerisms I am not surprised.

Matthew said...

Is the death of one Magic Negro, Michael Clarke Duncan ("The Green Mile"), on the eve of the Democratic Convention an omen for the political fate of another Magic Negro, Barack Obama?

(Not to bash Duncan, whom I loved as an actor.)

David Davenport said...

"By the way, I wonder if he's having his doctor give him a little synthetic testosterone top-off?"

Steve, why don't you go ahead and try some T. supplementation yourself?

Anonymous said...

And Jewish comedians won't touch this stuff for jokes. Imagine if a Republican president acted like Obama.

Anonymous said...

"Two years later at the same event, he read “Where the Wild Things Are” with even more animation, roooooaring his terrible roar and gnaaaaashing his terrible teeth. By the time he got to the wild rumpus, he was howling so loudly that Bo, the first dog, joined in."

To win over white folks--and not scare them too much--, Obama has had to repress his true black nature, but it needs release somehow. He needs to act like Ali and say, "I'm the Greatest. I'm the Greatest." So, he releases it through stuff like this.
The WILD THING be coming out when he be reading WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE.

I wonder if he read CURIOUS GEORGE books for any kids.

Anonymous said...

Imagine if Obama got wild and began to playact as George. That would have been a riot.

Anonymous said...

Obama is like the kid in RUSHMORE. He wants to be on MT. Rushmore too.

eah said...

OT

Photo ID required to enter the DNC in Charlotte

This kind of thing comments itself.

The Legendary Linda said...

Bill Clinton was caught in an elaborate ploy to promote the idea that he is a genius. He had a compatriot at the New York Times (hardly surprising). This mole sent Clinton the answers to the crossword puzzle in the next day's paper.

You keep asserting that Clinton faked his crossword skills, but never provide a citation for your fascinating claim

Matthew said...

"Bill Clinton knew he was good at politics, the retail level certainly and enough of the wholesale level. He did not need to boast about his golf game, his running, his basketball prowess. Or his chili cooking."

He boasted about his saxophone playing and his prolific reading. He also boasted of his idetic memory - which we were conveniently supposed to forget about during the Lewinsky scandal, when he repeatedly claimed to have forgotten. Aside of course from his real or alleged political accomplishments (of wich all pols must necessarily exaggerate) I don't recall him boasting about much else, though. He knew when to stop, and what was worth boasting about.

Having no political or private accomplishments to boast of, Obama never knows when to stop. If he's really doing all he claims to be doing during his copious free time, then he ain't spending much time doing the work of president.

In terms of genuine lack of intellectual curiosity among presidents, Barack Obama may be tough to beat.

Prof. Woland said...

As a salesman I use different speaking styles depending on my audience. What works with one person or group of people does not always work with another. An obvious example of someone who does this well was Bill Clinton. He has 3 or 4 distinct methods ranging from the country bumpkin to the polished lawyer. He's so good it, it is natural and seamless. An example of someone who does not do this well is our President. He is an insufferable moralizer who preaches, lectures, and talk down to his audience. The more out of depth he is on the topic, the worse it becomes so the conversation never strays far from the only topic he is really familiar with, racism. Preaching grates on people so after four years of peak negro, the whole country has pretty much had it. If he has another style it is that of a Moke. He occasionally lapses into it but does not get him far on the mainland. My guess is that he also has a ghetto style that he does not use around mixed company for the obvious reasons.

Harry Baldwin said...

Prof. Woland said...My guess is that he also has a ghetto style that he does not use around mixed company for the obvious reasons.

You never heard his "ghetto" style? He uses it when addressing black audiences. It combines everything he picked up from Rev. Wright and Spike Lee. Says "y'all," drops the g's off the ends of words, and uses terms like "hoodwink" and "bamboozle" that he picked up from the "Malcolm X" movie.

Mr. Anon said...

"....he has also had a habit of warning new hires that he would be able to do their jobs better than they could."

It's nice that he personally interviews the whitehouse busboys and janitors.

Mr. Anon said...

"His idea of birthday relaxation is competing in an Olympic-style athletic tournament with friends, keeping close score. The 2009 version ended with a bowling event. Guess who won,...."

Let me guess. The Boss won. Was I right?

Drunk Idiot said...

In response to this,

"You are so sad...it's like debating with an autistic broken record."

Kudzu Bob wrote:

"A run-of the mill writer would have written "like debating an autistic." A merely bad writer would have written "like debating a broken record." But an exceptionally bad writer would mash them together into "like debating an autistic broken record." You're really Thomas Friedman, aren't you?"

A+

Drunk Idiot said...

Whiskey wrote:

"Obama has a fragile ego, to need both the boasting and Valerie Jarrett to pump him up all the time.

Bill Clinton knew he was good at politics, the retail level certainly and enough of the wholesale level. He did not need to boast about his golf game, his running, his basketball prowess. Or his chili cooking.

Obama, seems to have a very fragile ego, when his bubble pops as it will, look out America.
"

Whiskey, yours truly began subscribing to Sports Illustrated as a 10 year old in 1985. I cancelled my subscription in 1994 when Bill Clinton was given his own Sports Illustrated cover and attendant laudatory article about the Prez's purported hoops prowess.

In the Sports Illustrated article, Clinton actually suggested that if he'd been a few inches taller, he probably would have had an NBA career.

No explanation was offered as to why a guy who just missed out on making it to the NBA had neglected to participate in the sport in high school or college.

We were, however, informed that Clinton had played in a church league during his high school years.

Also, don't forget that Clinton was notorious for taking as many Mulligans as he needed on every hole. Unlike Obama, Clinton's presidential scorecards were occasionally given to the media.

And I clearly remember one time when a reporter asked President Clinton how he'd played. Absolutely straight faced, Clinton told the reporter that he was disappointed in his poor play, as he'd only shot a 74 and was capable of playing much better.

Clinton had the same disease as Obama.

Prof. Woland said...

@Harry Baldwin
Yes, his speeches sound like Rev. Wright, a black preacher. I am sure it is even more pronounced when he is speaking. Obama prattles on in the first person too much, but what is even worse is when he talks in the second. "You did not build that", being the latest example. A good politician / salesman will try to always speak in the third person when he can. The problem with Obama when he says "we", he really means "blacks".

Drunk Idiot said...

BTW, here's the Bill Clinton Sports Illustrated cover from 1994.

I was involved in a contentions conversation while writing the last comment and forgot to link it.

The article inside was full of so much Clinton's self-congratulatory B.S. that it was the last issue of Sports Illustrated cover that yours truly ever took out of the mailbox.

Also, only a month into his first year in office, Bill Clinton named to the the All-Madden team during the 1993 All-Madden television broadcast (Clinton wasn't included on the actual, printed All-Madden team).

When explaining why Clinton was included on the team, John Madden said (paraphrasing): "When the president calls you and asks you to put him on the All-Madden team, you put him on the All-Madden team."

Svigor said...

The hyper competitiveness, even with his own kids, actually reminds me a lot of George H.W. Bush. It's a personality type I find exhausting to be around, but it's no surprise to find a person like that in the presidency.

It's weird because I'm pretty competitive, but...hyper competitive even with your own kids? Buying a suped-up RC car to pwn your employees? Alien planet time. It all sounds like a remarkable lack of introspection, not competitiveness.

I absolutely love when Truth gets defensive.

Then you must find this blog entertaining on a pretty regular basis.

He said this to...basketball players. Of all the people he does meet, could meet as president, he says this to...basketball players.

They're all blacker than he is. It is a pretty odd thing to say. Maybe he's into irony? But 4 years into a presidency, shouldn't he have been cured of such idiosyncracies by now?

Obama Sent Personal Letter of Condolence to Rapper’s Family… Sent Form Letter to Families of Fallen SEALs

Dear Mr Sailer,

Please suggest to Ms Kantor that she next analyze the above. You know, tell us what we ought to think about Obama, in all his complexity. (She'll probably pay more attention if the suggestion comes from you.) Thanks in advance.

*Facepalm*

His rare opportunity to be the sixth or seventh most interesting guy in the room is around a scrum of black basketballers (contra all that time spent around world leaders, political geniuses, and famous intellectuals), and he sends form letters to dead SEALs but personal ones to mums of dead rappers...I see a pattern forming...

And Jewish comedians won't touch this stuff for jokes. Imagine if a Republican president acted like Obama.

Every Jew in comedy is secretly praying for an R win in November.

When explaining why Clinton was included on the team, John Madden said (paraphrasing): "When the president calls you and asks you to put him on the All-Madden team, you put him on the All-Madden team."

Wow, just...wow.

Svigor said...

Make that "idiosyncrasies." I always flub that one. ;)











Anonymous said...

I went back and actually read that 1994 Sports Illustrated article about Clinton. It was completely misrepresented by the commenter. The whole thing is just about what a college basketball fanatic Clinton was, with a few comments about how he loved to play but in his own words was "a little too chunky and slow to be very commendable on the basketball court." That doesn't sound like a guy with a lot of illusions about his latent ability.

Anonymous said...

A good politician / salesman will try to always speak in the third person when he can.

This couldn't be less true.

Prof. Woland said...

I stand corrected. Not third person, but first person plural, (we, us, our).

David said...

>that 1994 Sports Illustrated article about Clinton. It was completely misrepresented by the commenter.<

I've discovered that Pat's comments are always, let us say, worthy of fact-checking.

Mr. Anon said...

"Ramble said...

I absolutely love when Truth gets defensive."

He is no fan of any President, of either party, so he says. Then again, he says a lot of things. Funny, he only ever pipes up in defence of his race-man, Obama. I don't recall him ever sticking up for G.W. Bush or John McCain, upon whom most people here have heaped plenty of abuse (and still do, for that matter).

We do now know, however, what "Truth" considers to be a difficult math problem.

Arithmetic is hard.

Drunk Idiot said...

Anonymous (9/4/12 9:50 AM) wrote:

"I went back and actually read that 1994 Sports Illustrated article about Clinton. It was completely misrepresented by the commenter. The whole thing is just about what a college basketball fanatic Clinton was, with a few comments about how he loved to play but in his own words was "a little too chunky and slow to be very commendable on the basketball court." That doesn't sound like a guy with a lot of illusions about his latent ability."

Entirely possible. I didn't go back and re-read the article before I linked it, so it's been 18 years since I last read it. If it doesn't say that stuff in there, then I'm probably conflating it with some other Clinton hoops profile from the same period in time.

When that issue of Sports Illustrated came out (right before the 1994 NCAA Tournament, when Clinton's Arkansas Razorbacks -- they would eventually be crowned the 1994 NCAA Tournament Champion -- were the "it" team), there was a well-executed media/White House PR blitz to hype up how much President Clinton was into Arkansas basketball.

The politics were obvious. Arkansas was the hottest team in the country, their head coach and players were all black, and they got as much luv from the community as Jalen Rose, Chris Webber and Michigan's Fab Five did in 1992 & '93. So anything that could be done to help tie Clinton to his home state's second most famous sons (at least at the time) was a political win.

But it wasn't just Clinton's fandom that got attention. There was a concerted effort to portray the then-pudgy Clinton as an athlete. Hence, there were a lot articles and TV segments focused on Clinton's purported hoops fixation -- and at least a few of them portrayed him as a very good basketball player.

Clinton did indeed utter the line about how, if he'd been maybe a few inches taller, he might have had a professional basketball career -- whether it was in the Sports Illustrated article, or somewhere else. It was probably delivered in a tongue-in-cheek manner, but that didn't come though in print (and again, at least a few of the articles attempted to portray him as a serious basketball player who played regularly).

So you may be right about the SI article from '94, and I'm likely conflating different articles/TV segments from the time in question. But Clinton did attempt to portray himself as a serious recreational basketball player (even though he wasn't), and he did say that he might have have been a pro if he'd been a few inches taller.

BTW, he was famous for his golf mulligans, and he did publicly express faux disappointment over having shot in the 70s on at least one outing.

But even with all his Mulligans, Bill Clinton had nothing on Kim Jong-Il.



Anonymous said...

Great reminder that the average IQ gap between Steve and his commenters is about 50 points.