Obama’s Ego Continues to Reign Supreme
His political career may have come back down to earth, but his view of himself sure hasn't.
January 27, 2010 - 12:00 am
In a recent Politico blog entry, retiring Rep. Marion Berry (D-AK) is quoted as claiming that, unlike the major upset in 1994 under Bill Clinton’s watch, Obama believes that his personal popularity would win the day.
Berry recounted meetings with White House officials, reminiscent of some during the Clinton days, where he and others urged them not to force Blue Dogs “off into that swamp” of supporting bills that would be unpopular with voters back home.
“I’ve been doing that with this White House, and they just don’t seem to give it any credibility at all,” Berry said. “They just kept telling us how good it was going to be. The president himself, when that was brought up in one group, said, ‘Well, the big difference here and in ‘94 was you’ve got me.’ We’re going to see how much difference that makes now.”
This comment should not surprise anyone who has followed the Obama, er, phenomenon. Do you remember hearing about that speech on George W. Bush’s war policy as a first-term senator from Illinois? Harry Reid liked it so much that he (according to Reid himself) told Obama, “That speech was phenomenal, Barack.” Obama’s reply? “I have a gift, Harry.”
Not “thanks, your praise really means a lot to me,” or some other such modest reply that most people would utter. It was “I have a gift.” He has a gift, all right: the gift of not recognizing when he’s headed in the absolute wrong direction, both politically and for the nation.
He also said he didn’t “deserve to be in the company of so many of the transformative figures who have been honored by this prize” when he heard the news he’d won the Nobel Peace Prize — but accepted it anyway.
Further illustrating his own love affair with himself, consider how Obama managed to turn the Scott Brown Massachusetts victory into yet another precious “it’s all about me” moment. Before the election, Obama, in a statement reminiscent of his “bitter clingers” remark in San Francisco during the 2008 election, derided Brown’s use of his (government-owned GMC) truck during his campaign. “Forget the truck. Everybody can buy a truck!” (Have you seen those unemployment numbers, Barry?) But when Brown pulled out a win, surprising few but the elites, Obama said this:
“Here’s my assessment of not just the vote in Massachusetts, but the mood around the country: the same thing that swept Scott Brown into office swept me into office,” the president said in an exclusive interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos. “People are angry and they are frustrated. Not just because of what’s happened in the last year or two years, but what’s happened over the last eight years.”
Yes, Barry, Republican Scott Brown swept to victory on a tide of anger directed at George W. Bush, despite the fact that Bush has been out of office for a year and the Democrats have controlled Congress since 2007.
If you believe that, I have a GMC truck you might be interested in purchasing.
We’re even starting to see a number of “buyer’s remorse” articles popping up, including this one by Jill Dorson, published on Real Clear Politics:
You see, I felt my choice was to risk McCain dropping dead and letting the world’s most well-known hockey mom run this country, or to believe that Obama would surround himself with educated people and that he was smart enough to take their advice.
I was right. He is smart enough to seek counsel. I’m just outraged at the counsel he’s seeking these days. Key financial leaders who are tax cheats come immediately to mind, but as the recent terror attack made clear to me, the idea that a president of the most powerful nation in the world could think it was OK to have a Homeland Security chief with such a loose grasp of what terrorism is and how it works is troubling.
I was right there laughing when George W. Bush struggled with the names of countries around the world early in his tenure. And while my knowledge of foreign policy is limited, I thought Bush’s was lousy, too. But after Sept. 11, I saw a man with no charisma step up and fight for this country, its citizens, and its freedom. Bush became a leader.
Seven years later, I am ashamed to say that I was blinded by charisma. Obama was so convincing that I stopped caring about what he knew and started getting caught up in the euphoria. Imagine having a president who came from a broken home, who had money troubles, who did grassroots community service? A young father. The first black president. It pains me to admit I got caught up in the hoopla.
Imagine! She didn’t vote for McCain because he had a gauche “hockey mom” who “crawled out of her igloo” as a running mate, so instead she voted for the man who had no solid record upon which to stand — but he came from a broken home. So did Lincoln — but he didn’t even get to go to a fancy prep school. But Jill’s not sorry on the nation’s account — she’s sorry for herself because she voted for “hope and change” but didn’t do her homework and belatedly realizes that “hope and change” is code for “big government.” (I heard that on the Rush Limbaugh show when Mark Steyn was subbing.)
Perhaps Barry could invite Jill to the White House for another groundbreaking “beer summit.” Or, considering that she’s a member of the more delicate sex, a “white wine summit” or “Perrier summit.”
But Obama would rather not reflect upon growing attitudes like Jill Dorson’s or the fact that opposition to the current version of “health care reform” is up to 58 percent. Interestingly, only 53 percent of voters cast their vote for Obama in 2008.
Because, you see, Obama still plans to “fight for you.” Supporters at a town hall meeting in Elyria, Ohio, were treated to the claim that ObamaCare “isn’t about me,” but:
But I want you — I want you to understand, this is not about me. (Applause.) This is not about me. This is about you. This is not about me; this is about you. I didn’t take this up to boost my poll numbers. You know the way to boost your poll numbers is not do anything. (Laughter.) That’s how you do it. You don’t offend anybody. I’d have real high poll numbers. All of Washington would be saying, “What a genius!” (Laughter.)
I didn’t take this on to score political points. I know there are some folks who think if Obama loses, we win. But you know what? I think that I win when you win. (Applause.) That’s how I think about it.
So if I was trying to take the path of least resistance, I would have done something a lot easier. But I’m trying to solve the problems that folks here in Ohio and across this country face every day. And I’m not going to walk away just because it’s hard. We are going to keep on working to get this done — with Democrats, I hope with Republicans — anybody who’s willing to step up. Because I’m not going to watch more people get crushed by costs or denied care they need by insurance company bureaucrats. I’m not going to have insurance companies click their heels and watch their stocks skyrocket because once again there’s no control on what they do.
So long as I have some breath in me, so long as I have the privilege of serving as your president, I will not stop fighting for you. I will take my lumps, but I won’t stop fighting to bring back jobs here. (Applause.) I won’t stop fighting for an economy where hard work is rewarded. I won’t stop fighting to make sure there’s accountability in our financial system. (Applause.) I’m not going to stop fighting until we have jobs for everybody.
Did I pull a Rip Van Winkle? Is it 2011 already? I could swear that sounded more like a campaign speech than a presidential address. And for something that’s not about him, it’s amazing how he manages to slip references to himself in 20 times after saying “it’s not about me.”
But you get the point.
Writing for the American Thinker last fall, Robin of Berkeley wondered if Obama is a narcissist. “Probably,” she said, “but that’s the least of our problems.” Be sure to read her article on this topic if you haven’t already.
Speaking of narcissists, it was said that Narcissus would live to a ripe old age “if he never knows himself.” On that score, it’s possible to guess that Obama’s political career will not live to a ripe old age — for he “knows himself” quite well.
Whether the rest of us are willing to suffer Echo’s fate is up to us.