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May 17, 2017


Shot: “What Does Barack Obama Really Think of Donald Trump? ‘He’s Nothing But a Bullsh–ter.’”

People magazine, today.


Every now and then in Renegade [a history of Obama’s 2008 campaign by leftwing journalist Richard Wolffe — Ed], a moment arrives when it seems Obama might reveal something, some tiny thing, about himself. “You know, I actually believe my own bullshit,” Obama told Wolffe with a smile. But what for a nanosecond seemed like candor—would the candidate actually examine his own B.S.?—was just another talking point, as he explained to Wolffe that he truly wanted to bring change to America for better health care, for better schools, and especially for “the kid on the streets.”

There’s much about this quote that’s revealing. First, there’s the serious message Obama is trying to deliver within the joke about bs: “I truly believe that I can make people’s lives better.” But if he really does believe that, then why insert a subtle disclaimer (it’s all “bullshit”) inherent in the casually deprecating tone that seems to negate its seriousness and casts an ironic and juvenile eye on the entire enterprise?

—“Believing his own bullshit,” Neo-Neocon, November 30th, 2013.