Saturday, July 10, 2010

"But, getting back to me . . ."

With somewhat characteristic understatement, Pulitzer Prize winning columnist, Charles Krauthammer, has suggested in his Washington Post column that President Barack Obama may be a bit of a narcissist. At Hot Air, Ed Morrissey concurs.

Krauthammer pointedly made his case this way:

It's fine to recognize the achievements of others and be non-chauvinistic about one's country. But Obama's modesty is curiously selective. When it comes to himself, modesty is in short supply.

It began with the almost comical self-inflation of his presidential campaign, from the still inexplicable mass rally in Berlin in front of a Prussian victory column to the Greek columns framing him at the Democratic convention. And it carried into his presidency, from his posture of philosopher-king adjudicating between America's sins and the world's to his speeches marked by a spectacularly promiscuous use of the word "I."

And he rather sharply adds that all of this self-focus is really
[n]ot surprising, perhaps, in a man whose major achievement before acceding to the presidency was writing two biographies -- both about himself.
Regarding the narcissistic tendencies, Mr. Obama is by no means alone among past, and no doubt future Presidential contenders, or presidents. Moreover, he certainly has not had to rely exclusively on his own press to reinforce what appears at times to be an almost Ptolemaic sense of self esteem on his part! At times, the sickeningly baseless praise coming from some major press figures has actually been quite risible.

What seems to particularly distinguish Obama, according to Krauthammer, is that there also appears to be a very disturbing tendency on the part of this President to make quite disparaging comments about the United States, comments which cumulatively may not sit well at all with the American people. Even Jimmy Carter was out of office before he began his relentless sniping.

Again, Krauthammer nails it:
Obama is not the first president with a large streak of narcissism. But the others had equally expansive feelings about their country. Obama's modesty about America would be more understandable if he treated himself with the same reserve. What is odd is to have a president so convinced of his own magnificence -- yet not of his own country's.
As a major columnist and critic, Krauthammer's comments could have the effect of finally nudging open the door to more blunt public criticism of Obama and his agenda by additional folks in the major media, particularly as the nation begins to focus more and more on the mid-term election cycle, and a series of national policy changes that have come up so short.

And that, I suspect, is when the jokes may really begin . . . here's one based on the self-esteem theme:

Q: How does Barack Obama claim to change a light bulb?

A: Simple. He just holds the bulb while the world revolves around him.

(H.T. -- the generic joke was found here. There were several others, but this one, as adapted, seemed to fit best.)

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