Friday, December 11, 2009
Obama's Narcissistic Natterings
Did you know that Barack Obama is our first “Pacific president”?
Yes, Obama’s world view is rooted in Asia.. And we have that information on no less authority than Obama himself.
During his trip to Asia Obama once again did quite a bit of talking about himself.
He spoke extensively of Asian roots, his years in Hawaii and living in Indonesia as a boy. “The Pacific rim has helped shape my view of the world,” Obama said.
But, more and more, it seems that it’s Obama himself who has shaped his view of the world and the world that he shaped begins and ends with him.
When I heard about Obama’s latest foray into the inexhaustible relevance of his own being I was reminded of an old joke about the guy whose ego is so out of control that he simply can’t stop talking about himself. The guy yaps and yaps about himself to the point where even he realizes that he has to take a break. So, he turns to his best friend and says: “OK. Enough talk about me. Let’s talk about you for a change. What do you think of me?”
With Obama, everything comes back to him – his priorities, his schedule, his proclivities, his accomplishments, his petty grievances, his life.
For example, Obama was too “busy” to attend the ceremonies in Germany marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall. But that didn’t stop the President from injecting himself into the event and linking yet another historical moment to his own personal experiences. So, Obama sent a video tape in which he talked about himself while totally ignoring not only Truman, Reagan and Gorbachev but also all those who died trying to escape to West Germany. “Few would have foreseen,’’ the president said, “that [Germany’s] American ally would be led by a man of African descent. But human destiny is what human beings make of it.’’
How’s that for historical context?
Even in his speech on Afghanistan at West Point, Obama referred to himself 44 times.
Recently, Newsweek’s Howard Fineman counting the words “I” and “my” in an Obama speech and observed: “There is, at times, a self-referential (even self-reverential) tone in his big speeches.” And Fineman added: “Obama can seem a mite too impressed with his own aura.” And Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist George Will found 26 such “I” and “me” references in a 48 sentence Obama address.. Noting Obama’s faith in his own presence and personality, Will asked if “there is no difficulty, foreign or domestic, that cannot be melted by the sunshine of the Obama persona.”
And then he wryly answered: “In the contest between the world and any president's charm, bet on the world.”
But the mainstream media always seem to be betting on the President’s charm.
And so does the President.
You have to wonder whether Barack Obama is really such a quick study or is he someone who merely skims over his homework, looks in the mirror, feels newly empowered and charges ahead. It gives new meaning to the term “self-propelled.”
Yes, I know that Obama attempts to strike a modest tone every so often.
But even then, the act sometimes falls flat. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid tells the story of his attempt to compliment Obama on a speech that the then Senator gave in 2006. Obama replied: “I have a gift, Harry.”
Of course Reid insists that Obama spoke “without a hint of conceit.” But Obama’s words were truly revealing. Let’s not forget that this is a man who started writing his memoirs at the age of 43. And, so far he’s already written two full volumes of his own thoughts, dreams, recollections and ideas.
So, President Obama would appear to believe that he truly is (as Oprah has referred to him) The One.
How and why does anyone become so enamored of himself?
It’s hard to say. Personally, I think vanity frequently masks a deep-seated insecurity. It’s a void that must be filled. Why else would anyone be so self-absorbed?
And here’s the scariest part: vainglory recognizes no signs of failure.
So, the narcissist chatters onward, oblivious to the danger ahead.
George Washington said it best: “There is no restraining men’s tongues or pens when charged with a little vanity.”