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Is Obama Blinded by his Magnifcent Self-Impression?

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Recently, Jon Stewart interviewed Ron Suskind as part of the promotion of Suskind’s new book, Confidence Men. The interview can be seen here: Part I and Part II.

Suskind, who exposed the Bush administration delusion with the quote about “making our own reality,” calls Obama (whom he also claims to like and respect) the “amateur President,” and assesses him as having an “incredible intelligence” that “may not be what the country needs.” Intelligence without common sense and an acute awareness of reality is completely useless, except maybe for creative thought exercises.

What goes unstated explicitly when Suskind discusses Obama’s new-found old-style Democrat speaking persona with Stewart is that Obama may well be as clueless as some (including me) have described him. Suskind quotes Obama (I’m paraphrasing) as saying that he has learned what the people want him to be, yet Suskind doesn’t quote him as understanding that he’s now completely hogtied politically with a Republican House. It’s clear to me from hearing Suskind’s comments that Obama still thinks he can convince Republicans to vote as he requests in spite of so much evidence to the contrary, evidence which all but the staunchest Obama defender now admits.

In addition, Suskind relates the inability of Obama to wield the power he should know he has.  Suskind tells of Obama’s anger when he discovers that Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner disobeyed a directive to formulate a plan to break up Citibank. Instead of immediately demanding Geithner’s resignation, or firing him outright, Obama did nothing. When an executive refuses to act in a manner he’s clearly entitled to do when his orders aren’t followed, he exposes himself to being seen as powerless and weak.

Hey, Barry! The Pentagon can cause a lot more problems than Wall Street can, but that didn’t stop Truman from firing MacArthur!

Suskind unwittingly supports this concept of Obama the executive wimp being unaware of his political distress. Suskind relates an anecdote from an interview he had with an unidentified major Wall Street executive. Suskind asks this exec why, when Obama has done so much for you, do you continue to accuse him of being anti-business? When he opened the Treasury to you and saved you from collapse? The reply was essentially “We love what he’s done for us, but when we accuse him of being anti-business, he does even more for us.”

Such self-delusion and lack of awareness could explain the disdain in Larry Summers’ disparagement of his tenure in the Obama administration as like being in the movie Home Alone with no adult in charge. A capable adult has to be aware of everything that goes on lest something cause trouble, yet Obama races toward trouble every time he surrenders all of his strength before commencing negotiations with the Republicans. Now he thinks he can propose initiatives he should have used to lead off his administration and the people will rally ’round. He still doesn’t get it.

So I have to agree to a large extent with Suskind’s assessment of Obama’s “intellect:” he’s clearly too smart for his own good, and convinces himself with a reality of his own creation, just like his predecessor’s staff did. It would also explain why he was the only one in his administration who actually liked Larry Summers.

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About pessimist

  • How do you not get bored writing the same article over and over?

  • Baronius

    Interesting alleged Summers quote.

  • John Lake

    Suskind doesn’t appear overly critical. He calls the president brilliant (three times), Obama “rises to crises”, and has great foreign policy. He only says Obama “wrestles with his advisors”. We often see the President at conference tables with leading economists. It would be a shame to be rid of Geithner, a brilliant man himself.
    The president is far from cowed by his advisors. When Rahm Emanuel suggested the president take advantage of crises, he was speaking clear Republican. Resolving the crisis is the issue, not the opportunity for politicization.

  • Arch Conservative

    “How do you not get bored writing the same article over and over?”

    Why don’t you ask King Barry Sotero if he ever gets bored of giving the same ridiculous speech over and over?

  • latitude38

    barry has not only surrounded himself with corporate mouthpieces that have used him as a mouthpiece for programs that have only amounted to larger bonuses for wall street banksters,he has also alienated his power base with the broken campaign promises which has resulted into a vast wasteland of unemployed and welfare recipients. while he brags about gm otherwise known as government motors, detroit continues to bulldoze homes down and as become a 3rd world banana republic city. his mtg. modification program has ……well been foreclosed on just like the homes it was suppose to help. the job promises resulted in a theft of the gvt. treasury with loans to solyndra, i would say more but jest like the executives of solyndra i’m taking the fifth. queen janet’s brown shirt gestapo thugs were only to be found as perv’s masquerading as low-entry security guards at a cost that know average person could comprehend , however it did result in less liberties for american’s… that is unless the tsa took personal liberties with groping and feeling them up. swell barry, that’s how you get the people to “love you” meantime south of the border remains so open that drugs and guns flow freely only the banks that laundered the money have profited with your border protection plan. the botched ” gunwalker” program and all it’s related names has resulted in deaths and crimes on both sides of the border. what moron thought of giving assault style rifles to criminals under the disguise of tracking them ……oh barry,how were we going to do this with-out a gps chip installed in the gun. barry the only change you gave us went to the higher grocery prices we pay now. barry, your tactics only rival richard “i am not a crook” nixon to the point where ol’ tricky dick would even envy