"American Narcissus: The Vanity of Barack Obama"
November 18, 2010, 11:03 PM
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Jonathan V.  Last had a good article a few weeks ago in The Weekly Standard demonstrating the size of the President's ego.

For example, he highlights this quote from a 2008 Ryan Lizza profile of Obama:

Obama said that he liked being surrounded by people who expressed strong opinions, but he also said, “I think that I’m a better speechwriter than my speechwriters. I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And I’ll tell you right now that I’m gonna think I’m a better political director than my political director.” 

If true, Obama should have hired better speechwriters, policy directors, and political directors ASAP.

Two points:

Does Obama have a sense of humor about his egomania? For example, 

Just a few weeks ago, Obama was giving a speech when the actual presidential seal fell from the rostrum. “That’s all right,” he quipped. “All of you know who I am.” 
 

Now, that's not a bad ad-lib. I'm sometimes surprised by Obama's wit because Dreams from My Father is so self-serious. Still, I'm left wondering about whether Obama makes many second order jokes about his ego? (I don't watch TV news so I can't say.) Or does he take himself that seriously? You can't expect a President to be humble, but you can hope he'll be self-aware about his ego. Some of Obama's more egregious lines in Last's compendium could be taken as Obama mocking his own ego, but I haven't noticed that he does that. But I could be wrong.

The second point is that Obama's Smartest-Guy-in-the-Room syndrome is directly related to his being constantly seen by his admirers (including his Admirer-in-Chief, the President) as the Living Refutation of The Bell Curve. It's not a coincidence that just about the only exercise in national journalism Obama indulged in during the 1990s was to deliver on NPR in 1994 a commentary on The Bell Curve

Much of David Remnick's hagiography The Bridge, for instance, consists of smart Jewish people raving about how smart Obama is. He was the one they'd been waiting for to hold up as an example of a smart black guy, which, in turn, in the "He who says A must say B, C, and D" reasoning that dominates American intellectual life today, could be read to also imply the really important lesson of all this: that Jews aren't naturally smarter on average (so put away those pitchforks). 

I know this web of subliminal logic seems ridiculous when exposed to the light of day, but that's how a lot of important people feel.

The problem with all this investment in Obama's smartness as more than just a personal characteristic is that for any of minions to say to him, "No, Mr. President, you don't understand" or "Let me try to explain that more simply" is not just a personal and political insult, but is also a racial insult.