Jodi Kantor`s "The Obamas"
February 01, 2012, 03:01 PM
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I've got another column in Taki's Magazine this week, a review of New York Times White House correspondent Jodi Kantor's seemingly perky but actually insidiously subversive book on Barack and Michelle's life together in the White House. 

Kantor has done some good reporting on Obama over the years. For example, she published a story in the NYT in March 2007 on Rev. Wright, eleven months before the rest of the press paid much attention to that fascinating figure. 

However, Kantor's reporting on Obama has had little impact because it's so carefully understated that nice people are oblivious to her almost imperceptible sharp edges. With Kantor on Obama, you have to read very carefully to notice the interesting stuff. I'm pretty good at reading carefully, so my review gives you the good stuff in her book.

Much of The Obamas’ focus is psychological, and rightly so. History is often made by those whose positive moods are timed right. For example, at the last possible moment in South Carolina to head off a Mitt Romney cakewalk to the GOP nomination, Newt Gingrich—whose mother was bipolar—turned into a ball of fire. (As I write, Newt’s promising a moon colony by his second term and is proudly accepting the label “grandiose.”) 
Kantor is struck by the less flagrant but still marked swings in Obama’s mood and energy level. ... Oddly, Obama’s down spells never seem to undermine his ego, which in Kantor’s telling remains bizarrely expansive for such an otherwise rational individual.


Please read the whole thing there.