The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

The New York Times Wonders: Is Obama Lonely?


From the last Morning Jolt of 2011 . . .

Obama, Unhappy in His Work Again, Just Like Herbie* the Aspiring Dentist Elf

Oh, hey, the word in Washington is that Obama is distant again.

Distant as out in the back nine of his 90th round of golf? Well, not just that.

Apparently he misses some folks.

“I just called Reggie,” Mr. Obama said. It was his first domestic trip without Reggie Love, the former Duke University basketball player who had been his constant companion and presidential “body man” until he left in November to study for his M.B.A. full time. “I miss him,” the president confessed.

The New York Times continues:

Mr. Obama, in general, does not go out of his way to play the glad-handing, ego-stroking presidential role. While he does sometimes offer a ride on Air Force One to a senator or member of Congress, more often than not, he keeps Congress and official Washington at arm’s length, spending his down time with a small — and shrinking — inner circle of aides and old friends…

The president hosts plenty of large gatherings — like a recent holiday reception at the White House, attended by 400 lawmakers and their spouses — but they lack the intimacy of smaller events, where there is real give and take, Mr. Cardoza and others lawmakers said.

Similarly, some of the president’s aides acknowledge complaints from Democratic fund-raisers that they have not been shown much love from the president, beyond standard grip-and-grin photographs at fund-raising dinners.

A line in the article contrasts Obama’s interactions with Congress compared to members of the public, and Ann Althouse observes, “That’s not a contradiction. You could like people just fine and want nothing to do with the particular people who happen to be in Congress. Don’t you identify with that?”

Carol Brown, writing at the American Thinker, notices a statement in the story that Obama “needs to show that he likes people,” and declares that’s the rub:

Obama doesn’t like people. He likes himself.

He appears to have a long-standing pattern of disconnection from others. Where are the voices of those who grew up with him, went to school with him, worked with him? It is eerily quiet.

. . . Obama knows how to work a crowd. Apparently, he is downright ebullient when doing so. But that is not the same thing as liking other human beings and connecting with them. Working the crowd is about his ego. And a photo op.

Obama holds himself apart.

Something about him is off kilter.

And lots of people know it.

Republicans and Democrats, alike.

Oh, Obama likes people . . . at a distance, it seems.

* UPDATE: I am informed it is “Hermie” the Elf, not “Herbie.”

Tags: Barack Obama


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