Our Bored President

by Jim Geraghty

From the Los Angeles Times this morning:

If U.S. spying on key foreign leaders was news to the White House, current and former officials said, then White House officials have not been reading their briefing books.

Some U.S. intelligence officials said they were being blamed by the White House for conducting surveillance that was authorized under the law and utilized at the White House.

“People are furious,” said a senior intelligence official who would not be identified discussing classified information. “This is officially the White House cutting off the intelligence community.”

From a New York Times article on the formulation of Syria policy, last week:

Besides the Syrian government’s gains, there was mounting evidence that Mr. Assad’s troops had repeatedly used chemical weapons against civilians.

Even as the debate about arming the rebels took on a new urgency, Mr. Obama rarely voiced strong opinions during senior staff meetings. But current and former officials said his body language was telling: he often appeared impatient or disengaged while listening to the debate, sometimes scrolling through messages on his BlackBerry or slouching and chewing gum.

From Ace of Ace of Spades, last night, discussing Obama’s disconnection from the problems in his health care plan:

I saw a quote by Valerie Jarrett, recently. The quote itself is old, from 2010.

“I think Barack knew that he had God-given talents that were extraordinary. He knows exactly how smart he is. . . . He knows how perceptive he is. He knows what a good reader of people he is. And he knows that he has the ability — the extraordinary, uncanny ability — to take a thousand different perspectives, digest them and make sense out of them, and I think that he has never really been challenged intellectually. . . . So what I sensed in him was not just a restless spirit but somebody with such extraordinary talents that had to be really taxed in order for him to be happy. . . . He’s been bored to death his whole life. He’s just too talented to do what ordinary people do.”

Ordinary people read detailed reports and take an interest in their own jobs. Obama, at least according to Jarrett’s puffery, has always felt that to be beneath him.

Why would he suddenly change simply because he’s president?

Answer: He wouldn’t.

I do not believe that smart people remain bored for long. They may be bored in a particular situation, but they will find things that interest them. Active minds seek stimulation.

If it’s true that Obama’s been “bored all his life,” I’d suggest that’s because he’s not terribly smart or curious. And not very hard working at all. Hard work, I think it’s fair to say, “bores” him, because hard work is frustrating.

We all know where Obama is at his most Alive, and it’s not reading reports or writing speeches or analyzing policy. It’s having a speech put in front of him on TelePrompters and reading it for deliriously cultish fans.

That seems to be the only thing capable of holding any of his interest.

We’re in the very best of hands! Only three more years of this!

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