The Campaign Spot

Obama: I Can Do Every Job Better Than Those I Hire to Do It

It appears one of the great challenges that President Obama has had to overcome in office is that no one around him is as good at their job as he is.

From Jodi Kantor’s The Obamas, page 66:

Obama had always had a high estimation of his ability to cast and run his operation. When David Plouffe, his campaign manager, first interviewed for a job with him in 2006, the senator gave him a warning: “I think I could probably do every job on the campaign better than the people I’ll hire to do it,” he said. “It’s hard to give up control when that’s all I’ve known.” Obama said nearly the same thing to Patrick Gaspard, whom he hired to be the campaign’s political director. “I think I’m a better speechwriter than my speechwriters,” Obama told him. “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.”

This is not some long-ago sentiment, or momentary lapse into egoism. Michelle Obama declared at a Democratic-party fundraiser in California last June:

“He reads every word, every memo, so he is better prepared than the people briefing him,” she said. “This man doesn’t take a day off.”

At the time, I noted it’s a good thing that the Central Intelligence Agency is full of classy, dignified, professional people; otherwise, tomorrow’s President’s Daily Brief might consist of, “Well, since you’re so well prepared, figure it out yourself, smarty-pants.”

Also note that “the man doesn’t take a day off.” Correct, but we can all breathe easier knowing he found time for golf for eleven straight weekends.

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