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It’s not uncommon for presidents to use first person pronouns in speeches. President Bush did it often enough. But Obama’s stampede of “I’s” and “me’s” is unprecedented in its quantity. The President clearly has a high opinion of himself.
That’s a problem. Americans don’t tend to like leaders whose narcissism is out of control. That’s because those leaders tend toward the authoritarian and the imperial. They like executive orders and top-down control. They don’t understand the nature of open political debate, and consider disagreement a personal attack to be avenged.
According to writer Ronald Kessler, insiders at the White House say that Obama “attributes criticism of his policies to a failure to communicate or to the fact that he is an African-American.” And Obama’s campaign website revels in Obama-as-holy-figure mythology and in the sycophants who support it. This week, for example, the website featured a piece by “Jeff,” a friendly Obama supporter who won a meeting with the President aboard the campaign bus. Jeff just happened to be a beneficiary of Obama’s stimulus plan. Here’s what Jeff had to say: “It was unbelievable. I never thought that I would win. What got me to enter was that I’m trying to donate a little each month, and I had done it the month before. I didn’t even know it was a contest—I just had no idea. But to win that and meet the President of the United States, well—as I told him, it was the second best thing that ever happened to me, after getting married.”
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