Obama Isn’t an Introvert, He’s a Narcissist


One of the most common misreadings of Obama is that he’s an intellectual who doesn’t like campaigning, but loves being immersed in deep thought. He hates the business of politics because he’s an introvert.

The latest sample of such delusional thinking comes from Rosa Brooks.

Obama’s an introvert: Unlike your husband Bill, who draws energy from crowds and loves a good political brawl like other men love football, Obama’s clearly happiest within the small circle of people he knows and trusts. The tide of idealism that swept him into the White House sustained him through those hard months of campaigning, but wasn’t enough to carry him through the tedium of governing. He likes to read and write and think, but he doesn’t much want to shake hands, curry favor with grandstanding congressmen, or sit through ceremonial meetings with foreign dignitaries.

Look at his tight body language; listen to the undertone of irritation in his voice. Barack Obama is a man who almost always looks and sounds like he’d prefer to be somewhere else. He’s a politician who hates politics.

Obama loves campaigning. It’s not a tide of idealism that draws him to crowds and photo ops. If Rosa was paying any attention she would have noticed that.

Obama runs a permanent campaign. He is not interested in sitting in a room and reading books. Like a lot of Ivy Leaguers he’s good at faking intellectualism, at having read all the right books at the right time, or at least gotten summaries of them, so he can claim to be a thinker.

But Rosa is right. Obama doesn’t like people. He likes being admired by people. He loves the attention, but he’s paranoid about the terms on which he gets it.

That undertone of irritation comes into his voice when he’s challenged or question or even asked for something. Then he becomes surly.

Obama doesn’t hate politics. He likes power. He hates compromise. That’s not idealism though, it’s ego. He wants everything his way. And he can’t stand even the slightest challenge.

Think of the brat with too much self-esteem who begins to pout if the teacher corrects a mistake and throws a fit when mommy won’t buy him the thing he wants right now. That’s Obama in a nutshell.

It’s not being an introvert. Narcissists don’t like people because they like themselves too much. Introverts like people, but are uncomfortable around them.

If Obama had been an introvert, he would have never been elected. Like most modern politicians, he’s an extrovert. And like many of them, he has an obsessive need to be admired and adored, and very little empathy and tolerance for others. He’s good at playing a role, but the more his ego is fed, the less patience he has for the playacting.

People like Rosa Brooks have spoiled him rotten. And the more he’s spoiled, the less he feels the need to put up with anything.

  • france john

    Oh, please. I am a survivor of six years in LA (2006-2012) and there is an Obama on every street corner there. I promise you, those people are NOT introverts. IF ONLY! I am not talking about race. I am talking about Angelenos. Those people are the most in-your-face people on earth. There are attention-seekers you have never seen before everywhere, and, at every moment of the day, they expect you to drop what you’re doing and give them whatever-it-is they want NOW. If you say NO to them, that does not compute. They will go quiet if you say NO, and they will then walk away in a huff. A few years back, pundits were discussing Obama’s psychological make-up as if he were something unique. At the same time, I was surrounded by people like Obama. The guy is nothing but a spoilt brat. Also, the presidency has taught Obama that he is not as intelligent as people have led him to believe. If you keep your mouth shut, you can seem mysterious and profound. If you talk, you spill the beans. If Obama were not President of the United States, he’d be a member of the Faculty and Staff at Los Angeles City College, where he would fit right in.
    “Narcissists don’t like people because they like themselves too much. Introverts like people, but are uncomfortable around them.”
    Thank you for saying this about introverts, Daniel. I hope don’t mind at all if I need to drop what I’m doing for someone with a real need. But these days the people with real needs are all but buried under the avalanche of attention-seekers with greeds.

  • liz

    I think you’ve got him pegged. This explains how he can continue to push his agenda without ever stopping to notice the major damage it’s causing to others.
    He’s much more concerned about imposing his will and getting his way than he is about the consequences of it.

    • http://www.stubbornthings.org NAHALKIDES

      So all Angelenos are basically Leftists. I can believe it, for all we need do is include that Leftists are basically narcissists, which I think is also true – Leftism is all about assuming a mask of virtue you haven’t earned to feel good about yourself.

    • 95Theses

      Which is also why he Could. Not. Care. Less. however poor his standings are in the polls. Polls are utterly irrelevant to our narcissist tyrant-in-chief.

    • carpe diem 36

      he was not elected to help people. he was elected to impose his will on people. but they did not see that at the time.

  • darnellecheri

    “Obama doesn’t like people. He likes being admired by people. He loves the attention, but he’s paranoid about the terms on which he gets it. That undertone of irritation comes into his voice when he’s challenged or question or even asked for something. Then he becomes surly.”

    Being raised by a Narcissist mother, I sniffed Obama out a long time ago. It takes awhile to admit and see true narcissism in someone, especially someone who is supposed to be nurturing. Narcissists put people (even their children) in two camps: allies and enemies, then turn their allies onto their enemies. My mother actually told all her kids that she refuses to accept any type of criticism from anyone! Hence, either you were for her or against her, and “for her” meant giving in to every whim and manipulation that she saw fit. Unfortunately, in a family dynamic, this is horribly destructive. I saw it happen in a family, I see it happening in a nation.

    • 95Theses

      Really good analysis. I’ve got one in my family, too. And this personality pathology isn’t helped by the fact that they are blind to their own narcissism. Based only on my experience – for what it’s worth – two other prominent personages who I think fit that description are Bill O’Reilly and Bill Clinton. Arrogant, smug, unctuous, smarmy — and utterly oblivious to the defect.

      • darnellecheri

        I wish I wasn’t good at knowing this. It is really sad for everyone involved. But I agree with you in that this personality pathology is blind to its disorder and there is no cure. All those around them need to find a way to keep their own mental facilities sane.

        • DB1954

          NPD is no longer listed as a mental illness in the DSM V. Interesting, I think.

          • truebearing

            Too many psychologists needing to redefine any category of mental illness that may include them.

            There are three primary motivations for studying psychology: a) sincere interest in the topic B) a desire to help people C) a desire to help oneself, which is where people study psychology, identify themselves as narcissistists, then work to have narcissism removed from the DSM.

            The humanists have redefined every aberration as “normal” to the point where normal is an aberration.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            The DSM is as much about marketing as it is about anything else.

      • DB1954

        I don’t agree about O’Reilly. O’Reilly’s just a garden variety egotist–a Ted Baxter type. I agree that he’s arrogant and a little smug at times, but unctuous and smarmy? Not hardly. O’Reilly’s a dim bulb. BTW, unctuous and smarmy are synonyms, good words, but redundant.

        • 95Theses

          Well, obviously we don’t agree. However, I did after all
          condition my opinion based on my experience with these types of personalities (and it isn’t only within my family that I have encountered up-close narcissism among my friends).

          I haven’t the foggiest idea what your anecdotal experience may be with such beings, but your opinion doesn’t negate my perceptions. I could cite a few other public figures who suffer from this disorder – and you may continue to disagree – but you can always choose to not pick at the nits.


          • kathy c

            Isn’t refusal to accept criticism a characteristic of a Narcissist? I think Hillary is more of a Narcissist than Bill. Bill is a much warmer person than Narcissists are portrayed, but they can play act warm for awhile. I think Bill is truly a warm person who needs to be loved.

      • eclecticmn

        O’Reilly is a pompous blowhard and a lousy host who talks over his guests. I cannot stand him.

        I saw Obama as a stone cold narcissist from day 1 as well. My ex is a narcissist. If you Google narcissist and duck you will find interesting notes on NPD. Also Google Sam Vaknin videos.These people have ZERO empathy. Such people have a vision of the world frozen early in life and do not adjust it based on their experiences. Obama has nothing to learn from anyone.

        Obama goes through the motions of listening to people but does not really listen because he knows the answers already in his mind. Bill Clinton was curious and had intellectually stimulating sessions that lasted late into the night. Not Obama.

        Google ” bill clinton herman cain” and watch the video of Bill Clinton at his best then think of Obama. Obama is not nearly as smart as Bill Clinton. See for yourself.


      • Loreli52

        How right you are.

    • eclecticmn

      Some politician noted that other presidents had friends and good personal relationships with member of congress in both parties but Obama did not. He went on to note that he had none in either party and actually had no personal friends period.

    • Wcaven

      As a psychiatrist with about thirty years of practice, I saw one true “narcissist” under orders to see me.
      I was in awe.
      I appreciate your entry, Cheri.

  • Joe

    Lying is the hallmark of a narcissist…not an intellectual introvert.

    • darnellecheri

      In my opinion, lying is a hallmark of politics. Narcissists don’t believe that they need to lie, as they have a belief system that is wrapped in their own personality disorder. Everyone else is wrong and everyone else is lying.

      • 95Theses

        I built that.

      • DB1954

        Political lying on this scale and this shamelessly hasn’t been done, IMO since Woodrow Wilson.

  • http://www.stubbornthings.org NAHALKIDES

    Obama to a “T”. The man doesn’t like to read, and from what I can see, never thinks or writes. On top of that, he’s just plain lazy – who has time to do homework when you can just go golfing or take another vacation.

    • DB1954

      You do know that he apparently never attended a single class at Columbia University, despite the fact that the university did award him an undergraduate degree. To this date, not a single person has yet come forward saying that he or she knew Barry Soetoro or Barack Obama from Columbia University. Not even a professor. Not even a professor of political science, his major. Think about that.

      • http://www.stubbornthings.org NAHALKIDES

        Actually, I didn’t know that. I had thought he probably was a student there based on his views on the Middle East, which seem to reflect those of Edward Said who was on the Columbia faculty at that time. Indeed, Columbia’s Humanities departments are probably as far Left as those anywhere, which also fits in with Obama’s outlook.

        But it’s strange that no fellow students remember him. Do you suppose he did a lot of independent studies with the furthest Left faculty? Maybe they’ve decided to keep quiet about it.

      • maddaddyssa

        And for 0 to call Bill Ayers just some “guy in the neighborhood” he didn’t know that well tells me he’s either full of sh!t, or the biggest a**hole to graduate from Columbia and Harvard. Or both.

    • Jill

      And yet, he’s achieved TWO TERMS of being POTUS!! By the apathy of Repubs…..

      • creeper

        …and the duplicity of the IRS.

  • http://www.clarespark.com/ Clare Spark

    There is healthy self-regard and sick, sociopathic types of narcissism. I tried to distinguish between them here: http://clarespark.com/2014/06/08/narcissism-healthy-vs-unhealthy/: “Narcissism: healthy vs. unhealthy.” Lots of pictures.

    • ammonia46

      “Sociopathic.” You are on to something. I would recommend that you not use that word too often with regard to our leader.

  • Mark

    The article Understanding Obama: The Making of a Fuehrer (see link) was written before Obama even got elected and its so correct about what he is and what drives him. http://www.faithfreedom.org/obama.html

  • 95Theses

    As usual, a keenly perceptive analysis, Daniel. And yet, wasn’t it always all-too-obvious. I mean what other conclusion would one come to from hearing this man say something like,

    “I think that I’m a better speechwriter than my speechwriters. 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.”


    Or this gem from Mr. You-Didn’t-Build-That:

    I would put our legislative and foreign policy accomplishments in our first two years against any president — with the possible exceptions of Johnson, F.D.R., and Lincoln — just in terms of what we’ve gotten done in modern history.


    Say what you will about Obama’s predecessor, but Bush never let his ego get in the way of selecting people who were smarter, more experienced, and wiser than himself to stock his cabinet. Dick Cheney as his vice-presidential pick was a first good sign of that. Donald Rumsfeld was another guy with a size-12 brain. And BHO isn’t half as smart as Rumsfeld, or Cheney, or Hennessey. And those are just a few of the many truly gifted people who served under Bush — all smarter than the man who goes it alone with a just a pen and a phone.

  • DB1954

    Obama is a narcissist of the extreme variety. He’s a malignant narcissist. This basically means that he sees everyone in the world for what they can do for him. Everyone becomes his narcissistic supply. It’s entirely consistent with the person depicted by one of his high school acquaintances who still lives in Hawaii.

    She said that Barry Soetoro, as he was then known, was selling himself to older white homosexuals for money. Ever notice how dapper and preening Obama is? That’s not your imagination. Obama set off my gaydar the first time I saw him on TV.

  • JayJay

    Spot on.

  • hiernonymous

    “Think of the brat with too much self-esteem who begins to pout if the teacher corrects a mistake…”

    That’s exactly what this article made me think of. One of your best.

    • Pete

      Time will tell.

      We will be able to observe the words and acts of Mr Greenfield and Mr. Obama in the coming years.

      10 or 20 years form now which one would you want to be seen at a restaurant with?

      • IronMaidenaregods

        Form now? How literate of you.

        As it is, I wouldn’t be seen anywhere near President Itwisnaeme

        • Pete

          I transposed 2 letter while typing because I am such an awesome typist. So sue me.

          Let me ask you a question. Honestly, when you are around a dyslexic do you tease them and when you see an animal in a cage do you poke them with sticks?

  • Softly Bob

    Rosa Brooks (whoever she is, never heard of her until now) needs a good slap in the face by hard reality. I’m sick to death of stupid pseudo-intellectual journalists coming up with horribly wrong theories and trying to make money out of it.

  • Pete

    There is no such thing as in introvert. Just people who have been rewired.

  • Pete

    “Obama loves campaigning’

    Absolutely. He loves campaigning when it is going his way.

    He loved throwing out water bottles, softball questions, the adulation and giving speeches, where the reverb was turned on.

  • Jill

    Almost makes you think that Repub voters should have gone down to the voting booth instead of staying home because Romney wasn’t The Perfect Candidate. Talk about a missed opportunity!

    • liz

      Almost? ALMOST???
      The repubs that stayed home deserve to be horse whipped for giving us this disaster.

    • catherineinpvb

      No question. . Some could argue – and will – the gains. . .the good of the unmasking of many of our ‘elite Establishment'; but think we could have reaped all that; without losing America’s soul, per the damnable, unfolding, by way of Obama, Inc.

  • Raymond_in_DC

    I’m recalling an interview from 2009 with an Israeli psychoanalyst who’d literally written the book on Narcissistic Personality Disorder. While admitting he’d never diagnosed him up close, he insisted he saw in Obama all the classic signs of narcissism.

    • catherineinpvb

      Yes, he made a great dissection of what is to be, a classic – per the worst – narcissist. Have to say. . .and am hardly alone, by experience; when Obama spoke at DNC Convention – while still a failed, ‘in name only’, Illinois Congressman, my life and America’s, did a frightening ‘fast forward’…and that has not changed. Obama was – and remains – our greatest threat.

  • glissando


  • wally

    If Hussein wasn’t a negroid he would never have become president.

  • catherineinpvb

    A great response that dots the ‘i’s. ..and crosses the ‘t’s. . .of two words that together have only a few. Nonetheless. . .do hope Rosa Brooks reads this ‘counter’. Even if she does not admit the truth. . .pehaps she will ‘get it'; nonetheless. Obama’s psyhopathology per his mega-narcissism – and associated power-addiction – is indeed; both an ugly thing; and a dangerous thing. Mega-narcissists have no authentic love of Country, either; and Presidents who lead with their ‘a-patriotical’, are not a good thing, at all.

    Truth is; while not all narcissists appear introverted or are always Liberal; there can be no question; that all Liberals/Leftists are narcissists. As is Marxism itself; an exercise in political and political power, narcissism..

    Hayak so ‘rignt on’. . .per the Fatal Conceit.

  • Paula Douglas

    I think you mistake your man, Mr. Greenfield. Narcissism is defined as the love of self, and Barack Obama has no self to love. The comparison to a brat with too much self-esteem is inapt. Obama lacks a self and therefore lacks the power of self-esteem, and by self-esteem I mean self-confidence in his power to deal with the problems of life through reason. He’s an empty vessel, a zero, a non-entity, existing only as a reflection of the people around him. That’s why he’s so touchy about criticism, why he’s paranoid, why he surrounds himself with sycophants, and why he will do anything to avoid real work. An honest effort at his job would expose his considerable limitations faster than anything else he could do. He’s bored as president of the United States? Of course he’s bored: He brings no more understanding or context to that job than a third-grader could to a post-graduate organic chemistry class.

    He is paranoid. He has to be. He’s a liar who knows he’s lying, a cheater who knows he cheats, an underachiever who knows he’s accomplished nothing–but look at all the people who proclaim his greatness. He’s going to stop the rise of the oceans, sprinkle peace dust wherever he walks, they say. He’s brilliant and intellectual, they say. He knows he’s not, but their acclaim supersedes facts to him. If other people say it, it becomes true. He exists through others and only through others. Without someone else to make him into something that he’s not, he wouldn’t have risen to the level of night sweeper in a convenience store. No one would know his name. He couldn’t even write his own autobiography, and you think he has a sense of self? The only thing he has is the power to deceive, and he can’t even do that without an army of confederates. He’s no egoist: He depends on the people over whom he seeks power as thoroughly as a burglar or a gangster depends on his victims. An egoist in the true sense of the word–a rational, independent, efficacious man–has no need to seek or exert power over others and rejects indignantly the idea that he should. Obama’s “ego” can never be satiated because where his ego should be there’s a yawning abyss of self-doubt, self-contempt, and terror. People like him would be objects of pity, if they weren’t self-made. As it is, they’re objects of contempt.

    • catherineinpvb

      Good points re Obama; but do not doubt, that he has a ‘self'; albeit, one, totally ‘inauthentic’ and so appearing, as an empty SELF. A fraud of ‘self’ that the narcissist never captures per his ‘me-in-the-mirror’. We do see it; all too often; and certainly, NO ONE (otherwise normal, that is) can miss it; when Obama falls into his repulsive and public ‘vanity day-dream’ moments; as in picture below (per his malignant narcissim). ..head tilted back; chin high in air; as just one example. (His feet, ‘shoes – soles up’ – and on Obama Office desk; front/forward to those present or in HIS PRESENCE; another incredible vanity – arrogance and rudeness – which Obama’s ‘inauthentic self; just cannot contain. And always a new messaging from Obama; to those, who otherwise, have missed those shared, these past six years; and more really. . .as to who/what, ‘IS’ Obama.

      No question either to the ‘faithless’ – Judeo/Christian critics – finding their personal and ‘inauthentic’ in their Socialist Class of Believers; as they share their palpable adulation of a man, they raise up to the ‘spiritual’ or to Guru status; and so celebrate themselves as well; per their collective wisdom, for doing just that.

  • Veracious_one
    • liz

      Good article- thanks!

  • truebearing

    Rosa Brooks is deluding herself. Worse yet, she doesn’t know the definitions of the terms she’s throwing around. Her theory falls apart the second she identifies Obama as an introvert. Introverts don’t throw glitzy parties every chance they get. They don’t choose to fly all over the nation going to fundraising parties where people shell out thousands of dollars just to meet a narcissist. Introverts rank high on the empathy scale. Obama has no empthay.

  • maddaddyssa

    0bama sounds like a classic leftist. He loves humanity but hates people.

  • carpe diem 36

    i think Obama is analyzed too much. who care what he is made of, what he really is, what he is thinking, how he feels about us and about himself. all this is nonsense. what we see is a picture of a real nasty, really ugly human being who got to where he is by force, by cheating, by using others and by being promoted by the most nasty ugly people you can meet in America, the likes of Soros and Pelosi and Reid. he is so repulsive that I cannot understand how anyone would want to come near him.