Why Does Obama Want to Keep Being President?

Alana Goodman notes that Obama doesn’t like debating, doesn’t like people, and doesn’t like politics…and wonders why he does want to keep being President. (via Instapundit)

In my 2009 post he’s just not that into us, I suggested two analogies for Obama’s original desire to win the Presidency…reposted below, with some additional comments at the end…

Here’s George Orwell, writing in 1940 about England and the English:

When you come back to England from any foreign country, you have immediately the sensation of breathing a different air. Even in the first few minutes dozens of small things conspire to give you this feeling. The beer is bitterer, the coins are heavier, the grass is greener, the advertisements are more blatant. The crowds in the big towns, with their mild knobby faces, their bad teeth and gentle manners, are different from a European crowd. Then the vastness of England swallows you up, and you lose for a while your feeling that the whole nation has a single identifiable character. Are there really such things as nations? Are we not forty-six million individuals, all different? And the diversity of it, the chaos! The clatter of clogs in the Lancashire mill towns, the to-and-fro of the lorries on the Great North Road, the queues outside the Labour Exchanges, the rattle of pintables in the Soho pubs, the old maids biking to Holy Communion through the mists of the autumn morning – all these are not only fragments, but characteristic fragments, of the English scene. How can one make a pattern out of this muddle?

But talk to foreigners, read foreign books or newspapers, and you are brought back to the same thought. Yes, there is something distinctive and recognizable in English civilization. It is a culture as individual as that of Spain. It is somehow bound up with solid breakfasts and gloomy Sundays, smoky towns and winding roads, green fields and red pillarboxes. It has a flavour of its own. Moreover it is continuous, it stretches in to the future and the past, there is something in it that persists, as in a living creature. What can the England of 1940 have in common with the England of 1840? But then, what have you in common with the child of five whose photograph your mother keeps on the mantlepiece? Nothing, except that you happen to be the same person.

And above all, it is your civilization, it is you. However much you hate it or laugh at it, you will never be happy away from it for any length of time. The suet puddings and the red pillarboxes have entered into your soul. Good or evil, it is yours, you belong to it, and this side of the grave you will never get away from the marks that it has given you.

George Orwell was a socialist. He wanted to see radical transformation in his society. But in the above passage, he displays real affection for the English people and their culture.

Can anyone imagine Barack Obama writing something parallel to the above about America and the American people? To ask the question is to answer it. Clearly, Obama does not identify with America in the same sort of way that Orwell identified with England.

Why, then, did Obama wish to become our President?

Two analogies come to mind…

Analogy #1: We are a young woman in a 19th-century English novel. Our personality is a bit quirky and not to everyone’s taste; however, we are good-looking by most standards, and we carry an enormous dowry.

Obama is a young gentleman of scant means who finds us pretty strange and not really to his liking, but nevertheless has wooed us fervently, knowing that once we are married he will win the admiration of his friends–we’re considered a darned good catch–and will become quite wealthy. And he’s confident that in short order he will be able to use his charm and his authority over us to change our personality into something more to his liking.

Analogy #2: We are a large corporation with a fabled history but also with some current problems. Obama is our new CEO. He has a very low opinion of our executives, our workers, and our product line. His previous experience, ever since leaving business school, has been as a consultant, teaching theories about strategy and restructuring. He is very eager to prove these theories out in practice, and he is prepared to be quite ruthless in eliminating traditionally-successful parts of the business–and ways of doing things–in order to implement his strategic vision.

10/9/2012: In the linked article, Alana cites some of Obama’s difficulties over the last four years in dealing with those things every political leader must deal with, and asks, “If that’s the case, why is he running for reelection? The first time around, Obama could at least claim he was making the sacrifice because the country needed his brilliant leadership and phenomenal gifts so badly. But after four years, that’s far less believable. Honestly, it’s perplexing. Does Obama really want to be president, and if so, why?”

To apply the first of my above analogies: the “young gentleman of scant means” may have been an excellent seducer but a complete failure as a husband. That doesn’t mean he’s willing to give up the estate (although he’s bored by running it) and the social cachet that goes with it…and he’s still under the impression that he will be able to suppress his wife’s exuberant personality and turn her into something more to his liking. He’s still surprised and a little disoriented by the fact that this bride is not as submissive as the awe-struck servant girls he’s seduced in the past, but remains sure that that will change. To apply the second analogy, the young MBA-wielding corporate raider is finding actually running a company to be difficult and boring..his prior career has involved leaping from position to position without ever staying in any one place for long enough to have to buckle down to the details. But he’s convinced that the problems are mostly due to the long-term employees and holdover executives who fail to see and to fully implement the strategic brilliance of his paradigms, his buzzwords, his 4-box charts, and so on…and that things will be much smoother after these people are suppressed or replaced. And in any event, he has no interest in giving up the money, the corporate jet, the glory, and the sycophantic front-page articles in Bloomberg Business Week and similar publications.

47 thoughts on “Why Does Obama Want to Keep Being President?”

  1. I do think some people avoid positions of power because they don’t want the responsibility that goes with it…and responsibility for other people’s lives, even their livelihood, can be emotionally stressful for someone who takes it seriously. I’m reminded of a great passage in Nicholas Monsarrat’s novel “The Cruel Sea.” The captain of a WWII sub-hunting vessel is confronted with a cruel decision: should he try to save some men in the water as a result of a sinking, at the risk of having his *own* ship sunk by a U-boat known to be lurking in the area:

    “It was Ericson’s decision alone. It was a captain’s moment, a pure test of nerve; it was, once again, the reality that lay behind the saluting and the graded discipline and the two-and-a-half stripes on the sleeve. While Ericson, silent on the bridge, considered the chances, there was not a man on the ship who would have changed places with him.”

    Of course, the psychological stress of the decision lies in the fact that Captain Ericson feels a sense of responsibility to *both* the shipwrecked men and to his own crew. It is not at all clear that President Obama rises to that level.

  2. This rather remarkable attitude led to American deaths in Benghazi & Mexican deaths in Mexico. Inevitably, deaths will come as the result of choices made in the most powerful office in the world, but in both cases political ends appeared more important than lives. Yes, this man wants to be president and he wants to be president very badly. He just doesn’t want – or even consider important – the responsibilities. His imagination is limited – he doesn’t see the jobless numbers, for instance, as people. And, of course, he remains confident that the omelet from the broken eggs will taste just fine.

  3. I’d go for #2 … with the additional note that what he really, really likes is all the perks and priviliges, and the deference from others. The other stuff; the responsibility and the hard work? Not so much.

    I’m not a so-called ‘birther’ – one of those obsessed with the notion that he was born in Kenya or wherever. That’s a triviality; my daughter was born in Japan, and she certainly isn’t Japanese. He just doesn’t seem to relate to Americans very well at all – at least the ordinary, everyday flyover heartland Americans. He doesn’t give the impression of someone who went to a community 4th of July celebration, or a county fair, or a summer camp in the country.

  4. I like the analogies and would add Roger Simon’s concept that Obama has been obsessed all his life with his absent father. Mitt Romney is the ideal father Obama has never had but wished for. Romney’s comment about his five boys must have struck some spot deep in Obama’s psyche. This is the opponent Obama could never prepare for.

    “If you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you”.

  5. And to continue the thought in my earlier comment (sorry, had to go walk the dogs!), I get the impression that Obama holds most Americans outside his little academic-political-Chicago world in contempt shading into dislike. All he knows about us is what he has heard, filtered through academia, through the Rev. Wright’s church, through movies and television. It’s a deeply superficial knowlege (which sounds like a contradiction in terms) but in addition to being limited, and viewed with shades of contempt – everything he thinks he knows about that ‘other’ America – about business, about the military, about small towns and suburbia – is dead wrong.

  6. MK:
    I think it was Simon who pointed out that Romney treated Obama in the debate like a metaphorical son who’s done his best but just can’t handle a job that’s way too big for him, so the old man has to step in and finish it for him. I think Biden’s going to find Ryan using the same approach from the other side: Ryan will be the mature son who has to break the news to dad that he’s getting too old to do the job and it’s time for him to step aside, take a well-deserved rest, and let the younger generation finish the job. (Possibly with a more negative edge: like a middle-aged son breaking the news to elderly dad that he’s losing his driver’s license after one too many careless fender-benders, before he really screws up and kills someone.)

    Not that Biden’s rest would be particularly well-deserved, of course, but I think Ryan’s going to go for the ‘sorry, you’re too old for the job’ theme just as Romney used the ‘you’re too immature for the job’ theme on Obama. Call it the Three Bears approach: Obama’s too young, Biden’s too old, but Romney and Ryan are just right – old enough to know what needs to be done (a huge list) and young enough to have the energy to do it. (If Ryan’s actually younger than Obama, it doesn’t matter: he’s certainly way more mature.)

  7. Why does Obama want to be President?

    What else is he going to do?

    Obama has based his entire career on being the acceptable black guy. He’s culturally white, even down to his painfully stiff body language. His family is of mid-western protestant stock. The only reason he’s “black” is owing to some genetic donation from his absent African father. Not until college and after did he really meet with and interact with core Africa-American culture. He’s the perfect “oreo”, black on the outside but white on the inside. He lacks all the verbal and body language cues that trigger the dismissive response from racists, especially leftwing racists. Leftwing racists are quite so quick to pat him on the head as they would a real African-American.

    As such, various institutions and groups have been using him as their token black representative. That’s pretty much his entire gig. He accomplished absolutely nothing of any note on his own. His entire career depended on being selected to be editor of the Harvard review just so the Harvard Review could buff up it’s anti-racist creds. Any black candidate would do and Obama was in the right place at the right time.

    Obama isn’t so much a man or a leader but rather a character in a fantasy role playing game that the left participates in. His character is that of the Jessie Robinson of politics i.e. someone so amazingly awesome that racist support him anyway. He doesn’t have to actually accomplish anything because the story says his a great hero so he’s a great hero.

  8. Folks, think about what really happened.

    In 2008, Barack Obama made the bold choice to run…. against Al Sharpton for the position of America’s premier African-American leader. The plan was brilliant – parlay that never warm Senate seat into a credible (cough) foundation for a run in the presidential primaries. Get all sorts of prominence, publicity, experience, etc. Then, when Hillary gets the nomination, he’d right at that moment be the highest-level and most influential black leader in America. And who knows? Crazy as it may sound, he could even run for president in 2016! (Hillary, win or lose in 2012, will be, what, 71 years old?)

    And what happened is, largely because of the Democrats brilliant Super Tuesday plan which gave half the entire race to whoever happened to have a good night…. the dog caught the pickup truck. And it’s been four years of “What the hell do I do now?” ever since.

    Think about it. What have any of us seen in five years that makes one doubt this scenario?

  9. Shannon, He passed Obamacare; he ran up the debt to levels that are likely to affect this country into the future (Reagan defeated Russia in part by encuraging such spending – not that, fortunately, Russia wasn’t a screwed up and totally unredeemable economy); he has increased our distrust in our government agencies – the results of diminishing the trust within society are hard to reckon but not unimportant; he has formed a society more dependent and more aggrieved. No, he’s done something. It isn’t work, it isn’t creative, it isn’t productive. But the last four years aren’t going to disappear – they are going to be a weight on our backs for a long time. And God knows what weight another 4 would add. I would say he has coarsened the national political scene, but after the lack of civility accorded Bush, Palin, and about everyone else that the media doesn’t like, I’m not sure it could have gotten any coarser than in, say, 2006.

  10. The key to Obama is figuring out why he has gray hair and lines on his face.

    This is a man who sends a form letter to the families of dead soldiers. Obviously, not a cause of stress.

    He has backed down from every foreign affairs challenge. Kill his ambassador, destroy 6 embassies, kill the embassy staff and he goes to Las Vegas or plays golf.

    The economy crashes around him, we are in the midst of a Great Depression and he believes its the 3rd year of a recovery! He is a stress free golfer. Why the gray hair?

    This is Alfred E Neumann. His entire life was a gift. Some one got him into college, then some one gave him a set of prestigious degrees, then he was given a high class teaching job and a political career. All financed from ‘overseas’. Then he gets elected President. Campaign and coverage paid for $billions from overseas.

    So why the gray hair? Will it wash off? Which country is supplying the $billions to pay for his campaign and his press coverage and his gray hair and lined face? Cui bono? When he loses the election, will he linger on like the smile of a famous cat?

  11. “Analogy #1 is very clever.” ROTFLMFAO

    I was born in England and raised all over the world. I was very happy to leave it for good when I was 14. Not a hell hole, just a hole. I am very pleased I got out when I did and came to Canada. My kind of country, one where it is actually, this will be hard for Americans to understand, unCanadian to fly the national flag.

  12. A black guy I know, David Erhenstein, is the one who christened Obama “the Magic Negro” because he looked safe to all the whites, Shannon. David wrote a column in the LA Times about it, then got very angry when Rush Limbaugh picked it up. David is a pretty hard lefty and was insulted that a white guy repeated his insight. Obama doesn’t know who he is and has adopted the leftist mind set although he probably hasn’t thought it through. He has no idea of how an economy works, left or right.

    Romney is his worst nightmare. Here is a guy who knows what to do and is *competent* in about everything. I wonder if Obama will do any better in the other debates. Romney gives him that half smile that says, “I wouldn’t hire you to cut my grass. How did you get here ?” I think he gets the heebie jeebies from Romney. A lot of resumes are being updated as we speak.

  13. Pengun,

    My kind of country, one where it is actually, this will be hard for Americans to understand, unCanadian to fly the national flag.

    The Canadian flag doesn't mean much for Canada's collective identity. For most of it's history, Anglo-Canadians at least identified primarily with the British Empire and then the Commonwealth. Traditionally, Anglo-Canadians revered the symbols of the empire while the Canadian flag was almost an after thought, more like a state flag in America. Francophone Canadians never had much attachment either way.

    Canada is also very ethnically and racially homogenous compared to America. It's mostly English, Scottish and French. Religious diversity is also relatively low. There is little need for a symbol of collective identity.

    America by contrast rebelled against the Empire and created itself from the bottom up. There are no emotive symbols we inherited. Owing to our massive internal diversity ethnicity, race, religion, culture and region, Americas have very little in common save our shared political ideology. The symbols of the shared ideology, became the symbols of our shared identity. That is why the flag is so respected by traditionalist (non-European influenced) Americans. It represents not a country but values and beliefs of America itself.

    Don't make the rookie mistake of thinking that Americans have the same kind of patriotism as do Europeans. European patriotism is based on ethnic identity. A French patriot is loyal to France, regardless of the governing ideology. Americans aren't like that. We are loyal to an idea.

    Besides, Canadians don't need much of a collective identity. They got us to do all the dirty work for them.

  14. I think one of the main things that attracted upper-middle-class liberals to Obama was his manner of speaking…he talks in a way associated with Ivy-League-educated elites. His pronunciation of “Pakistan” as “pahk-ee-stan,” which I guess is the proper way of saying it, surely made them sigh with pleasure.

    Policies aside, Herman Cain would be much less acceptable to such people because he speaks with a genuine Southern accent….his obvious intelligence…not only a very successful businessman but a U.S. Navy ballistic mathematician…simply doesn’t weigh in comparison with his failure to speak in the way expected of a member of the elite.

    One of the markers of the English class system has been accent, and the U.S. is showing some unpleasant movement in that direction.

  15. The Maple leaf flag was invented to mollify the French Canadians who wanted to leave the union. The flag that matters is the British flag. Canada was settled by American colonists who wanted to stay British, and by French immigrants who mostly married Indian women. The Canadian army and air force were heavily committed to the allies in WWII. Immigration of the third world began after the war and especially the past 30 years. During that period, especially when Trudeau was PM, the sense of unity in the British Empire was lost. There is little left but cold weather.

  16. The question only applies to his first term, and I am inclined to see analogy #2 as the more likely.

    Why he is running for re-election strikes me as pretty straightforward – to not do so would be an admission of failure.

  17. We had an executive VP in our company that wasn’t very well liked. He was about 70 and was a very wealthy man. People couldn’t understand why he didn’t retire. I would tell them that if he retired he would be just be another old guy with money; 1600 people wouldn’t jump to fulfill his every wish, with no back-talk. I see Obama like that, except it’s millions of people. I’m sure that kind of power is addictive for many.

  18. PenGun,

    Strange, every time I walk past the Canadian embassy, there are around 50 Canadian flags outside. You’re full of it my friend.

  19. “Strange, every time I walk past the Canadian embassy, there are around 50 Canadian flags outside. You’re full of it my friend.”

    Sweetie it’s the embassy. You would expect a display there.

    Canadians rarely fly the flag at any time. There are exceptions of course but my point was and is that it is somewhat unCanadian for citizens to fly our flag. It may have gone over your head but that is a subtle and I think very fine attribute that Canada and it’s people embody.

  20. I think the number one reason why Obama hasn’t already resigned is Michelle. He has no real ambition of his own – but is pedalling as fast as he can to try and mollify “she who must be obeyed.” He clearly does not enjoy the job, taking every opportunity to do something else – golfing, campaigning, schmoozing, etc.

    Perhaps not consciously, but maybe he sees “throwing the debate” as a way for him to escape the presidency through one of the oldest of married men’s work avoidance strategies – do such a bad job of the task that she never asks you to do it again.

  21. “… it is somewhat unCanadian for citizens to fly our flag … that is a subtle and I think very fine attribute that Canada and it’s people embody.”

    Well, PenGun, how nice for you that, having no concern for anyone but yourself, you’ve found a country full of like minded people.

  22. This is somewhat off-topic but in Australia, another ex-commonwealth nation, we fly our flag proudly. You don’t see Australian flags as often as you do the flag of the USA in N.A. but they are sprinkled around in front of clubs, businesses and so on.

    Maybe it’s because we are so far from England and have always had to be a bit independent.

  23. Why is he running? He’s not finished… the caliphate is not established, iran doesn’t yet have the bomb, israel is still in existence and our economy is just teetering on the edge of ruination and it’s not quite bad enough to justify martial law and establish a totalitarian socialist regime … just a guess. or it could be he just enjoys the attention.

  24. “Canadians rarely fly the flag at any time. There are exceptions of course but my point was and is that it is somewhat unCanadian for citizens to fly our flag. It may have gone over your head but that is a subtle and I think very fine attribute that Canada and it’s people embody.”

    Huh what?

    The last time I drove through Ontario I saw so many Canadian flags I had the strange feeling I was driving through a fascist dictatorship. And stepping inside a WalMart-esque retailer it was worse. The walls were festooned with maple leaves, daring anyone to dissent. I was creeped out. It was as if Benito Mussolini had a maple leaf for a head, and despite that handicap had somehow managed to take over Canada.

    I also note that in Michigan it isn’t uncommon for various businesses to fly the Canadian flag alongside Old Glory.

    Yet somehow Americans are the rabid nationalists.

    Go figure.

  25. I’ve believed what Andrew X said since the early campaigning in 2008. Having said that, in Obama’s entire life he hasn’t ‘failed’ at anything because someone has ‘fixed’ it for him. He expects that now [and the MSM is paddling furiously to make it so]. He runs because otherwise he doesn’t get all the perks of still being POTUS *or* of being an ex-POTUS who “went down fighting” [or whatever it is he’s doing]. As a losing POTUS he’ll have easy work [speaking platitudes to the still-enamored and raking in speaking fees and royalties from ghost-written books].

    And I’m at a loss to explain why “that is a subtle and I think very fine attribute that Canada and it’s people embody” while evidently the American reverence for the major symbol of our belief system is somehow jingoistic or something, but I generally put that attitude down to bitter envy. [What is the percentage comparison of emigration between Canada and the US, and between the percentages of the citizens of each work make their living in the other country, hmmmm?]

  26. “My kind of country, one where it is actually, this will be hard for Americans to understand, unCanadian to fly the national flag.”

    Well, then, you have a lot of disciplining and shunning of your fellow citizens to do, based on my experience last week. I was touring up north and spent a day bicycle riding in Canada. I saw plenty of Canadian flags flying, with nary an embassy in sight. Most of the ones I saw were flying in front of private homes, not businesses. Maybe they didn’t get the memo. I intended to take pictures (and I’d send you one or more) but I was a little pressed for time and didn’t stop, pull out my camera, etc. like I meant to. I think it’s a nice flag and I was happy to see it. So suffice it to say, perhaps, the only thing you’ve proven is that you’re an intellectual soulmate to Pauline Kael – “I’m certain it’s unCanadian to fly the national flag because no one I know does it.” Perhaps what you’ve found is not so much a country you’re comfortable in but rather a bubble.

    P.S. I’m guessing you don’t spend a lot of time getting out and around to the places I was in last week.

  27. To this day I still say he is a puppet – a political Trojan Horse or, put simply, the idealized (read politically correct) Liberal face of a bloodless, Marxist coup. That’s why so many Progressive pundits talk about Obama being historic. This was their chance – their one great moment to change the world – and Obama was the key. For the Leftist media, he really is “The One”. He literally was their Progressive Jesus. Because of him, they would be able to take over America and so they gushed and hyped him to the point of ridiculousness. Regardless, his role is fairly simple I think. He really isn’t president, he just agreed to play one on TV. His job was nothing more than to provide public cover, give speeches, read from the teleprompter, shake a few hands and then go play golf and party with the pretty people. Valerie Jarrett, David Axelrod, Andy Steyrn, Rham Emmanuel, the Csars, and so on – have been acting as the real president. For Obama, it was nothing more than a free ride. He would get the perks of the office and get to hang out with celebrities while the core team of advisors did the heavy lifting. I don’t think he was ever expected to make any serious decisions. However, now that many of the team members have left the building (a la Rham, Steryn, and others), Obama has been forced to become more involved with the decision making process. Unfortunately, since he actually seems to believe the hype the media has been spreading about him, his massive ego and narcissism keep getting in the way.

    So why is he staying in? Well, for Liberals, this moment in American history is monumental and he’s still a radical Leftist. He still believes in the Movement – in the Long March Through the Halls of Power – and knows this may be their one shot at permanently changing the political reality of the country. The Merry Band of Marxists aren’t finished and still need him to be the front man while they continue to work on changing the government. I imagine that whoever is pulling the puppet strings are helping him stay in because If they can get another 4 years, they won’t have to worry about future elections and America as we know it will be over. In it’s place, the Marxist/Communist/Progressive/Liberal utopia will have finally arrived…..

  28. Frankly, I think Obama is tired of the job. He would prefer to be an ex-President like Clinton…still great money and great perks, but zero responsibility.

    Problem is, there was really no gracious way for him to avoid running for re-election. Not running would have been an admission that he is a failure. No one-term President in good health has declined to run in modern times. It just isn’t done.

    So he’s doing the campaign thing and he’s surrounded by people who want desperately to win, but frankly…he’s just phoning it in. He’d rather lose a narrow election…especially if he can find someone else to blame.

  29. I don’t see either analogy (though I think #1 captures some of his personality and #2 some of his motivations).

    Watching him “be president”, I’ve come to wonder what need or needs being president fulfills in him. I think Obama likes having power and using that power when its easy to do so, but I think more than anything he *needs* to be seen as the guy in charge – he needs *position*.

    So “being president” fulfills a need him – but doing the incredibly hard job that is now his is just too hard.

    Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve never felt that President Obama has any sense of duty, honor, country as president. In that sense I could see some of #2 though I see him more as a VP of Marketing than CEO by personality. But a VP-Marketing that doesn’t like or believe in his product, customer and only tolerates his job because of the title.

    I think that the grand ideas and personal values that form the ongoing foundation of America, the ideas and values that motivated our founders, many/most everyday Americans, and all prior presidents (even Carter) are alien to President Obama. I get the sense that when speaking about American values and foundations, he is an academic observer/lecturer speaking about things that are mere trappings of a patriotism that is simply below him.

  30. President Obama has made it very clear why he wants to be President: he wants to be a Transformative President. Thirty years from now, students learning American history will not be required to know any of the Presidents between FDR and Obama, but they will know that prior to FDR, America was like this, and after FDR American was like this. Similarly, an essay examine question will read, “President Obama fundamentally changed America. Name at least three ways this is true, and defend your answer with specific examples.”

    Why is running again?
    Because he isn’t done, yet.

    The big question for voters in 2008 and 2012 is: what, exactly, does Obama want to change about America?

  31. Nah….I think its because of his vaccinations as a child….he is autistic from them; possibly a touch of ADHD and should be on Ritilin. He has no interest in long term things; he is just “in the moment” as those of his generation have been trained to be.


  32. The reason is obvious for me. He has extreme distaste for the country and its people, but loves the trappings of his office and the power he is conferred.

    Just look at the lavish parties, vacations, and the “elites” he hangs out with.

    His manner above all, is him.

  33. Joshua is right. There’s really no doubt about it. The scenario fits every angle of the whole story.

    It also doesn’t demand that we invent for our own imaginations some moment where Obama off-camera will have had some sort of vision experience and will have quickly thrown away all the reasons for his having lived his objective life story, and will have suddenly substituted a whole complete system-set of new and opposed beliefs and values.

    It also answers the who, what, why, and how of the objective story within the ”birther issue”.

    It also means that if he wins another term, and maybe even if he doesn’t, we are likely, unless conditions have changed for his sponsors, to be thrown headlong into a fight like nothing we –most of us –are yet ready to imagine.

  34. May I suggest another possibility: Obama is a narcissist, an ego addict, and needs to be the Smartest and Most Important Guy in the Room no matter where he goes or what he’s doing–and desperately needs to be repeatedly *told* that he’s the Smartest and Most Important Guy in the Room. If you’re President of the United States, you may not necessarily be the smartest guy in the room, but you’ve got Most Important locked up, and no shortage of fawning fanboys available to stroke your ego. It’s an ego addict’s dream.

    Just look at where Obama’s the most comfortable: in set-piece speeches to friendly crowds, celebrity photo-ops, and media appearances with sympathetic hosts who throw softball questions. He’d never make a speech to a quasi-adversary group the way Mitt Romney went to the NAACP convention–and if he did, he’d have the devil’s own time treating the host organization with respect.

  35. The open microphone:

    Obama told his Russian counterpart, “This is my last election. After my election, I’ll have more flexibility.”

    “I understand,” Medvedev responded. “I will transmit this information to Vladimir.”

    Just one comrade to another.

    His handlers are making him run for re-election.

  36. Yep –that snippet was a gift from providence, and it’s madness that it got so little attention. What it meant was, there is something that Obama and Putin plan to do, that is so bad for America that Obama cannot do it before the election, because it would cost him the election.

  37. Vanity. The same thing that made him run for President in the first place. He has no great agenda of his own – just the left-wing boiler plate that he absorbed from Frank Marshall Davis, Bill Ayres, Rev. Wright, Michelle, and his college teachers. He’s done some of it; and his appointees and henchmen are doing some of it; but he has no dedication to getting it done, and he’s quite happy to be in bed with billionaires.

    Indeed, he has no great interest in actually wielding the powers of the Presidency – look at all the time he spends golfing, fund-raising, appearing on talk shows.

    A few things do interest him – he’s decided to be an anti-terrorist warrior with drones.

    But mostly – he ran for President because he was being told how great he was, how “presidentabile”. While running, he received the adulation of his supporters and the press, and of course began to think of himself as a great historic figure – the first black President, and of course a great President. He was elected on a tidal wave of this sentiment.

    As President, he enjoys a vast array of perquisites and deference, and of course continued adulation from his base.

    For him not to run for re-election would mean admitting that he wasn’t up for the job, giving up those perks, and waving off the adulation. Of course he can’t do that.

    But then, Presidents rarely do.

    Aside from the five Presidents who died in office during their first terms, only four did not seek another term: Polk, Buchanan, Hayes, and Coolidge. Polk was exhausted when he left office, and died only four months later. Buchanan pledged to one term when inaugurated. “Rutherfraud” Hayes was tainted by the dubious outcome of the 1876 election.

  38. Coolidge was aware of the danger of the stock market bubble. He was depressed over the death of his son but, had that not occurred, I wonder if he would had e run for another term and handled the panic of 1929 the way he and Harding handled the 1920 depression. We’ll never know.

  39. Hardly anyone has ever heard of the 1920 depression. K-12 apparently doesn’t much touch on it –some Rosa Krebs somewhere probably blue-lined it. Easy enough to see why –Silent Cal turned the supply side loose on a pretty savage downturn, and the economy responded vigorously, getting back to growth in a matter of months, not years a la FDR, Jimmy Carter (saved by RR from his Plan Doloroso), and our current executive branch acolytes of Regime Uncertainty.

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