The Narcissism Continues

Sunday New York Times, A1, feature story on our 44th president: "Back on the Stump, a Chastened Obama Takes a Sharper Tone." One wonders if the headline writer bothered to read the article. To start, "Back on the Stump" is puzzling: when was Mr. Obama not on the stump? Talk about the endless campaign. And "chastened"? I read the piece in toto: not a scrap, a scintilla, an iota of evidence that the Organizer-in-Chief feels chastened. He did exhibit more self-pity, if that is possible, and a sharper tone - against the two women he was campaigning for. If the Times' ombudsman had a truth-in-headlines rule, this one would fail.

The article gives precious little illumination on Mr. Obama's interior state. We do learn that after being cheered by his groupies at the University of Washington he chafed at not being the center of attention for a few minutes:

He stood idly for 20 minutes. The rally, technically speaking, was not about him - it was for Senator Patty Murray, the incumbent Democrat from Washington, who is locked in a close race with Dino Rossi, the Republican.

Ms. Murray spoke first, and long. She gave an extended introduction of Mr. Obama and a pitch for herself while the president crossed his arms and tightened his shoulders and fidgeted slightly while the crowd grew restless waiting for the supporting player who was, of course, the real draw.

There is a teaser about the "sharper tone," but the reporter spares our tender sensibilities by refraining to quote any of the "mocking diatribes" the president delivered:

Mr. Obama is more critical of the opposition now, launching into long, mocking diatribes against Republicans that depart conspicuously from the prevailing unity message of his last campaign. His words are weighted with long stretches of acknowledgment about the difficulties of the last two years.

We do learn, once again, how self-absorbed our president is:

"Sometimes it can wear you down," the president said Wednesday night, referring to what he called "big, messy democracy" ... He hit the same theme in subsequent days. "We are grinding it out," he said with slight variations in Portland, Seattle, Los Angeles and Las Vegas. "We are doing the hard, frustrating, inch-by-inch, day-by-day, week-by-week work of bringing about change."

Remember how Mr. Clinton became known for "I feel your pain"? At least there was a referent to his listener. Is Mr. Obama's signature phrase to be "We are grinding it out"? "We" indeed, modest euphemism for "I." Oh, the travail, the indignity that a president should have to work this hard. One in eight Americans is on Food Stamps, and our president is grinding it out - in the Hamptons, on Martha's Vineyard, on Mt. Desert Island, at Camp David ... Most of us wish he would stop already, but there he is on the golf links, just "grinding it out."

While a crushing defeat of Democrats would be widely seen as judgment on his presidency, advisers say Mr. Obama would probably not take heavy midterm losses as a personal repudiation, as George W. Bush seemed to after the "thumpin" his party suffered in 2006, or as Mr. Clinton did after the Democrats were run over in 1994.

"He's not going to be sitting here brooding over the personal implications of all this," Mr. Axelrod said.

There's the ubiquitous Mr. Axelrod, preparing us for the news that our Organizer-in-Chief will refuse to do any introspection on 3 November, come what may, because he already knows it will be our fault, our inability to appreciate how he's been "grinding it out," just for us.

He hailed the fighting spirit of Ms. Murray and Senator Barbara Boxer, of California, even though both women are short, or in the case of Ms. Boxer, "vertically challenged," as he put it at a rally Friday at the University of Southern California.

Mr. Obama characterizes the women he is campaigning for as "vertically challenged"? What comic relief! I see a future for him in standup starting 22 January 2013. "Vertically challenged," and he's supposedly on their side. It's of a piece with his addressing Congresspersons by their first names, or telling the Republicans after the election, "I won." Maybe that was a subliminal slip for "I am the One." Barack Hussein Obama, the One-in-Chief.

Henry Percy is the nom de guerre for a technical writer living in Arizona. He may be reached at saler.50d@gmail.com.
Sunday New York Times, A1, feature story on our 44th president: "Back on the Stump, a Chastened Obama Takes a Sharper Tone." One wonders if the headline writer bothered to read the article. To start, "Back on the Stump" is puzzling: when was Mr. Obama not on the stump? Talk about the endless campaign. And "chastened"? I read the piece in toto: not a scrap, a scintilla, an iota of evidence that the Organizer-in-Chief feels chastened. He did exhibit more self-pity, if that is possible, and a sharper tone - against the two women he was campaigning for. If the Times' ombudsman had a truth-in-headlines rule, this one would fail.

The article gives precious little illumination on Mr. Obama's interior state. We do learn that after being cheered by his groupies at the University of Washington he chafed at not being the center of attention for a few minutes:

He stood idly for 20 minutes. The rally, technically speaking, was not about him - it was for Senator Patty Murray, the incumbent Democrat from Washington, who is locked in a close race with Dino Rossi, the Republican.

Ms. Murray spoke first, and long. She gave an extended introduction of Mr. Obama and a pitch for herself while the president crossed his arms and tightened his shoulders and fidgeted slightly while the crowd grew restless waiting for the supporting player who was, of course, the real draw.

There is a teaser about the "sharper tone," but the reporter spares our tender sensibilities by refraining to quote any of the "mocking diatribes" the president delivered:

Mr. Obama is more critical of the opposition now, launching into long, mocking diatribes against Republicans that depart conspicuously from the prevailing unity message of his last campaign. His words are weighted with long stretches of acknowledgment about the difficulties of the last two years.

We do learn, once again, how self-absorbed our president is:

"Sometimes it can wear you down," the president said Wednesday night, referring to what he called "big, messy democracy" ... He hit the same theme in subsequent days. "We are grinding it out," he said with slight variations in Portland, Seattle, Los Angeles and Las Vegas. "We are doing the hard, frustrating, inch-by-inch, day-by-day, week-by-week work of bringing about change."

Remember how Mr. Clinton became known for "I feel your pain"? At least there was a referent to his listener. Is Mr. Obama's signature phrase to be "We are grinding it out"? "We" indeed, modest euphemism for "I." Oh, the travail, the indignity that a president should have to work this hard. One in eight Americans is on Food Stamps, and our president is grinding it out - in the Hamptons, on Martha's Vineyard, on Mt. Desert Island, at Camp David ... Most of us wish he would stop already, but there he is on the golf links, just "grinding it out."

While a crushing defeat of Democrats would be widely seen as judgment on his presidency, advisers say Mr. Obama would probably not take heavy midterm losses as a personal repudiation, as George W. Bush seemed to after the "thumpin" his party suffered in 2006, or as Mr. Clinton did after the Democrats were run over in 1994.

"He's not going to be sitting here brooding over the personal implications of all this," Mr. Axelrod said.

There's the ubiquitous Mr. Axelrod, preparing us for the news that our Organizer-in-Chief will refuse to do any introspection on 3 November, come what may, because he already knows it will be our fault, our inability to appreciate how he's been "grinding it out," just for us.

He hailed the fighting spirit of Ms. Murray and Senator Barbara Boxer, of California, even though both women are short, or in the case of Ms. Boxer, "vertically challenged," as he put it at a rally Friday at the University of Southern California.

Mr. Obama characterizes the women he is campaigning for as "vertically challenged"? What comic relief! I see a future for him in standup starting 22 January 2013. "Vertically challenged," and he's supposedly on their side. It's of a piece with his addressing Congresspersons by their first names, or telling the Republicans after the election, "I won." Maybe that was a subliminal slip for "I am the One." Barack Hussein Obama, the One-in-Chief.

Henry Percy is the nom de guerre for a technical writer living in Arizona. He may be reached at saler.50d@gmail.com.

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