Is Obama's Detached Demeanor a National Security Risk?
I don’t know if something is medically or psychologically wrong with President Obama; whether it’s simply stress or if, God forbid, he has some sort of addiction that is causing him to look like an aging skeleton. But for some reason this supposedly “charismatic” leader and “great orator” keeps crawling out from his party down private life to address the American people with an apathetic monotone voice and lackadaisical gaze. He consistently avoids direct eye contact with the camera in the same way a guilty child avoids his parent’s glare.
The only time we see him animated and excited is when he’s brimming with hatred at the “right” that’s when his eyes turn dark and he shoots daggers…exposing an intense anger.
It’s disturbing to see an American president more animated and angry over his failed gun legislation than the gruesome beheading of an American citizen perpetrated by a group that his own defense secretary called, “The most brutal, barbaric forces we’ve ever seen…” On Wednesday, the president meandered up to a podium to deliver prepared remarks on the beheading of freelance photojournalist James Foley:
From governments and peoples across the Middle East, there has to be a common effort to extract this cancer so that it does not spread. There has to be a clear rejection of these nihilistic ideologists.
On vacation at Martha’s Vineyard, not bothering to put on a tie, and still trying to shake off grogginess; his strongly written words carried no weight when delivered with the same enthusiasm he’d use to order dinner at one of his favorite trendy restaurants.
Having studied dramatic arts, I couldn’t help but listen to Obama deliver the line, “We will continue to confront this hateful terrorism and replace it with a sense of hope…”, as I envisioned a drama coach yelling in exasperation: “One more time and say it like you mean it!”
And while Obama claimed to be feeling the “ache of (Foley’s) absence” and “mourning his loss” -- he was anxiously waiting to get to the Vineyard Golf Course to meet NBA star Alonzo Mourning and others for yet another round of much needed rest and relaxation.
Time and again, one word seems to keep popping up when discussing Obama: Detached.
Back in 2011, Dana Milbank described the President in the Washington Post saying, “He seemed detached…as he pivoted his head from side to side…”
Three months later, an associate of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Ynetnews that Obama was “detached from reality.”
Since then, the President has increasingly been referred to as “detached;” a term driven home by Charles Krauthammer in a July column he wrote which began: “The president’s demeanor is worrying a lot of people.”
That same month, liberal NPR called the President “detached” when discussing the issue of missing Nigerian schoolgirls.
Also in July, Rep. Henry Cuellar (D) Texas, told ABC News that Obama was starting to “look detached” by choosing not to visit the border during his trip to Texas. Cuellar added “aloof” and “bizarre” to his presidential adjectives during an interview on MSNBC.
Obama’s appearance and demeanor have deteriorated even more since Britain’s Daily Mail questioned his weight in 2012, adding he looked “extremely tired and frail.”
The president’s delivered remarks on the beheading of Jim Foley were downright embarrassing -- the juxtaposition of British Prime Minister David Cameron cutting his vacation short and rushing to London caused a collective American face palm in comparison.
Since Obama reportedly gets most of his briefings on his iPad, he might as well have whoever writes his prepared statements send them to the American people in the same manner; then he wouldn’t have to interrupt his presidential revelries.
In an engaging piece of hypothetical creative writing, Huffington Post blogger Marco Cáceres recently asked, “What if Obama really went off the deep end like Honduras' Mel Zelaya? What are the options?”With civil wars, global strife and ISIS directly threatening to attack American and European targets, Obama’s detached demeanor may be becoming a national security risk in and of itself. I’m not sure we have time to put the world on hold to send our president for group therapy.
Susan D. Harris can be reached at http://susandharris.com/