Krauthammer: I believe Obama may be a tad narcissistic

posted at 2:55 pm on July 9, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Actually, the narcissism concerns Charles Krauthammer less than the seemingly knee-jerk antipathy to the US that Barack Obama expresses, especially when traveling abroad.  Anyone who runs for the position known as the Leader of the Free World and The Most Powerful Man (or Woman) on Earth has to have a healthy enough ego to believe not just that he or she can do the job, but are the best person for those titles.  Usually, though, Presidents are seasoned enough to keep their narcissism in check and temper it with a larger expression of affection for America.

With Obama, Krauthammer says … not so much:

It’s fine to recognize the achievements of others and be non-chauvinistic about one’s country. But Obama’s modesty is curiously selective. When it comes to himself, modesty is in short supply.

It began with the almost comical self-inflation of his presidential campaign, from the still inexplicable mass rally in Berlin in front of a Prussian victory column to the Greek columns framing him at the Democratic convention. And it carried into his presidency, from his posture of philosopher-king adjudicating between America’s sins and the world’s to his speeches marked by a spectacularly promiscuous use of the word “I.”

Notice, too, how Obama habitually refers to Cabinet members and other high government officials as “my” — “my secretary of homeland security,” “my national security team,” “my ambassador.” The more normal — and respectful — usage is to say “the,” as in “the secretary of state.” These are, after all, public officials sworn to serve the nation and the Constitution — not just the man who appointed them. …

Obama is not the first president with a large streak of narcissism. But the others had equally expansive feelings about their country. Obama’s modesty about America would be more understandable if he treated himself with the same reserve. What is odd is to have a president so convinced of his own magnificence — yet not of his own country’s.

Monarchs have the royal “we,” and we have a tradition of the republican “the,” both of which are intended to show an image against one-man rule.  Before we start getting a slew of YouTubes showing the two Bushes, Reagan, and others using “my” and “I,” let’s just stipulate that it’s a common practice and not a hard-and-fast protocol.  Krauthammer refers to a pattern that many have noticed about Obama, his repetitive self-referential language in speeches and remarks that far exceed anything seen from his predecessors — even the man we used to call The Big Me, Bill Clinton.

Even if there was a point to all of this derogation of the US on the foreign stage at first — even if one accepts that the successor to George W. Bush had to show some humility in public interactions abroad, which I don’t — enough is enough.  It’s no longer credible that this is just a rhetorical device to a clear objective policy goal.  It’s quite obviously Obama’s personal viewpoint, and combined with his continued self-focus, shows a remarkable cluelessness as well as hubris.


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You don’t say..I am shocked

Electrongod on July 9, 2010 at 2:57 PM

John McClane: Welcome to the party, pal!

Skywise on July 9, 2010 at 2:57 PM

I wonder if he still thinks that Palin should leave the room for serious discussions with this narcissistic jerk.

DrAllecon on July 9, 2010 at 2:59 PM

Love of self vs. hate for country. Good article.

PrezHussein on July 9, 2010 at 2:59 PM

In other news, Obama has giant Dumbo ears.

fogw on July 9, 2010 at 2:59 PM

And, in other news…water is wet and sharks will bite….

HornetSting on July 9, 2010 at 3:00 PM

There he is in his patented Il Duce pose, again. Obama, the only man who can look down on you by looking up.

keep the change on July 9, 2010 at 3:01 PM

And perhaps a wee bit contemptuous of his own country, too!

Kenya?/

portlandon on July 9, 2010 at 3:01 PM

I really don’t care much about how Obama views himself.

All I know is this … all those Greek columns, all those speeches, all those Halos the Lame Stream outlets “photo shopped” on him … all that talk about making the sea levels receed and the planet get cooler …

And all those FOOLS who believed that imagery and talk …

Are now kicking themselves … because they know … NOW … that Rush Limbaugh was right about the little “man-child” all along.

Nuff said.

HondaV65 on July 9, 2010 at 3:01 PM

Jeeez, do you think?

Hummer53 on July 9, 2010 at 3:02 PM

Krauthammer: “I believe Obama may be a tad narcissistic”

Just a tad!?

GFW on July 9, 2010 at 3:02 PM

OMGosh! Let me put on my surprised look!

DuctTapeMyBrain on July 9, 2010 at 3:02 PM

I hope he doesn’t change. Let it all hang out, Scooter. Don’t let those polls scare you.

a capella on July 9, 2010 at 3:03 PM

Clinical narcissist.

LimaLimaMikeFoxtrot on July 9, 2010 at 3:03 PM

And there are few things angrier and more prone to lash out than a NPD who is challenged or criticized. Also NPD and Antisocial Personality Disorder are not unlikely to go hand in hand, or fist in glove, as it were.

clnurnberg on July 9, 2010 at 3:03 PM

I am rather enjoying, though, that all of Barry’s excesses are becoming more and more annoying to a majority of voters. All of his apparent strengths — speechifying, righteous lecturing — now just annoy. When his handlers look into the Barry arsenal, they find out they’ve got nothing. Above all else, he was supposed to be likable. Now he just grates, and there won’t be any coming back from that.

Rational Thought on July 9, 2010 at 3:03 PM

seemingly knee-jerk antipathy to the US that Barack Obama expresses

He’s defiantly inflicting such destruction with the economy here at home that I’m starting to worry about secret deals he may be making with our enemies abroad. The man is bitter about the USA and determined to bring it down to its ‘proper’ place.

petefrt on July 9, 2010 at 3:03 PM

“Where is my seven iron?”
“Who stole my mirror?”
“Is my teleprompter ready?”
“Has anyone seen my birth certificate?”

fogw on July 9, 2010 at 3:04 PM

America is just a prop in The Glorious Legend of Barack.

Cicero43 on July 9, 2010 at 3:04 PM

Among his major irritations this is trivial, but strikes me every time he refers to himself as Commander in Chief, it always sounds like he is saying Commander-n-chief as if to say commander and chief.

fourdeucer on July 9, 2010 at 3:05 PM

Obama may be a tad narcissistic? A tad?

That is like a woman saying she is a tad pregnant!

You tell me all those photographs taken of this guy with what looks like a halo around his head (like the one headlining this thread) are mere accidents and not a tad staged!

pilamaye on July 9, 2010 at 3:05 PM

Hey Kraut….just a tad??

ohiobabe on July 9, 2010 at 3:06 PM

If only his name was America.
Then, perhaps, our country would appear to be esteemed to this big-eared, over-rated, stupid a$$.

carbon_footprint on July 9, 2010 at 3:06 PM

America is just a prop in The Glorious Legend of Barack.

Cicero43 on July 9, 2010 at 3:04 PM

+1

Obama treats America like those fake greek styrofoam columns he packed around in ’08.

portlandon on July 9, 2010 at 3:06 PM

“Where is my seven iron?”
“Who stole my mirror?”
“Is my teleprompter ready?”
“Has anyone seen my birth certificate?”

fogw on July 9, 2010 at 3:04 PM

“Cook! where’s my hosenfefer?!”

Skywise on July 9, 2010 at 3:06 PM

Usually, though, Presidents are seasoned enough to keep their narcissism in check and temper it with a larger expression of affection for America.

And some bring genuine humility:

“there’s no limit to what you can achieve if you don’t care who gets the credit”
-Ronald Reagan

JeffWeimer on July 9, 2010 at 3:07 PM

I’m a little disappointed that 2 years after it was obvious to anyone who cared to view Obama objectively, that someone like Charles Krauthammer is just now discussing Obama’s narcissism.

A little late in my opinion.

ButterflyDragon on July 9, 2010 at 3:07 PM

When my kid graduated Marine boot camp at MCRD San Diego, among other gifts I gave him was a pocket-sized copy of the Constitution. I held it in front of him and said “THIS is why you are a Marine. THIS is what you have sworn to defend, not any man or woman in the white house”.

LimaLimaMikeFoxtrot on July 9, 2010 at 3:07 PM

I want to hear more speeches from Michelle. Ungag her!

a capella on July 9, 2010 at 3:07 PM

A lot of people don’t really understand what narcissism is.

To be humble does not mean to think less of yourself; it means to think of yourself LESS.

If someone is self-confident, that does not make him a narcissist. In fact, the exact opposite is the case.

Lots of truly great men have sat in the Oval Office, never doubting for a second that they were dwarfed by the glory of the people they served.

Obama’s narcissism and his contempt for America are not two separate issues; they are inextricably linked together. A great man feels pride in serving others — by helping them achieve their own goals. A small man can only feed his ego by denigrating everything and everyone around him.

logis on July 9, 2010 at 3:09 PM

Love of self vs. hate for country. Good article.

PrezHussein on July 9, 2010 at 2:59 PM

Article of impeachment?

Jusskiddin, I wish though!

Archimedes on July 9, 2010 at 3:09 PM

“Last year I was conceited, but this year I’m perfect.

“Conceit is a fault and I don’t have any faults.”

“But enough about me. Let’s talk about you. What do you think of me?”

rockmom on July 9, 2010 at 3:09 PM

L’etat c’est Obama.

Beagle on July 9, 2010 at 3:09 PM

Well, he is a big effing deal. Slow Joe said so.

John Deaux on July 9, 2010 at 3:10 PM

Yesterday.

Do you think Obama could wrap his head around some judge in NOLA saying the drill ban was wrong? If Obama doesn’t like something, why would he need legislation?
Telling a narcissist no is something they can’t grasp.

seven on July 9, 2010 at 3:12 PM

LimaLimaMikeFoxtrot on July 9, 2010 at 3:07 PM

Amen brudda, amen.

Archimedes on July 9, 2010 at 3:12 PM

Barack is the quintessential liberal. Like all liberals, he has a lot of self-loathing and guilt, which he transfers into a general unhappiness and malaise about his surroundings, i.e. his country. The problem is not in him — Oh, God, glorious him! – but in the country. Thus he spends his days, obsessively brooding over any possible problem or injustice and picking and picking at any perceived national failing; but, finding no resolution, he constantly must turn over a new scab and constantly seeks absolution.

GTR640 on July 9, 2010 at 3:13 PM

There is a tad of salt in the oceans. Me, myself and I do not like the Obumbler.

GnuBreed on July 9, 2010 at 3:13 PM

Obama is not the first president with a large streak of narcissism. But the others had equally expansive feelings about their country. Obama’s modesty about America would be more understandable if he treated himself with the same reserve. What is odd is to have a president so convinced of his own magnificence — yet not of his own country’s.

Absolutely. It’s Obama’s queer juxtaposition of self aggrandizement atop the denigrating antipathy for his country that is UNPRECEDENTED.

maverick muse on July 9, 2010 at 3:14 PM

We should call him “our president” instead of “my”.

He should be the people’s president, not his own king.

The professor didn’t learn much.

The suit has no emperor.

Such utter contempt and impertinence must and will be punished.

The populace was fooled, royally, once. If this happens again, they deserve total destruction by the foolers.

Schadenfreude on July 9, 2010 at 3:14 PM

“…to his speeches marked by a spectacularly promiscuous use of the word “I.””

You noticed that, too…?

Seven Percent Solution on July 9, 2010 at 3:14 PM

“But enough about me. Let’s talk about you. What do you think of me?”

rockmom on July 9, 2010 at 3:09 PM

BWAHAHAHA

maverick muse on July 9, 2010 at 3:15 PM

I wonder if he still thinks that Palin should leave the room for serious discussions with this narcissistic jerk.

DrAllecon on July 9, 2010 at 2:59 PM

Ditto. Actually in my word he would be asked that question on camera every day.

antisocial on July 9, 2010 at 3:15 PM

Obama ist ein Esel

J_Crater on July 9, 2010 at 3:15 PM

An NPD who runs into opposition or who has scads of admiration withdrawn believes in payback if they can manage it. The other option is manipulation and delusion “Israelis don’t like me because my middle name is Hussein (not because of me or what I have done)”

This man is a scourge

clnurnberg on July 9, 2010 at 3:17 PM

To see a combination of greatness and humility, study Abraham Lincoln. To see the exact opposite, look to the current president.

tgharris on July 9, 2010 at 3:18 PM

Obama, un narcissist ? Vous devez me duper

J_Crater on July 9, 2010 at 3:18 PM

“Monarchs have the royal “we,”…”

You just KNOW Obowma struts around the White House and says things like…

“It would please “us” to play some golf today!”

Seven Percent Solution on July 9, 2010 at 3:20 PM

Krauthammer refers to a pattern that many have noticed about Obama, his repetitive self-referential language in speeches and remarks that far exceed anything seen from his predecessors — even the man we used to call The Big Me, Bill Clinton.

For kicks, a search on president obama speech + “my presidency”, brought 9340 results (sure, some are not from his speeches, but even as references…speaks volumes).

Schadenfreude on July 9, 2010 at 3:20 PM

The populace was fooled, royally, once. If this happens again, they deserve total destruction by the foolers.

Schadenfreude on July 9, 2010 at 3:14 PM

There is no “they” when total destruction hits the populace.

Deserve’s got nothing to do with it. We all fall down.

maverick muse on July 9, 2010 at 3:21 PM

I’m less convinced that this has to do with Obama the man than with Obama the liberal/leftists. I.e., ideology, not personality.

Obama is simply the personification of the liberal/left view of America and of themselves.

SteveMG on July 9, 2010 at 3:21 PM

It took almost 2 years to sort this out? He’s an intellectual?

faraway on July 9, 2010 at 3:21 PM

I almost would weep after Dr Krauthammer’s analysis after every debate. Not one, but all three. Once upon a time he was “flawless” “composed” “masterful” ….

Marcus on July 9, 2010 at 3:21 PM

Instead of getting a dog and naming it after himself, Obama should have gotten a chimp and named it Bubbles.
The spirit of Michael Jackson lives on at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

OxyCon on July 9, 2010 at 3:22 PM

He fancies himself Mr. T, not realizing that in his case the “T” stands for Teleprompter.

Schadenfreude on July 9, 2010 at 3:22 PM

I still have trouble with the whole idea of a narcissistic Obama. It might very well be true, but the words I would associate with this guy are megalomaniac and wanna be tyrant.

I really wouldn’t be troubled by a purely ‘look at me, I am soooo beautiful’ Ted Baxter type if he wasn’t trying to radically transform the United States into something different than it was originally conceived.

Skandia Recluse on July 9, 2010 at 3:22 PM

HEH

macncheez on July 9, 2010 at 3:23 PM

’m less convinced that this has to do with Obama the man than with Obama the liberal/leftists. I.e., ideology, not personality.

Obama is simply the personification of the liberal/left view of America and of themselves.

SteveMG on July 9, 2010 at 3:21 PM

Synchronicity

maverick muse on July 9, 2010 at 3:24 PM

Marcus on July 9, 2010 at 3:21 PM

It took ’til now for Krauthammer to get it?

maverick muse on July 9, 2010 at 3:25 PM

it’s all about the O….

I don’t think he has a modest bone in his body…

cmsinaz on July 9, 2010 at 3:25 PM

Dr. Krauthammer doesn’t sound very grateful to have such an interesting President to examine.

Lily on July 9, 2010 at 3:26 PM

Krauthammer is a psychiatrist. I’d like to see him take his “diagnosis” further, but I expect his professional ethics won’t allow him to.

ProfessorMiao on July 9, 2010 at 3:27 PM

While there are two many examples to cite (much less remember), my personal favorite is the pitch for the Olympics. Fly in, talk about yourself, fly out.

johnboy on July 9, 2010 at 3:27 PM

John McClane: Welcome to the party, pal!

Skywise on July 9, 2010

(dead body on windshield optional)

Extrafishy on July 9, 2010 at 3:27 PM

Now we have this indepth analysis of Obama, of which, I think most of us saw from the beginning, and more are seeing each day…..can we do some indepth investigating and get those grades?

Probably not! *sigh*

capejasmine on July 9, 2010 at 3:28 PM

Synchronicity

Perhaps; but I’d rather target the ideology than the man. Yes, we can do both but one is, it seems to me, more important to defeat than the other.

After all, there are lots of Obamas out there to follow him. He’s not promoting these terrible policies all by himself. He has support.

SteveMG on July 9, 2010 at 3:29 PM

my oil spill
my crap healthcare plan
my sinking economy
my higher taxes
my loss in VA
my loss in NJ
my loss in MA

But Obama’s modesty is curiously selective.

PatriotRider on July 9, 2010 at 3:29 PM

Cripes Krauthammer! ?Now? you come the conclusion Obama may be “a tad narcisstic”? Only in the Beltway can obviously intelligent people become so oblivious and obtuse. It is simply amazing to me that this country has made it this far when the watchdogs of our 4th estate demonstrate such insight and claivoyance as Krauthammer here.

These people need to quit flying over fly over country so they can put aside astro/meta-physical calculations of the political universe encompassed within their navel cavity and sit down with some real people who could re-teach them how to add 2+2!

Hey Charles the license plate of that truck just ran you over read, No Duh!

Archimedes on July 9, 2010 at 3:30 PM

Narcissism? Nahh, Obama just loves looking into still pools of water.

Mr. Joe on July 9, 2010 at 3:30 PM

Krauthammer’s been saying this – in so many words – for a long, long time. Heck, he said it during the campaign.

This isn’t an epiphany on his part.

SteveMG on July 9, 2010 at 3:30 PM

Krauthammer is a influential D.C. pundit. With him now putting this out there, it becomes “CV” with the very same political-social-media group that Obama interacts with in D.C.

flackcatcher on July 9, 2010 at 3:30 PM

perfect picture for the thread Ed

cmsinaz on July 9, 2010 at 3:32 PM

My feeling about Obama has always been that he is power hungry and would glady run any country he happened to find himself in. He’d gladly be a dictator if the situation presented itself.

He has no desire to lead our country because of love of country. He has a desire for power and adulation. Period.

Vera on July 9, 2010 at 3:33 PM

Obama is a tad narcissistic as that oil in the gulf is from a small leak.

sadatoni on July 9, 2010 at 3:34 PM

I ‘hope’ the river that has his reflection is polluted with BP oil. Kiss that reflection!

Fuquay Steve on July 9, 2010 at 3:35 PM

Krauthammer is a psychiatrist. I’d like to see him take his “diagnosis” further, but I expect his professional ethics won’t allow him to.

ProfessorMiao on July 9, 2010 at 3:27 PM

Psychiatrists never want to rush to judgement, their patients have to keep going back almost in perpetuity.

fourdeucer on July 9, 2010 at 3:35 PM

When Krauthammer stops referring to Obama as smart, then I’ll think the man has gotten some sense when it comes to our current president. Noticing Obama’s self centered immaturity is a nice start, but until Charles gets over his assumptions about Obama’s intelligence, he is propagating a completely baseless opinion.

I have a lot of respect for Charles Krauthammer. He was the first conservative I read on a regular basis and he is the major reason I was open to conservative ideas. But whenever he talks about Obama’s intelligence and eloquence, he just turns me right off. Maybe because it hurts too much to hear it from someone of his stature. There is absolutely nothing to base such an opinion on.

Jaynie59 on July 9, 2010 at 3:35 PM

I’m shocked. SHOCKED, I tell ya!

Tennman on July 9, 2010 at 3:37 PM

He has no desire to lead our country because of love of country. He has a desire for power and adulation. Period.

Vera on July 9, 2010 at 3:33 PM

spot on

cmsinaz on July 9, 2010 at 3:40 PM

Dr. Krauthammer doesn’t sound very grateful to have such an interesting President to examine.

Lily on July 9, 2010 at 3:26 PM

I think he’d rather examine the patient in a locked ward, where the patient can’t do any harm.

Wethal on July 9, 2010 at 3:40 PM

Yes, well, I am more concerned about HOW Obama is going to handle ‘failure’?

Can anyone dig out any precedence? Besides him being real nasty and a jerk?

Sir Napsalot on July 9, 2010 at 3:46 PM

What really hurts is that Charles is a professional who understands people’s inner…well..ah…souls. But that would be stretching it in this case.

Don L on July 9, 2010 at 3:51 PM

Message to Obama: WE are not amused.

Rocks on July 9, 2010 at 3:55 PM

Krauthammer did write an article early, early on about Obama’s narcissistic nature, and I trusted him after that to keep up on this same vein. Instead, like many people have pointed out, he always commended Obama’s brilliance and eloquence as a prelude to the outrageous and stupid dung-heap
policies Obama brought about.

betsyz on July 9, 2010 at 3:56 PM

He has many of the qualities of a sociopath.

Disturb the Universe on July 9, 2010 at 3:59 PM

“Monarchs have the royal “we,”…”
You just KNOW Obowma struts around the White House and says things like…

“It would please “us” to play some golf today!”
Seven Percent Solution on July 9, 2010 at 3:20 PM

I would LOVE to know what his Secret Service detail thinks of him.

NavyMustang on July 9, 2010 at 4:01 PM

Krathammer just figured that out? Why is it that so many Ivy Leaguers don’t have a lick of common sense?

In my opinion, Krathammer is very overrated.

bw222 on July 9, 2010 at 4:02 PM

Now he just grates, and there won’t be any coming back from that.

Rational Thought on July 9, 2010 at 3:03 PM

I’m with you. Now and then you hear someone posit a potential turnaround before 2012. But I’ve watched him busily digging himself into this hole for 18 months and I truly think it’s too late for him to put that shovel down.

Dee2008 on July 9, 2010 at 4:03 PM

And bears have a tendency to deficate in wooded areas.

Bobbertsan on July 9, 2010 at 4:03 PM

Disturb the Universe on July 9, 2010 at 3:59 PM

Well, I checked off about 12 or 13 for him.

betsyz on July 9, 2010 at 4:05 PM

Krauthammer’s been saying this – in so many words – for a long, long time. Heck, he said it during the campaign.

This isn’t an epiphany on his part.

SteveMG on July 9, 2010 at 3:30 PM

That’s funny. I recall Krathammer being quite impressed with Obama during and immediately after the campaign.

bw222 on July 9, 2010 at 4:05 PM

my oil spill
my crap healthcare plan
my sinking economy
my higher taxes
my loss in VA
my loss in NJ
my loss in MA

But Obama’s modesty is curiously selective.

PatriotRider on July 9, 2010 at 3:29 PM

my Muslim faith

aquaviva on July 9, 2010 at 4:05 PM

I would LOVE to know what his Secret Service detail thinks of him.

NavyMustang on July 9, 2010 at 4:01 PM

Oh, the stories to be told. Hard to imagine that everyone who works around or at the White House is mesmerized with that buffoon.

betsyz on July 9, 2010 at 4:07 PM

I’m less convinced that this has to do with Obama the man than with Obama the liberal/leftists. I.e., ideology, not personality.

Obama is simply the personification of the liberal/left view of America and of themselves.

SteveMG on July 9, 2010

These are inextricably linked with this President. You see, Obama is an America hating, narcicistic, leftist idealogue. Can you think of a more dangerous or disheartening combination for the country in these times?

JonPrichard on July 9, 2010 at 4:09 PM

For kicks, a search on president obama speech + “my presidency”, brought 9340 results (sure, some are not from his speeches, but even as references…speaks volumes).

Google president obama speech + “I” returns “About 58,000,000 results.” Google president obama speech + “me” returns about 16,100,000 results.

Not really all that accurate, but entertaining and telling nontheless.

crazy_legs on July 9, 2010 at 4:10 PM

That’s funny. I recall Krathammer being quite impressed with Obama during and immediately after the campaign.

bw222 on July 9, 2010 at 4:05 PM

Not so much. As early as July 2008, Krauthammer linked Obama to Hitler for appearing before throngs of Germans in his Berlin speech. And a month before the election he flatly stated he would be voting for McCain and chastised conservatives who were jumping ship to vote for the “most liberal and least experienced” candidate ever.

Krauthammer has been consistently critical of Obama for a long time.

Dee2008 on July 9, 2010 at 4:14 PM

Ooh wait, wait… I thought of another one -
Han Solo: “Well, I’m so glad you’re here to tell us these things!”

Skywise on July 9, 2010 at 4:16 PM

Comment pages: 1 2