Green Room

L’état c’est Obama

posted at 10:44 am on October 23, 2012 by

Last night’s debate may have lacked the anticipated fireworks over the Obama administration’s pathetic attempt to sell the American public a false bill of goods after the raid on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, but it contained an important reminder. Late in the debate, in an obvious stumble, the president said:

One thing I think Americans should be proud of, when Tunisians began to protest, this nation—me … my administration—stood with them earlier than just about any country. [Emphasis added]

There may be no “I” in team, but there is most definitely an “I” in president and nation. And in Obama’s eyes, if no one else’s, the two are one and the same.

It is the latest flexing of his best-worked muscle, the egotissimus anteriori. It is telling. if unsurprising after four years of non-stop speeches filled with self-reverence. Terrence Jeffrey of CNSnews.com counted the number of first-person pronouns in a single 25-minute speech and found that Obama used “I” 98 times and “me” 19 times.

There was plenty else the president said that won’t pass the smell test. He tried once again to invoke “the record,” but there was no Candy Crowley to oblige. He would have lost the point anyway, since his claim—that Mitt Romney advocated allowing the U.S. auto industry to go bankrupt, period—was false.

His entire performance last night was another effort to atone for his lame showing in the first all-important debate by peppering his answers to questions with cheap shots and snarky zingers. In the end, it was too little, too late. More viewers tuned in to the first debate than to either of the second or last night’s debate, and early reports suggest last night’s may have had the smallest audience. The New York Times quotes foreign policy analyst Anne-Marie Slaughter as having tweeted during the debate, “I live and breathe this stuff, and I’m bored.”

CNN acknowledges that Mitt Romney did what he came to do, and that was to appear knowledgeable and presidential. And he did it without repeatedly using first-person pronouns.

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There may be no “I” in team, but there is most definitely an “I” in president and nation. And in Obama’s eyes, if no one else’s, the two are one and the same.

The funny thing is, there is no “I” in Obama either yet he finds a way to put one there.

Bitter Clinger on October 23, 2012 at 11:03 AM

You can’t really judge how egotistical a person is by how many first-person pronouns they use. Compare the following two hypothetical sentences:

I deserve the credit for killing Bin Laden.

I don’t deserve the credit for killing Bin Laden.

Each sentence has one first-person pronoun, but one is a lot more egotistical than the other.

J.S.K. on October 23, 2012 at 11:03 AM

Actually, there is a “i” in team.

RushBaby on October 23, 2012 at 11:15 AM

The funny thing is, there is no “I” in Obama either yet he finds a way to put one there.

Bitter Clinger on October 23, 2012 at 11:03 AM

You’re forgetting his middle name: HusseIn

rbj on October 23, 2012 at 11:26 AM

Since folks are having a bit of fun with the “No I in team” meme, I thought I’d share something my son stopped me with when I said that. He said “Yeah Dad, but there is an M and an E and that spells me”. Don’t know where the kid gets it from.

Duncan Khuver on October 23, 2012 at 11:37 AM

Great points.

And Obama’s L’Etat C’est Moi moment was in stark contrast with Romney who’s sole moment of anger was when describing Obama’s apology tour even though he was called a liar to his face, where he was interrupted repeatedly, and where the President was demeaning and condescending.

livefreerdie on October 23, 2012 at 11:49 AM

Since folks are having a bit of fun with the “No I in team” meme, I thought I’d share something my son stopped me with when I said that. He said “Yeah Dad, but there is an M and an E and that spells me”. Don’t know where the kid gets it from.

Duncan Khuver on October 23, 2012 at 11:37 AM

Point out that that leaves an at. So if there is any blame to go around you should say “it’s at me.”

rbj on October 23, 2012 at 11:54 AM

I kind of feel bad for Obama’s local Domino’s Pizza because, when his ass hopefully gets fired next month, the only person who’s going to have to give a damn about anything he says will be the person that says, “Thank you for calling, Dominos. How may I help you?”

If he ends up losing this election, he’s going to be vilified by the right for the crap that he’s done, he’s going to be vilified by the left for running a crap campaign and he’s going to have to spend the rest of his life waking up next to a wife that resents the fact that, because he lost, no one gives a crap about what she says or thinks or wears.

OrbeaRider66 on October 23, 2012 at 12:48 PM

One thing I think Americans should be proud of, when Tunisians began to protest, this nation—me … my administration—stood with them earlier than just about any country. [Emphasis added]

Did the great “O am” stand with Ambassador Stevens when he was attacked?

Steve Z on October 23, 2012 at 12:49 PM

There’s definitely a ‘I’ in immature.

If Obama loses on Nov. 6, it’s really open to question if the president, his advisers or the liberal pundits backing them will show any sort of decorum at all, or if the whole thing will turn into a tantrum-fest combined with efforts to declare the election invalid, even if Romney’s victory margin ends up matching the gap in the current Gallup polling.

jon1979 on October 23, 2012 at 1:03 PM

If he ends up losing this election, he’s going to be vilified by the right for the crap that he’s done, he’s going to be vilified by the left for running a crap campaign and he’s going to have to spend the rest of his life waking up next to a wife that resents the fact that, because he lost, no one gives a crap about what she says or thinks or wears.

OrbeaRider66 on October 23, 2012 at 12:48 PM

After an extended period of shunning, Jimmy Carter got back in the Democratic Party’s good graces by going full-bore leftist in retirement, after Ted Kennedy and not Jimmy was the left’s choice in 1980.

Expect the same strategy for Obama if he loses in two weeks. He doesn’t really need to change his ideology anywhere near what Carter did to be where the left wants him to be, he just has to let his petulance shine through, so he satisfies the people who actually enjoy watching Chiris Matthews or Lawrence O’Donnell rant (Obama’s historic position as the first African-American president also gives him a leg up on rehabilitation on the left, though since his 2008 campaign and his governance has been so much like David Dinkins in New York from 1989-93, if Romney wins and has anywhere near the success at the national level as Rudy Giuliani had in turning around New York after Dinkins, expect only the people on the left to give a damn what Obama has to say by 2016).

jon1979 on October 23, 2012 at 1:11 PM

jon1979 on October 23, 2012 at 1:11 PM

I’ve resisted writing about the Obama-Dinkins parallel because it seems out-of-the-box racist to note that both were black leaders of large bureaucracies, both in over their heads. Nevertheless, Romney if elected has a chance very similar to the one facing Giuliani in the mop-up after Dinkins. Giuliani was a no-nonsense pragmatist who needed to make some unpopular cuts but did it unflinchingly. I wonder if Romney can be as tough and whether that will ultimately quiet the haters, if not win their support.

Howard Portnoy on October 23, 2012 at 1:36 PM

No wonder the boy who would be king joked during the Al Smith dinner about wanting to use his middle name since it’s where the I is. The reason he got angrier and angrier last night is because he couldn’t pick a fight with Mitt who remained cool, calm and collected.

Kissmygrits on October 23, 2012 at 2:00 PM

The only Benghazi thing I wish Mitt had asked about last night was the fact that they watched the attack in real time from the drone cam and didn’t do a damn thing about it in real time.

Kissmygrits on October 23, 2012 at 2:02 PM

The reason he got angrier and angrier last night is because he couldn’t pick a fight with Mitt who remained cool, calm and collected.

Well, it can be tough to pick a fight with someone who is your exact opposite … mature, focused, has a plan, isn’t panicking, (hopefully) has a job lined up for January, presidential … you know, everything BO is not.

OrbeaRider66 on October 23, 2012 at 2:03 PM

I’ve resisted writing about the Obama-Dinkins parallel because it seems out-of-the-box racist to note that both were black leaders of large bureaucracies, both in over their heads. Nevertheless, Romney if elected has a chance very similar to the one facing Giuliani in the mop-up after Dinkins. Giuliani was a no-nonsense pragmatist who needed to make some unpopular cuts but did it unflinchingly. I wonder if Romney can be as tough and whether that will ultimately quiet the haters, if not win their support.

Howard Portnoy on October 23, 2012 at 1:36 PM

Howard: Yes, Romney can be as tough. You don’t run corporations like Bain or turn around a failing Olympics without making the tough decisions. I imagine that even as I type this reply to your question, a whole bunch of very qualified people are sitting at desks poring through tons and tons of information in order to present Romney with the facts and figures (real facts and real figures, not the misleading Obama ones) he will need to take command of the situation the minute Romney finishes taking the oath of office.

As for the second part of your question, no. The haters will never quiet down. That’s their entire reason for existing: to hate any one to the slightest bit right of their position. If Romney wins, they will dish out the same crap they hurled at W for eight years. The MSM will immediately begin putting Romney’s every word and deed under the microscope they misplaced four years ago, and criticize the very fact that the man is breathing wrong. I just hope Romney fights back instead of shrugging it off as being beneath his notice.

catsandbooks on October 23, 2012 at 2:42 PM

Howard Portnoy on October 23, 2012 at 1:36 PM

While the analogy can be controversial, the past four years have shown it to be painfully true, and for the same reason — Obama and Dinkins are both basically beta-male personalities with little or no past records of accomlishments, who came across to swing voters as non-threatening, because if they had been more forceful, with their ideologies, they would have reminded voters of Al Sharpton (as true in 1989 as it was in 2008). But that same beat personality means even if either wanted to move to the right after being elected, as Bill Clinton did after the 1994 midterms, they couldn’t, because thet would mean abandoning the ideologues who got them there in the first place.

“Hope and Change” is “Gorgeous Mosaic”, Obama’s problems with the Jews over Israel is Dinkins’ problems with the Jews over Crown Heights; Obama’s failures with the economy are analogous to Dinkins’ failures to lower the city’s crime rate. And in both cases, if you elect someone by telling voters they are something they’re not, don’t be surprised if the voters reject you the second time around, when you have to run on your record instead of the idea that your election will turn the city/nation into Shangra-La.

Hopefully, if Romney wins on Nov. 6, he’ll realize like Giuliani did, that getting results right out of the box is more important that trying to get the punditry class to love you right out of the box — the media and Democrats in New York hated what Giuliani was doing in 1994-95, but the results were so obvious by 1997 that even the New York Times had to hold its nose and endorse him for re-election over the city’s local version of Nancy Pelosi, Ruth Messinger.

jon1979 on October 23, 2012 at 2:52 PM

These debates have shown that you can’t be a good debater if you:
a) don’t have a command of the facts,
b) have grown up thinking Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals is a handbook on debating.

OccamsRazor on October 23, 2012 at 3:46 PM

the city’s local version of Nancy Pelosi, Ruth Messinger.

Truer words…

Howard Portnoy on October 23, 2012 at 4:00 PM

Duncan Khuver on October 23, 2012 at 11:37 AM

Heh. He got it from my son, who got it from me. ;) I’ve spouted that off every time someone throws that hoary old anti-individualist canard out for a couple of decades or more now.

GWB on October 23, 2012 at 4:32 PM