Obama isn’t a narcissist.
If you thought so, don’t worry, I made the same diagnostic mistake.
Narcissism is far too serious and deep to describe our President, the real issue much more simplistic and far more superficial.
As James Oliphant of the left wing National Journal hits close to the mark, I would wager that his accuracy is an accident but close counts in horseshoes, hand grenades and psychoanalysis. Oliphant writes that Obama sure does love him some elites:
“’I believe that here in America, our success should depend not on accident of birth, but the strength of our work ethic and the scope of our dreams,’ Obama said early in his remarks.
Looking at his administration, however, you would never know he believes that. Yes, as the president pointed out, both he and House Speaker John Boehner come from modest backgrounds. But as a graduate of Harvard Law School, Obama has shown himself more of that stripe, stuffing his administration with like-minded denizens of the Ivy League.”
The love of elites is only one side of the reaction, balancing it in the other side is the fact that Obama is a poseur, a fake. His supposed narcissism is actually a deep insecurity hidden by arrogance and hubris and combined with the drive of a social climber.
That insecurity is born of the knowledge that he really doesn’t belong with the true blue-blooded Ivy Leaguers. He is smart enough, politically savvy enough but at the end of the day, he knows that he is a new age, bi-racial kid from an uncertain, non-traditional upbringing playing in a sandbox where bloodlines are traced back to the founding of the country. He is nouveau riche in a world of old, old money.
When I think of Obama trying so desperately to fit in and at the same time, paralyzed that he might be discovered, my thoughts run to what Vesper (Eva Green) said to Bond (Daniel Craig) in Casino Royale when they first met:
“…by the cut of your suit, you went to Oxford or wherever. Naturally you think human beings dress like that. But you wear it with such disdain, my guess is you didn’t come from money, and your school friends never let you forget it. Which means that you were at that school by the grace of someone else’s charity: hence that chip on your shoulder…”
The real Obama is nothing more than a frightened scholarship kid at the tony prep school – one surrounded by disaffected rich kids. The only way he can survive is to be perceived as bigger, bolder, faster, smarter and better at everything – and if you don’t believe him, just ask:
“I think I could probably do every job on the campaign better than the people I’ll hire to do it,” he said. “It’s hard to give up control when that’s all I’ve known.” Obama said nearly the same thing to Patrick Gaspard, whom he hired to be the campaign’s political director. “I think I’m a better speechwriter than my speechwriters,” Obama told him. “I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And I’ll tell you right now that I’m gonna think I’m a better political director than my political director.”
Obama is he kid who is so desperate to belong that every interaction is approached with either disdain or inappropriate aggression. Obama handles confrontation with passive aggressive aplomb, equal parts hubris and aloofness.
All of it is a sham, a façade.
He’s not a narcissist, just a garden variety fraud.