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Fourth-Best President? The Unbearable Heaviness of Obama’s Ego
PJ Media ^ | December 22, 2011 | Barry Rubin

Posted on 12/22/2011 12:26:04 PM PST by jazusamo

In his interview with 60 Minutes, Barack Obama said he was the “fourth-best president.” This was cut from the program. Since it is such a compelling statement, I can only presume it was cut — like so many other things that were great in journalistic terms — to keep Obama from looking bad.

But those making fun of Obama for this statement have just skimmed the surface. Actually, there is a lot to be discovered from further examining what he said. And, before proceeding, I should note that my main professional training was in U.S. history, just to make clear that I’m treating this seriously and from a basis of study.

First, Obama showed how he takes the total support of the mass media for granted, something inconceivable for any previous president. He begins:

The issue here is not going be a list of accomplishments. As you said yourself, Steve, you know, I would put our legislative and foreign-policy accomplishments in our first two years against any president …

In other words, Obama is attributing the fact that he’s a great president to the interviewer, Steve Kroft. According to Obama, Croft has already proclaimed him to be wonderful. Obama is just going along with what the media said.

It has often been remarked that Obama is a narcissist, but what we see here is actually dangerous, a man who is so closed and arrogant that he really cannot take criticism into account. Any leader, except a dictator (and as a result they make lots of mistakes), needs to listen to criticism and adjust policies, not necessarily change them entirely, but alter them to deal with his own errors, new discoveries, and changing conditions.

Note in Obama’s case how his new “jobs bill” is merely a repeat of the failed stimulus. And similar things can be said about his foreign policy — he simply does not take in developments and criticism. This is parallel to a ship’s captain being warned that there’s a big iceberg ahead, and continuing with his speech about how he has set the perfect course.

This theme is reinforced by his saying: “The issue here is not going be a list of accomplishments.” In other words, no one can even dispute that he has had great accomplishments. The science is settled; debate is closed. This also tells us that if Obama gets a second term, he won’t do any better at all.

The end of the quote is also patronizing:

But, you know, but when it comes to the economy, we’ve got a lot more work to do.

Yes, that minor problem of the economy.

But in terms of history, what Obama says has been misinterpreted:

I would put our legislative and foreign-policy accomplishments in our first two years against any president — with the possible exceptions of Johnson, FDR, and Lincoln — just in terms of what we’ve gotten done in modern history.

In passing, let’s note that Obama is one of the most inarticulate of all presidents. He finds it difficult to construct a proper sentence. Take away the hype and his level of expression is on the same level as that of George W. Bush. And that is not meant to be exaggerated. I think it is precisely accurate.

But to be fair to Obama, he was only referring to the first two years of previous presidents. Indeed, during their first two years in office, neither Roosevelt nor Lincoln had any great foreign policy accomplishments at all. And Johnson’s main “accomplishment,” tragically, was the Vietnam War.

So, starting with Lincoln, what presidents had great foreign policy accomplishments in their first two years? Between 1861, when Lincoln took office, and 1941 — with the exception that proves the rule of 1917-1920 — the United States was mostly isolationist and not a great power.

I would say that the president with the greatest foreign policy record in his first two years was Harry Truman, who had to deal with the end of the war with Japan, get the armed forces home, and deal with the political end of World War Two, the transformation of America into a peacetime great power, and the acceptance of the need to fight the Cold War.

Other top presidents on foreign policy in the first two years would be — in chronological order — Eisenhower, Kennedy, Reagan, and George Bush. I’d explain in detail but it would take too much space.

What has Obama accomplished? He can only claim one thing: to have made America more popular after George W. Bush. There is some truth to this, but it is exaggerated. In fact, while at first there was a popularity effect, it has diminished, and anyway, popularity is not the most important thing in international affairs.

Obama has not accomplished anything in Africa, Asia, or South America. There has not been any major gain in relations with Russia, either. U.S.-European relations are friendly — but is this some great accomplishment?

As for the Middle East, Obama has been disastrous. He singlehandedly sabotaged the peace process and has opened the door to anti-American radical regimes.

Can anyone seriously maintain that Obama has achieved a huge amount beyond briefly “restoring” America’s popularity to — though he and his supporters never admit this — the levels it enjoyed under Bill Clinton?

Then there’s domestic policy. And here we must point out an important Obama assumption: he feels a great president is someone who can brag about “what we’ve gotten done” by getting new laws passed. I think Obama genuinely doesn’t understand that having new laws — more spending; more regulation — is not inevitably better.

A president can be great for not messing up the non-governmental sector, for not passing new laws. From Grant to McKinley, along with Calvin Coolidge, Dwight Eisenhower, and Ronald Reagan, rapid economic progress and prosperity took place precisely because they didn’t get too much “done” in Obama’s sense of the word. That is vital to understand: America would be better off if Obama had done less.

As for activist presidents, though, whom I’d nominate for achievement in their first two years: Teddy Roosevelt brought needed regulation. One might also list Franklin Roosevelt, Truman (who for some reason Obama continues to ignore), and Johnson. Actually, I’m not sure Lincoln would qualify despite his greatness since the first two years of his term was spent fighting a largely losing Civil War.

You might well want to change that list of best presidents on foreign or domestic issues, but the point is that Obama doesn’t belong on it. I won’t go into detail about the damage that he did to the United States, especially economically, because you know about that already.

Finally, note that Obama said “possible exceptions” of Lincoln and the other two. Obama is saying that maybe he is number one, the best president ever. I’m not surprised that many Americans can’t believe that they’ve elected such a “zany” person to power.

At a time of extreme crisis, at home and abroad, the man at the steering wheel is visibly ideologically obsessed, psychologically unfit, and not competent. Many people would dismiss that sentence with scorn and insults. But isn’t it obvious once the hype is discarded?

What is especially frightening here is Obama’s combination of egomania and blindness. Without self-criticism, there is no room for improvement. Without humility, errors will multiply.

Pete Seeger is a left-wing songwriter. His song “Waist Deep in the Big Muddy” — about a foolish captain who marches his men into an impassable swamp — was used to attack Nixon. Yet I think it applies even better to Obama:

Well, I’m not going to point any moral;

I’ll leave that for yourself
Maybe you’re still walking, you’re still talking
You’d like to keep your health.
But every time I read the papers
That old feeling comes on;
We’re waist deep in the Big Muddy
And the big fool says to push on….

Waist deep! Neck deep! Soon even a
Tall man’ll be over his head! We’re
Waist deep in the Big Muddy!
And the big fool says to push on!



TOPICS: Government; Politics
KEYWORDS: disaster; egotist; narcissist; obama

1 posted on 12/22/2011 12:26:09 PM PST by jazusamo
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To: jazusamo

The sickness of it all is unbearable for any REAL AMERICAN.

I cannot even stand to look at this fraud on TV or even listen to his twisted rhetorical lies.

The American electorate has made a number of bad mistakes, but this one takes the WORST WINNER award. And it probably will for many administrations to come.


2 posted on 12/22/2011 12:32:08 PM PST by EagleUSA
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To: jazusamo

The man has no grasp of reality. Obviously his 57 state and harvard univursity reality does not overlap with mine.


3 posted on 12/22/2011 12:34:43 PM PST by Citizen Tom Paine (An old sailor sends)
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To: EagleUSA

You said it well, I couldn’t agree more.


4 posted on 12/22/2011 12:34:53 PM PST by jazusamo (The real minimum wage is zero: Thomas Sowell)
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To: jazusamo

Actually Seeger’s song was used to attack LBJ first, then Nixon. Seeger appeared on the CBS Smother Brothers’ Show in ‘67...I remember that WJBK in Detroit, then a CBS affiliate ran a pro law and order PSA while Seeger was on...thus some of us didn’t get to see it.

It was all pretty tame by today’s standards.


5 posted on 12/22/2011 12:35:09 PM PST by kjo
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To: jazusamo

I am waiting for the moment when this fraud stands on the steps of the Capitol and publically declares himself messiah.

I put nothing past this arrogant fool!


6 posted on 12/22/2011 12:39:22 PM PST by mardi59
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To: jazusamo
This should be in every single Republican presidential ad.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AhJNJgjpuWk

Arrogance for no apparent reason does not sit well with John Q. America.

7 posted on 12/22/2011 12:40:51 PM PST by E. Pluribus Unum (FOREIGN AID: A transfer of money from poor people in rich countries to rich people in poor countries)
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To: jazusamo
I would put our legislative and foreign-policy accomplishments in our first two years against any president — with the possible exceptions of Johnson, FDR, and Lincoln — just in terms of what we’ve gotten done in modern history.

I would put Barack Hussein Obama's accomplishments in his first two years up against Emperor Hideki Tojo's accomplishments in the first week of December, 1941, or against General Ross and his work in DC during August of 1814. There has been no decade in our history in which greater damage has been inflicted on our country, nor has there been a single man who did more harm to America than the current occupant of our White House has done. Even with Tojo and Ross, we knew that we could rebuild, recover, and eventually prevail. With Obama, this might be the end of America as a beacon of hope and freedom before the West drops back into tyranny and ignorance.

8 posted on 12/22/2011 12:48:00 PM PST by Pollster1 (Natural born citizen of the USA, with the birth certificate to prove it)
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To: kjo

When WJBK was first started in 1948, it’s call letters stood for w(Jesus Be Kind)


9 posted on 12/22/2011 12:49:48 PM PST by bwc2221
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To: EagleUSA

I share your thoughts.


10 posted on 12/22/2011 12:56:05 PM PST by Inyo-Mono (My greatest fear is that when I'm gone my wife will sell my guns for what I told her I paid for them)
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To: jazusamo

11 posted on 12/22/2011 12:57:48 PM PST by Bobalu (even Jesus knew the poor would always be with us)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum
Arrogance for no apparent reason does not sit well with John Q. America.

Amen to that, and arrogance doesn't get much more blatant than that.

12 posted on 12/22/2011 12:57:53 PM PST by jazusamo (The real minimum wage is zero: Thomas Sowell)
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To: jazusamo

13 posted on 12/22/2011 1:05:17 PM PST by Bobalu (even Jesus knew the poor would always be with us)
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To: Pollster1
I would put Barack Hussein Obama's accomplishments in his first two years up against Emperor Hideki Tojo's accomplishments in the first week of December, 1941, or against General Ross and his work in DC during August of 1814.

Left to right: Admiral Yamamoto, Emperor Hirohito, Prime Minister Tojo

14 posted on 12/22/2011 1:17:02 PM PST by x
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To: jazusamo
"malignant narcissistic Marxist ideologue with a messianic complex.
torpid low-class member of the Nomeklatura, an Apparatchik."

....all apply to Barry Soetoro aka Barack Hussein Obama
did I miss anything?...add to if you wish.

15 posted on 12/22/2011 1:23:09 PM PST by skinkinthegrass (I can take tomorrow, spend it all today. Who can take your income, tax it all away. Obama Man can. :)
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To: jazusamo
Obama may consider himself the “fourth-best president.”

With me, Obama will always be #2.

16 posted on 12/22/2011 1:38:02 PM PST by Daaave ("I don't apologize to take care of my family.")
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To: jazusamo

He is not even the fourth best of my lifetime.


17 posted on 12/22/2011 1:56:49 PM PST by RatRipper (I'll ride a turtle to work every day before I buy anything from Government Motors.)
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To: jazusamo
Barack Obama said he was the “fourth-best president.” This was cut from the program. Since it is such a compelling statement, I can only presume it was cut — like so many other things that were great in journalistic terms — to keep Obama from looking bad.

Of course they had to cut it. Otherwise the sheeple who still watch 60 Minutes would have seen their emperor naked save for his over-weaning narcissism and egotism.

18 posted on 12/22/2011 2:15:48 PM PST by Rummyfan (Iraq: it's not about Iraq anymore, it's about the USA!)
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To: jazusamo
Barack Obama said he was the “fourth-best president.” This was cut from the program. Since it is such a compelling statement, I can only presume it was cut — like so many other things that were great in journalistic terms — to keep Obama from looking bad.

Of course they had to cut it. Otherwise the sheeple who still watch 60 Minutes would have seen their emperor naked save for his over-weaning narcissism and egotism.

19 posted on 12/22/2011 2:15:48 PM PST by Rummyfan (Iraq: it's not about Iraq anymore, it's about the USA!)
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To: jazusamo
Barack Obama said he was the “fourth-best president.” This was cut from the program. Since it is such a compelling statement, I can only presume it was cut — like so many other things that were great in journalistic terms — to keep Obama from looking bad.

Of course they had to cut it. Otherwise the sheeple who still watch 60 Minutes would have seen their emperor naked save for his over-weaning narcissism and egotism.

20 posted on 12/22/2011 2:15:48 PM PST by Rummyfan (Iraq: it's not about Iraq anymore, it's about the USA!)
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To: jazusamo
I would put our legislative and foreign-policy accomplishments in our first two years against any president — with the possible exceptions of Johnson, FDR, and Lincoln...

He doesn't even mention Washington, Jefferson, Madison or Monroe?

21 posted on 12/22/2011 2:19:51 PM PST by Rummyfan (Iraq: it's not about Iraq anymore, it's about the USA!)
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To: jazusamo
One thing Hussein has been clearly NUMERO UNO at...[shuffling of paper as envelope is opened]..."most destruction of America in a three-year period!"...[thunderous applause and roar of approval from leftists]

If we don't defeat the SOB next November, the America we love is gone.

22 posted on 12/22/2011 3:07:50 PM PST by Zman516
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To: jazusamo

He’ll be lucky if he isn’t run out of the country on a rail.


23 posted on 12/22/2011 3:10:25 PM PST by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: trisham

I’d be happy to supply the tar and feathers for the celebration.


24 posted on 12/22/2011 3:20:31 PM PST by jazusamo (The real minimum wage is zero: Thomas Sowell)
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To: jazusamo

You’re a giving person. I like that. :)


25 posted on 12/22/2011 3:23:49 PM PST by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: jazusamo

Obama has been the best affirmative action president we’ve ever had.


26 posted on 12/22/2011 3:35:30 PM PST by 2nd Bn, 11th Mar (The "p" in Democrat stands for patriotism.)
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To: jazusamo
The press needs to stop lying. Obama didn't say he was fourth best. He said he'd put his accomplishments up against anyone, with the possible exception of Lincoln, F.D.R., and Johnson.

That means he acknowledges one could argue that one or more of Lincoln, F.D.R., or Johnson accomplished the same or more. But he never said he would agree with them and he left it open that he could and would claim status as The Best. He never acknowledged that even Lincoln accomplished more, much less F.D.R. or Johnson.

Obama wasn't humble enough to claim he was only the fourth best President.

27 posted on 12/22/2011 4:08:14 PM PST by Scoutmaster (You knew the job was dangerous when you took it)
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To: Scoutmaster

Well I’ll grant the turkey FIRST place in the area of the President who has hurt our country the most in my lifetime and probably in our entire history and I’m not young.


28 posted on 12/22/2011 4:21:48 PM PST by jazusamo (The real minimum wage is zero: Thomas Sowell)
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To: jazusamo
Well I’ll grant the turkey FIRST place in the area of the President who has hurt our country the most in my lifetime and probably in our entire history and I’m not young.

Obama's not even the fourth best President during his term. Mrs. Scoutmaster's second grade class has had two outstanding class presidents - and the student body has had one (out of two - the other was a slacker). And both of the student body president's at youngest daughter's high school have exceeded Obama.

So within ten miles of me, he's at best number six.

29 posted on 12/23/2011 5:38:12 AM PST by Scoutmaster (You knew the job was dangerous when you took it)
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To: jazusamo

Most conservatives have known Obama was a socialist since before the election. All the signs were there. We’re not surprised.

But even we didn’t know much about Obama the man-the character of the man.

Now we know we’re dealing with a very flawed person. We know we’re dealing with a devious, self-centered person devoid of empathy, with a chip on his shoulder.

During the Ossowatomie speech, Obama for the first time came out as an overt socialist. Many had this revealed to them for the first time. The word can now be safely used to describe him.

The Steve Croft interview reveals the psychology of the man, and by any measure he can now be considered to dwell on the border of sanity.

We have a very sick man as President.


30 posted on 12/23/2011 8:19:39 AM PST by wayoverontheright
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To: wayoverontheright
We have a very sick man as President.

Well said.

It's disgusting but more than that it's scary to realize how easily the majority of voters were fooled into putting a person of his character in the WH.

31 posted on 12/23/2011 8:44:29 AM PST by jazusamo (The real minimum wage is zero: Thomas Sowell)
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