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The Jerk Store Called: They’re running out of Obama-Biden
The Washington Free Beacon ^ | October 19, 2012 | Matthew Continetti

Posted on 10/19/2012 7:22:38 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet

Remember when President Barack Obama was likable? Once upon a time the public viewed the incumbent more favorably than his challenger by large margins. These days Obama’s favorable and unfavorable ratings are similar to Mitt Romney’s. The televised debates have unveiled the current administration as alternately listless, manic, angry, soporific, rude, bullying, aloof, and thin-skinned. Americans who have just begun to tune into the election are seeing the president unmediated. They no longer are looking at him through the scrim of fawning press, majestic settings, and roaring crowds. And they are discovering that Obama is not so likable at all. He is actually something of a jerk.

Those who read coverage of the Obama administration closely will have known this for a long time: The president is cold, abstract, prickly, and insular. His brand of cerebral partisanship is better suited for liberal blogging than for leading the free world. He doesn’t enjoy interacting with strangers or even with associates outside his immediate clique. He has few close friends. He relies on about half a dozen senior advisers. His impromptu speech is given to cutting, sarcastic remarks.

Put him in front of an adoring and obsequious audience and he will be charming and suave. But the real Obama is revealed the second you remove the klieg lights. This isn’t a guy who will spend his post-presidency more or less running the Democratic Party, a la President Bill Clinton. Obama will spend his retirement as a solitary member of the irritable left, receiving honorary degrees, appearing on MSNBC, and scribbling for Salon.

The president’s unsociability is one of those obvious facts that are conveniently overlooked. Earlier this week Neera Tanden, the president of the liberal Center for American Progress, caused a mini-controversy when New York magazine quoted her saying, “Obama doesn’t call anyone, and he’s not close to almost anyone. It’s stunning that he’s in politics, because he really doesn’t like people.” Tanden, who has worked for Obama, later “clarified” her remarks. What she meant to say, she tweeted, was that Obama “is a private person.” Note, however, that one can be a private person and still not “like people.” Tanden did not really take back her words. Nor should she. Her initial comments were factual and honest.

A “Democrat deeply familiar” with the Clinton-Obama relationship said pretty much the same thing to Ryan Lizza a few months ago: “Obama doesn’t really like very many people.” A Chicago Democratic donor told Jane Mayer this summer, “He’s not the kind of guy I would go out and have a beer with.” “One United States diplomat” told Helene Cooper of the New York Times in September that Obama is “not good with personal relationships; that’s not what interests him.” That paper’s story on Valerie Jarrett, the president’s closest aide, describes Obama as “introverted” and his social circle as “small.” Michael Lewis’s profile of Obama shows a loner who broods over his decisions, spends time reading and writing and playing basketball with a tightly knit group, and says his biggest difficulty as president is “faking emotion.” His media puppets admit that the president is an emotionless “Spock.”

This combination of arrogance and detachment has been a political problem. Obama has paid a price whenever his unlikable personality has emerged in unscripted moments. There was his promise to meet with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba, and North Korea in the first year of his presidency. There was the time when he told Hillary Clinton that she was “likable enough.” There was his stubborn insistence to raise taxes on capital gains and dividends even though it would raise less revenue. There was his explanation that the white working class didn’t like him because “they cling to their guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them.”

There was his remark that the Cambridge police acted “stupidly” when they arrested a Harvard professor. There was his attack on Scott Brown for driving a pickup truck; his snide retort to John McCain that “the election’s over”; and his jibe that “shovel ready was not as shovel-ready as we expected” (which provoked laughter from his “jobs council”). This year we’ve heard Obama say “the private sector is doing fine,” that he’s “always struck by people who think, it must be because I was just so smart” that they’ve been successful, and that the attacks on our embassies across the Great Middle East were “bumps in the road” to Arab democracy. When Obama says what’s on his mind, his political team runs for the hills.

The debates have made the president’s dilemma worse. Obama has not masked his prideful contempt for Romney. He “told friends that he respected Mr. Romney’s intellect,” the Times reported, “but had come to view his rival as a less formidable adversary as he learned more about him from reading research books and watching his campaign.” He went into the first debate in Denver thinking he would end the race on October 3.

But a huge audience watched as Romney dissected the last four years and Obama responded with a mix of condescension and apathy. The president seemed always to be smirking and looking down at his notes. He barely could mount a defense of his record. He returned again and again to his vision of a fair America. But this was not enough even for his most slavish supporters. Andrew Sullivan called him “effete.” Michael Tomasky asked, “Does Obama even want to win the election?”

The first debate inaugurated a shift in the race toward Romney that hasn’t abated. And the left drew exactly the wrong lesson from it. The left believed Obama had failed because he was insufficiently rude, and the Obama campaign seems to have agreed with them. But that meant Obama was trapped. He had to be more combative, but he also had to retain his likability. Doing both was not an option. Obama chose combat, in keeping with his long-run campaign strategy of maximizing turnout among Democratic Party client groups.

So we got a Joe Biden who spoke under his breath, interrupted Paul Ryan at every turn, raised his voice, gesticulated grandly, cackled during discussions of the Iranian nuclear program, and grinned so wildly that he looked like he was channeling Jack Nicholson’s portrayal of the Joker. We got an Obama who was more engaged but also came across as angry and heated and ready to challenge Romney to a duel. We got a Democratic ticket that, per Chris Matthews’s suggestion, looks like it is auditioning to replace the Cycle on MSNBC.

Obama’s anti-Romney spirit may make for a more disagreeable and somewhat more interesting debate. Television ratings benefit. But how does it solve the weak economic recovery? How does it reassure voters looking for solutions on jobs, health care, the deficit, and energy? How does it improve the president’s image, or restore his poll numbers?

The cliché is that the more likable candidate usually wins the election. Morris Fiorina, one of my favorite political scientists, says that isn’t actually the case. Maybe. What we know for sure is what Washington has known all along: Obama doesn’t like people.

And increasingly, people don’t like him.


TOPICS: Computers/Internet; Politics; TV/Movies
KEYWORDS: biden; debate; debates; obama; polls; romney; ryan
Never have, never will.
1 posted on 10/19/2012 7:22:45 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
What is it that people say when they say they "like" Obama?

Usually they only like his politics. I've never met anyone who literally likes him as a person.

2 posted on 10/19/2012 7:38:28 PM PDT by boop (Sorry, folks. Park's closed. The moose out front shoulda told ya.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Kind of odd that a lot of people are just starting to come to this conclusion.


3 posted on 10/19/2012 7:40:34 PM PDT by Vince Ferrer
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Does Clinton spend as much time there with the Bush’s as he does here in Maine with them?


4 posted on 10/19/2012 7:41:41 PM PDT by tsowellfan (KEEP WORKING like we are 10 POINTS DOWN!!!!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Remember when President Barack Obama was likable?

No.

5 posted on 10/19/2012 7:46:26 PM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

My conscience is clear; back in 2007, I said that Hussein is an empty suit that wouldn’t be a Jack in the box night shift manager with out complete and stifling management and control. I was right, the guy has been a disaster since day one..


6 posted on 10/19/2012 7:51:58 PM PDT by cardinal4 (Barack Hussein Obama, America's 21st century Edsel..)
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To: Cicero
There was never a time when Obozo was likeable.
7 posted on 10/19/2012 7:52:19 PM PDT by Fungi
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I started out trying to keep count of how many times obammy called Romney a liar—in so many words—in the last debate.

In just a few minutes, I had already lost count. No one is really talking about it much, but I found the resident to be downright rude.


8 posted on 10/19/2012 7:55:22 PM PDT by basil (Second Amendment Sisters.org)
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To: basil; onyx; Josh Painter

Barack Obama calls Romney an @$$hole on Live TV
http://www.godlikeproductions.com/forum1/message2020117/pg1


9 posted on 10/19/2012 7:59:35 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

The news store at the Chicago AMTRAK station that used to sell lots of Obama stuff .... has gone out of business and shut down.


10 posted on 10/19/2012 8:01:09 PM PDT by SkyDancer (Live your life in such a way that the Westboro church shows up at your funeral)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

This is our crisis in leadership. The liberal elite believed he was the Obamessiah, while any FReeper back in July 2008 could figure out that he was a “free market Marxist”.

David Brooke’s was impressed with the crease in Obama’s trousers.

If these people were doctors, they’d all lose their licenses.


11 posted on 10/19/2012 8:08:40 PM PDT by JusPasenThru (Nancy Pelosi.... Botoxevik.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

This is our crisis in leadership. The liberal elite believed he was the Obamessiah, while any FReeper back in July 2008 could figure out that he was a “free market Marxist”.

David Brooks was impressed with the crease in Obama’s trousers.

If these people were doctors, they’d all lose their licenses.


12 posted on 10/19/2012 8:09:01 PM PDT by JusPasenThru (Nancy Pelosi.... Botoxevik.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

If I were Romney, I’d be going into the last debate with an absolutely bulletproof scripted jabs at Obama designed to get under his thin skin. Everything from “why do you pay the women in your White House 18% less than the men?” to sarcastic digs about the empty chair, “you didn’t build that” and “not optimal” at every opportunity. If Romney did it with a smile on his face I really think he could needle Obama into losing it on national TV and that would be sweet.

Hey I know, just make some comment about what a great cabinet secretary Sarah Palin would make...no one gets to Obama like she does!


13 posted on 10/19/2012 8:09:08 PM PDT by bigbob
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I’d like someone to do a psychological study comparing 2008 obama voters with the average American. I can’t ever understand why they didn’t see what I saw back then.


14 posted on 10/19/2012 8:11:37 PM PDT by gotribe (He's a mack-daddy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AV415yit7Zg)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet; penelopesire; maggief; STARWISE; SE Mom; stephenjohnbanker; hoosiermama; ...

Is that what he said?

Sounds more like “let’s go” to me, but my hearing is not what it used to be. I played it twice.

I think Romney would have grabbed his arm, had he said “asshole”, don’t you?


15 posted on 10/19/2012 8:16:43 PM PDT by onyx (FREE REPUBLIC IS HERE TO STAY! DONATE MONTHLY! IF YOU WANT ON SARAH PALIN''S PING LIST, LET ME KNOW)
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To: gotribe

They felt they needed to atone for white guilt, you did not.


16 posted on 10/19/2012 8:21:59 PM PDT by bigbob
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To: 2ndDivisionVet; Gamecock; Larry Lucido

How many shrimp can Joe Biden fit into his mouth?


17 posted on 10/19/2012 8:22:03 PM PDT by F15Eagle (1 John 5:4-5, 4:15, 5:13; John 3:17-18, 6:69, 11:25, 14:6, 20:31; Rom10:8-11; 1 Tim 2:5; Titus 3:4-5)
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To: onyx

I think he mouthed it, rather than saying it. He’s a p^ssy and Gov. Romney, 14 years his senior, would almost certainly clean his clock.


18 posted on 10/19/2012 8:23:33 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass.)
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To: bigbob

Romney needs to enlist a few more Dennis Miller jabs for the knock out.


19 posted on 10/19/2012 8:25:42 PM PDT by tractorman (I never miss a chance to tweak a liberal.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

OH.....LOL.


20 posted on 10/19/2012 8:28:06 PM PDT by onyx (FREE REPUBLIC IS HERE TO STAY! DONATE MONTHLY! IF YOU WANT ON SARAH PALIN''S PING LIST, LET ME KNOW)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Remember when President Barack Obama was likable?

No. He made me queasy from the start.

21 posted on 10/19/2012 8:28:41 PM PDT by TigersEye (dishonorabledisclosure.com - OPSEC (give them support))
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

He stunk at that Catholic dinner thing last night because he cannot pull off humor. There is nothing warm or genuine about him. I can’t imagine how much he loathed uttering those self-deprecating jokes scripted for him! To have to poke fun at himself for a lousy performance at the first debate must have had him roiling inside because, of course, he is the best, most articulate debater (a master, he’d daresay!) in the history of the universe. And that people actually laughed at those jokes (how dare they?!) must have left him seething.

Sorry, obozo, a man who can’t laugh at himself will never be likable. What a haughty little man you are.


22 posted on 10/19/2012 8:35:43 PM PDT by TXBlair (Don't stop at Hasan's beard; shave off his entire head.)
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To: TXBlair

OTOH, Gov. Mitt Romney killed at that dinner and ingratiated himself well with many Democrats and Catholics.


23 posted on 10/19/2012 8:40:58 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass.)
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To: boop

” - - - I’ve never met anyone who literally likes him as a person. “

Maybe not, but women voters lean toward Obama.

Since there are more women voters than men voters, all that needs to be done for a Romney win is to win the Women’s vote in States that are close in poll totals.

For example, in Obama’s book on dreams of his Father, Obama writes that he hated his Mother’s Race.

Maybe he also hated his Mom, and by extension, women?

BTW, since Obama wants to keep Sandra Fluke flat on her back at taxpayer expense, why should ANY woman be proud of Obama’s opinion of Women?


24 posted on 10/19/2012 8:44:48 PM PDT by Graewoulf ((Traitor John Roberts' Obama"care" violates Sherman Anti-Trust Law, AND the U.S. Constitution.))
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
And increasingly, people don’t like him.

When only a Presidential "Face Palm" will suffice.

25 posted on 10/19/2012 9:02:39 PM PDT by spokeshave (The only people better off today than 4 years ago are the Prisoners at Guantanamo.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Remember when President Barack Obama was likable?
_____________________________________

No not realy...perhaps I hang with different folks that the author of this article.


26 posted on 10/19/2012 9:16:38 PM PDT by JohnD9207 (Mitt is not a conservative but he is not the Monster Obama and the 4th estate claimed.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

“Remember when President Barack Obama was likable?”

I have always perceived him to be a cold blooded snake. The “optimal” comment pertaining to the American ambassador killed in the September 11 TERRORIST ATTACK only reinforces my perception of him.


27 posted on 10/19/2012 9:24:27 PM PDT by VRWCRick
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To: spokeshave

28 posted on 10/19/2012 9:35:36 PM PDT by F15Eagle (1 John 5:4-5, 4:15, 5:13; John 3:17-18, 6:69, 11:25, 14:6, 20:31; Rom10:8-11; 1 Tim 2:5; Titus 3:4-5)
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To: onyx

I don’t think Obama is stupid enough to do that...but I could be wrong... He has done some incredibly stupid things for the last 4 years....lol.


29 posted on 10/20/2012 1:51:08 PM PDT by penelopesire (TIME FOR A SPECIAL PROSECUTOR!)
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