Monday, June 23, 2014
Who is Obama? Part II
NOTE: These essays are all reproduced from my defunct blog "Random Notes". All are cited in "The Return of Malaise", mentioning my many analogies between Obama and various individuals, all made during his first presidential race (mostly during the primaries). I confess I underestimated his chances, and anticipated too much press scrutiny (easy to do as he received absolutely none), but looking back, my criticisms still seem quite valid after one and one half terms as president. I may have called the race wrong, but my descriptions still ring true to me.
For those who did not like my earlier theory on who Obama most closely resembles, I offer an alternate theory. Again, I won't mention Carter, Clinton, Howard Dean, or McGovern, not even Captain Kirk or the Segway, as I have argued for all of those before. Instead, I am going to revive yet another old idea, though one I did not develop at the time.
Obama is young, charismatic, has had a fine education and received early entrance into the upper echelons of his profession. Several senior practitioners helped him along, making it easier for him to break into his profession. Some claim that he succeeded entirely because of his race, while others disagree, but it is clear to everyone, though no one mentions it, that his race makes it easier for him, both drawing notice because someone of his race is succeeding so early in life, and also encouraging others to cover up his errors.
On top of that he is charismatic, and often allows that charisma to take the place of real ideas. He sometimes makes statements that are completely untrue, but others do not point it out. In short, his success is more the result of a glib tongue rather than any innate ability, and his race, along with a few powerful mentors early in his career, have helped him succeed despite some major mistakes that would have crushed anyone else, even outright lies are often blithely ignored by the media due to a fondness for him.
All of which makes Obama, not Carter or Clinton, but the Jayson Blair of politics.
Originally posted in Random Notes on 2008/09/05.