Beauty, like ice, our footing does betray; Who can tread sure on the smooth, slippery way: Pleased with the surface, we glide swiftly on, And see the dangers that we cannot shun.
- Dryden, English Poet, Dramatist, and Critic (1631-1700)
Here it is folks, the picture that shocked the world:
Of course, the photo didn’t really shock the world. (I’m sure Mongolian President Tsakhia Elbegdorj was pretty shocked, though.) It now looks to have been proved authentic, but though there was even some controversy over the photo, it’s really just a bit of light-hearted news here, it’s not like anyone is going around and suggesting it’s some sort of scandal worthy of some moniker like In-yo-face-gate . . .
In-yo-face-gate. I have to admit, it has kind of a ring to it. Ah shucks, I think my post just got a new title.
Here’s the thing though, if you’re curious about people and personalities, if you want to play pop psychologist along with me, I think this bizarre shot of Obama gives us a bit more insight into the man, and it’s really not overstating it to call it “bizarre” when you consider we’ve all been taking group photos since kindergarten . . . seriously, who does that in a group photo?
To stand there, seemingly oblivious to the man standing right next to you and have that sort of Freudian slip of the hand, it’s almost as if Obama is subconsciously saying, don’t mind these other people, look at me, I’m the only one here in this room who really matters.
And it fits a pattern, too. Consider the fact that this is the guy who once gave the Queen of England an iPod with photos and audio of his speeches! Seriously?
And I don’t think any of us have ever heard anyone so self-absorbed as Obama when he’s speaking to the nation. It’s not about you or us, it’s about him! In a typical Obama speech, you can hear him drop “me,” “my” or “I” 27 times in four and a half minutes. To use one of Obama’s favorite words, that kind of self-referencing is “unprecedented.”
And when you think of Obama’s unprecedented use of the word “unprecedented”, that too gives you a little glimpse into the man. In his mind, no president has ever had to deal with the kind of challenges that he’s been presented. Seriously, Mr. President? Seriously?
But really, what kind of person without some massive degree of arrogance is going to end up president of the United States? It’s one thing to run for president when you don’t have a chance, but to have a shot at having the most consequential job on the entire planet and actually say, “Yeah, I can do that,” you have to have a conviction in yourself that none of us mere mortals will ever have. Sure, we all might daydream and talk about how the world would be if we were in charge, but if you actually had a shot at the job, how many of us would want to take that awesome responsibility on? Especially if you’d never had any experience as an executive or running a business.
When the vast majority of what we see of the president is carefully scripted and teleprompted, I find these small unguarded glimpses into the man quite interesting, really. Obama may not have the ability to connect with Americans the same way Bill “I Feel Your Pain” Clinton did, but when it comes to assuming the crown of American nobility, no one creates a more handsome portrait of the ruling elite as President O. You can almost see him as he stares at his reflection in the videos, transfixed by the image of himself, King Barry, ruler of the world.
Three cheers to the Narcissist-in-Chief. Still hoping you can turn this presidency around.