President Obama loves to compete…unless you’re a business.
Over the Labor Day weekend, the New York Times had a slobbering piece of President Obama’s competitive nature and his recent affinity for touting his own non-presidential skills.
I had a liberal friend tell me that, as far as politicians go, she thought President Obama’s arrogance was somewhere in the middle of the road.
To hear New York Times reporter Jodi Kantor tell it – Kantor wrote a detailed novel on the president and his family called ‘The Obamas’ so she, more than most writers, is qualified to speak to this – the president’s arrogance and braggadocio are second to none.
Even by the standards of the political world, Mr. Obama’s obsession with virtuosity and proving himself the best are remarkable, those close to him say. (Critics call it arrogance.)
Jodi Kantor ‘Obama Plays to Win, in Politics and Everything’
This, of course, is hilarious for so many reasons.
First and foremost, it speaks to the president’s lack of you know, actual presidential skills. What else is the guy going to run on besides his “mean chili,” as the Times notes he apparently makes (if he does say so himself).
He may make a trick shot in pool, but can’t insist that his party, which controlled Congress for the first two years of his presidency, to put together a budget.
Secondly, though, this is part of Obama’s character that doesn’t seem to translate at all into politics. He wants to win elections, sure, but why doesn’t he want to compete globally?
Why doesn’t he believe in American exceptionalism? Why doesn’t he believe in competition in the marketplace? Why does he believe millions of Americans need government when he’s spent his whole life trying to prove he doesn’t need help from anyone because he’s so great?
This cognitive dissonance is hard to reconcile, but is something the GOP has already begun undermining in this campaign.
As Noah Rothman points out, Mitt Romney’s RNC speech took a direct shot at the president’s arrogance in what was one of the most poignant political moments I can remember for the Republican party.
It was by far the best line in the speech, if not of the convention. It may have been the best line since Barack Obama uttered the impetus for the line.
You know the one.
“President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans and heal the planet.”
The audience in the arena laughed, not because they think global warming is a joke, but because the president’s words at the time, were riddled with arrogance and self-importance. It has been President Obama’s overpromising and underdelivering that has put him at risk in this election.
In retrospect, his comments seem hollow, full of hubris, and perfectly ridiculous.
Mitt Romney’s response was clean, clear, and ridiculous perfect.
“My promise is to help you and your family.”
It’s s a script-flipper: President Obama, the man who promised you everything, but gave you nothing. It’s Mitt Romney, the man who cares about helping your family, and Barack Obama who only cares about his legacy.
And it isn’t something that just happened with global warming. The president still says he’s “saved the auto industry” which would be true if Honda, Toyota, Chrysler, and the world’s other automakers weren’t doing fine. In fact, GM was struggling because it couldn’t be compete globally.
President Obama didn’t save the auto industry, but rather saved an American company from going under. Seemingly every accomplishment our soon-to-be-former president has, he believes is 10 times more important than it was and that he had 20 times larger a role in its success than he actually had.
Out of touch? How about a guy who can’t stop competing, but refuses to allow others to compete? That’s a platform on which the Republicans can win and the RNC speech was a sign that Mitt Romney and the GOP get that.