Barack Obama believes in the audacity of hype, especially when it comes to himself. He wrote his memoir when he was in his early 30’s. Despite the droning orthodoxy of his every thought and utterance, he possesses infinite belief in his capacities.
Around the time of the 2008 election a friend quoted Obama providing this self-evaluation: “I think that I’m a better speechwriter than my speechwriters. I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And I’ll tell you right now that I’m gonna think I’m a better political director than my political director.” He would have been well served by a wider circle of friends, including one to teach him how to pretend to a modicum of modesty.
Obama’s enormous vanity comes packaged with vast ignorance. He has not hesitated to put his glaring ignorance of basic history on display before the public. I wrote about this at length in May 2009 following his first press conference in the long post “Obama veers into the Daily Ditch.” At that press conference Obama had asserted:
I was struck by an article that I was reading the other day talking about the fact that the British during World War II, when London was being bombed to smithereens, had 200 or so detainees. And Churchill said, “We don’t torture,” when the entire British–all of the British people–were being subjected to unimaginable risk and threat….the reason was that Churchill understood — you start taking shortcuts, over time, that corrodes what’s best in a people. It corrodes the character of a country.
One thing you can be sure Winston Churchill never said in the course of a long life and millions of published words is “We don’t torture.” Churchill was not a liberal sentimentalist on the subject of means and ends in war. Britain’s survival was at stake in World War II. Is there anything Churchill would not have done to advance Britain’s victory? Not bloody likely.
You have to know next to nothing about Churchill, about World War II, about modern history to believe that Churchill ever said any such thing. You have to be surrounded by like-minded courtiers to expound the falsehood before a national audience at a presidential press conference.
Even Obama’s obvious failures present signs and tokens of his brilliance in the world according to him.
President Obama’s farewell address this past Tuesday reflected this quality among others that I noted here. Now David Rutz has compiled the supercuts video below edited to display Obama’s 79 references to himself.