The mainstream media is admitting that Barack Obama is a self-adoring scoffer who thinks advertising his arrogance is a winning strategy.
It is easy to feel ambiguous about the President’s way of speaking and the media’s reporting of it. On the one hand, overwhelming arrogance is obviously bad. On the other hand, it is somewhat refreshing to see the President stop pretending and the media to stop covering for him.
Politico.com reports, “Obama’s Trash Talk.”
It’s not just the fourth quarter. It’s trash talk time.
President Barack Obama’s never done a good job hiding his disdain for the people he doesn’t like—a long list that includes reporters, Republicans, pretty much every member of Congress, the foreign leaders he considers petty and childish (Vladimir Putin and Benjamin Netanyanu most of all). Everyone would see things his way, he tends to project, if only they were a little smarter and thought it through as thoroughly as he has.
Usually when he’s explaining why the world’s wrong and he’s right, he’s looking down his nose and drily lecturing, getting deep into wonky policy explications that leave even his staff yawning and too confused or bored to explain.
On Friday afternoon in the State Dining Room, at a wide-ranging press conference, he was just having a good time.
He showed up ready to mock, with an unimpressed, exaggerated upside down smile just one right cheek mole short of a Robert DeNiro impression. The smile popped up again and again, as he swept his hand to dismiss questions, cutting off one reporter reciting criticism of him versus Putin with a wrap-it-up finger motion and saying, “I get it,” then sneering through a takedown that ended with him taking a beat like he’d been training at the Friar’s Club: “So – what was the question again?”
The same treatment was given to Congress and to those who opposed gun-restrictions (that are all “common sense,” according to Obama). The way he talks about Vladimir Putin is especially amazing, given that Putin makes a great deal more sense in Syria, and is basically shoving the U.S. aside. Sneering just makes Obama look resentful of success.
Mega-arrogance is not only Obama’s attitude, but it is also his open behavior before the public.
But Obama’s been in “rhymes-with-bucket-list” mode for months, riding high from a spring where all of a sudden his presidency seemed to come together, embracing poll numbers that he and the West Wing assumed were never going to go up, and watching with glee as he’s outlasted people who’ve made his life hell (not a lot of weeping in the Oval Office about John Boehner’s tail-between-his-legs resignation).
I doubt Boehner has often made Barack Obama feel even mildly uncomfortable, but his casual contempt of everyone who does not agree with him is undeniable.