President Obama: Does he like people or not?
John Heilemann was interviewed during the 2012 DNC Convention by Kelly Candaele. The topic was the differences between President Obama and former President Bill Clinton.
JH: Obama is an unusual politician. There are very few people in American politics who achieve something — not to mention the Presidency —in which the following two conditions are true: one, they don’t like people. And two, they don’t like politics.
KC: Obama doesn’t like people?
JH: I don’t think he doesn’t like people. I know he doesn’t like people. He’s not an extrovert; he’s an introvert.
I’ve known the guy since 1988. He’s not someone who has a wide circle of friends. He’s not a backslapper and he’s not an arm-twister. He’s a more or less solitary figure who has extraordinary communicative capacities. He’s incredibly intelligent, but he’s not a guy who’s ever had a Bill Clinton-like network around him. He’s not the guy up late at night working the speed dial calling mayors, calling governors, calling CEOs. People say about Obama that it’s a mistake that he hasn’t reached out more to Republicans on Capitol Hill. I say that may be a mistake, but he also hasn’t reached out to Democrats on Capitol Hill. If you walk around [the convention] and button-hole any Democratic Senator you find on the street and ask them how many times they have received a call [from the President] to talk about politics, to talk about legislative strategy, I guarantee you won’t find a lot of people who have gotten one phone call in the last two and a half years. And many of them have never been called.
I’m not a psychologist, so I don’t know what the root of that is. People have theories about it. But I know in practice he is a guy who likes to operate with a very tight circle around him, trusts very few people easily or entirely. He ran his campaign that way in 2008, he runs his White House that way, and he’s running his campaign that way in 2012. President Obama just doesn’t talk to too many people.
So according to John, Barack Obama who won the 2008 election for President with 365 electoral votes over John McCain who received 173 electoral votes and Obama also received the most votes ever in American history for the popular vote does not like people nor politics. But hey, he is a great communicator.
It’s okay, I’ll wait while until you are done banging your head against your desk and the stars are done circling your head.
Better now? Okay let’s go take a little photo journey and see if we can find photo evidence showing President Obama does not like people. Here we go off to The Obama Diary and to Google.
Is this what John saw?
Umm, I don't this one is it. Looks to me like the guy knows how to give and receive a hug and look there is more waiting for their turn to get and give a hug.
No, not this one. Looks to me like a genuine display of empathy to me. Okay let's keep going. That was only two pictures.
Found it! Ahh wait wait... no darn it. The little guy looks like he is having fun with the big guy who according to John does not like people. ~Sigh~ okay off for more pictures...
Oh here is proof President Obama does NOT like people. Oh no....wrong again, he obviously likes babies.
Nope, not this one either. Check out the diversity of that crowd though.
Oops, must keep looking.
Note to self...Stay ON Task
No not this one either. Check it out he can multitask too.
Let's see is high fiving something that someone who do NOT like people do?
You're right, this is NOT a picture of a person who does NOT like people.
Moving on. Let's go to the rewrite. The red text is the rewrite.
JH/Dusty: Obama is an unusual politician. There are very few people in American politics who achieve something — not to mention the Presidency —in which the following two conditions are true: one, they have a low tolerance for BS . And two, they don’t like the politics that is demanded by the media and by fellow politicians.
All of the above pictures as well as this one shows President Obama to be a very caring and empathic person who enjoys meeting and interacting with people. A person would have to have been living totally off the grid aka Fox News Viewer to not know that our President Obama has no problem interacting with people on a personal level and real level.
A person cannot fake the emotions that are on display in this picture.
JH/Dusty: He’s someone who has a wide circle of friends. He’s not a backslapper and he’s not an arm-twister however he can be your biggest cheerleader and will help guide you along the path you choose. He is personable figure who has extraordinary communicative capacitiesI think John needs to read this article Michael Lewis Profile of Barack Obama. Click on the link and read the whole article it is quite an eye-opener. Here is a couple highlights:
Why doesn’t he show more emotion? He does this on occasion, even when I’ve put the question clearly—see in what I’ve asked some implicit criticism, usually one he’s heard many times before. As he’s not naturally defensive, it’s pretty clearly an acquired trait. “There are some things about being president that I still have difficulty doing,” he said. “For example, faking emotion. Because I feel it is an insult to the people I’m dealing with. For me to feign outrage, for example, feels to me like I’m not taking the American people seriously. I’m absolutely positive that I’m serving the American people better if I’m maintaining my authenticity. And that’s an overused word. And these days people practice being authentic. But I’m at my best when I believe what I am saying.”snip
But if you happen to be president just now, what you are faced with, mainly, is not a public-relations problem but an endless string of decisions. Putting it the way George W. Bush did sounded silly but he was right: the president is a decider. Many if not most of his decisions are thrust upon the president, out of the blue, by events beyond his control: oil spills, financial panics, pandemics, earthquakes, fires, coups, invasions, underwear bombers, movie-theater shooters, and on and on and on. They don’t order themselves neatly for his consideration but come in waves, jumbled on top of each other. “Nothing comes to my desk that is perfectly solvable,” Obama said at one point. “Otherwise, someone else would have solved it. So you wind up dealing with probabilities. Any given decision you make you’ll wind up with a 30 to 40 percent chance that it isn’t going to work. You have to own that and feel comfortable with the way you made the decision. You can’t be paralyzed by the fact that it might not work out.” On top of all of this, after you have made your decision, you need to feign total certainty about it. People being led do not want to think probabilisticallyBet you all know where I am going with this especially if you read the entire article. I agree with President Obama cable news channels are toxic and are not good sources of information. On any given day you can turn on any one of these networks, be it Fox News, CNN or MSNBC and you will soon be overwhelmed by the negativity, the constant second guessing and the pure speculation on topics where not a single fact can be found and even the out right lying and fear mongering of certain pundits. President Obama is also correct when he says people want a leader who does think about them and how his decisions affect them. People do not want a leader who blindly reacts first and then gets the facts later. You'll all know who I am talking about here.
JH/Dusty:He’s incredibly intelligent, he’s not a guy who’s ever had a Bill Clinton-like network around him. He’s not the guy up late at night working the speed dial calling mayors, calling governors, calling CEOs. He IS the guy who is reading letters from the people he serves late at night. Some people (usually cable news pundits) say about Obama that it’s a mistake that he hasn’t reached out more to Republicans on Capitol Hill. But is it just as easy to make the case of it is hard to work with people who have claimed on nation television every chance they get their main objective is to limit you to one term. Also it would be very difficult to work with those in 2010 showed no loyalty or courage in supporting a member of their own party.
I'll bet this guy knows President Obama has his back.
JH/Dusty:I’m not a psychologist,(snark:I just play one on TV ) so I don’t know what the root of that is. Let me enlighten you John, President Obama is just man, he is not a magician nor is he a miracle worker. What is he is the man who the American voters elected to help lead this nation out of the worst economic crisis this country has ever faced while also dealing with all the other crisis that just seemed to occur one after another. President Obama has proven himself to be a leader with acts of compassion, caring, courage in spite of all the roadblocks put up by Congress, the media and also other world leaders. It is time to give the man the credit he deserves and show him some support. Just think of what President Obama could have done if he had been given the support all the other previous Presidents were given. Just maybe John, it is time to take off those rose colored glasses and view our President with clear vision instead of with your preconceived ideas of who, what and how the man should be.
In 2008 the American voters elected Barack Obama to be the President of the United States. In 2010 there were quite a few American voters who voted against our country and against our President and quite frankly against their own best interests all because they refused to overcome their fear of change.
In 2012 the American voters get another chance to vote. I hope those voters have overcame their fear and are ready to stand up and make a difference to go forward not backwards.
Let me finish with a video from Martin Bashir of MSNBC he absolutely nails it with the difference between a true leader and an immature fear monger.