Just Watched the Obama Press Conference, Saw His Weakness (UPDATE: He Apologized)

Now that’s not to say he doesn’t have a whole lot of strengths.  I was just reading this interview with Bill Maher, and I saw this bit…

King: You recently issued one of your new rules decreeing that Obama must give comedians something to work with. Any suggestions?

Maher: No. It’s very difficult. We have been spoiled, first with Bill Clinton and then George Bush. And here’s a president now who — he’s not stupid. He’s not angry. He’s not a phony. He’s not fat. He’s not cheating on his wife.

Who needs a jerk like that around for the next four years? Come on.

(LAUGHTER)

I don’t think that’s going to be the problem.  I just watched his “first press conference as President-Elect” and I can tell you a couple things.  First up, he’s going to be incredibly frustrating to reporters, because he’ll out-think a good number of them without even trying.   Second, I think I noted a bit of a weakness in his character.  I mentioned before that I think I share a certain….means of expression with the guy.    Which is to say, the internal and external conversations can be quite different.

So I’ll go ahead and break it to you, I hate to say it, but the smart, accomplished, intellectually-inclined black man is a bit arrogant about his abilities.  And his accomplishments.

The trick, BTW, to getting under the skin of people like this (i.e. like me) is what I learned to call “deliberate obtuseness”.   Which is to say…asking stupid questions while acting like they are genius ones.  It’s annoying as hell.   His response to the “are you going to raise taxes on the rich” question illustrated this a bit.

Now, I also think you can’t make it that far without knowing and dealing with your weaknesses, so I don’t expect this to be a fatal flaw…but I saw it today.   Clear as day.   I’ll keep an eye on it in the future.

As someone who has been quite oppositional to the current government over the last….well…since this site went live, you might be surprised when I go after the one we just elected.

Relax, it’s just what I do.  If there’s something out of line, that’s still going to be priority number 1.

Case #1 is Obama’s slam on Reagan.  I heard it and my jaw dropped.  He doesn’t like Reagan.  At all.

Let me see if I can find the text….hmmm, not yet….I’m sure it’ll show up.  He was asked if he has spoken with the former Presidents and he said yes, “…all of them.  Well, I didn’t get Nancy to do a seance, but…” and then he kind of dropped it off.

I think it was an attempt at a joke.  A joke certain folk would laugh at, and others would find somewhat offensive.

UPDATE: Looks like Obama is eating some crow immediately.  This is a good thing.  Like I mentioned, nothing does as much good for an arrogant man as being publicly humbled…quickly….I hope he learns from this…

WASHINGTON (AP) — President-elect Obama called Nancy Reagan on Friday to apologize for joking that she held seances in the White House.

At a news conference in Chicago, Obama said he had spoken with all the living presidents as he prepares to take office in January. Then he smiled and said, “I didn’t want to get into a Nancy Reagan thing about doing any seances.”

The 87-year-old former first lady had consulted with astrologers during her husband’s presidency. But she did not hold conversations with the dead.

Obama spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter said the president-elect later called Mrs. Reagan “to apologize for the careless and offhanded remark.” She said Obama “expressed his admiration and affection for Mrs. Reagan that so many Americans share, and they had a warm conversation.”

It actually wasn’t Nancy Reagan who was linked to conversations with the dead; it was Obama’s top Democratic challenger for the presidency, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y.

In either case, use of the word “seance” might be overstated.

Nancy Reagan consulted an astrologer to help set her husband’s schedule, wrote former White House chief of staff Donald T. Regan. The revelation created a furor and President Reagan even broke with his policy of not commenting on books by former White House staffers.

[full story]