With 2012 comes a new set of challenges for the conservative base of the Republican Party. How we will deal with them, no one knows. What is clear is that President Obama has done his part in providing quite an effective and scathing blueprint for the GOP to employ against him during the campaign.
GOP officials in Washington are now discretely putting the finishing touches on “the book,” a 500-page colorful collection of Obama quotes and video highlights that will compose the heart and soul of the party’s strategy against him. Not only does this blueprint provide eager fodder for well-placed attack ads, but it also details the statistics—bleeding unemployment, poverty, and confidence in government forming a powerful core—which back up the GOP’s claim that the president has but broken his myriad grandiose promises.
Most importantly, a significant majority of the quotes and videos in this blueprint include the president’s own words, helping the GOP avoid alienating voters who sympathize with the president personally. Below are a handful of cases which will serve well to illustrate the fatal flaw of the president.
It appears that the president often sees himself as a monumental historical figure. He knows not when to cease his needlessly narcissistic comparisons to the towering figures of America’s past.
In a recent “60 Minutes” interview, the president educated Steve Kroft, pontificating, “The issue here is not going be a list of accomplishments. As you said yourself, Steve, you know, I would put our legislative and foreign policy accomplishments in our first two years against any president—with the possible exceptions of Johnson, F.D.R., and Lincoln — just in terms of what we’ve gotten done in modern history. But, you know, but when it comes to the economy, we’ve got a lot more work to do.”
What should puzzle every voter is why Kroft had the compunction to avoid a follow-up to this utterly inexplicable claim. In his own words, the president believes himself to be the fourth best president in history—that too, only maybe. Gleaning from his use of “maybe,” it would also be derelict to not mention that he actually feels he should be higher up on the list. And this heap of self-adulation merits not one question of journalistic curiosity from a much-acclaimed investigative reporter?
More telling was the “60 Minutes” editors’ excluding this portion of the interview from the show’s Dec. 11 television broadcast. Even they seemingly thought the president’s claim a tad too laughable.
Political elites and activists, saving fervent supporters, have come around to the conclusion that the president does, in fact, have an outsized view of himself and his accomplishments. He does, by all means, see himself as the saving grace for a country mired in a quagmire of draining unemployment, debt, and lack of confidence in public officials. Depicted quite effectively, once again, by his own words was the savior himself in January 2010, this time in response to Rep. Marion Berry’s asking the White House to avoid forcing him and other Blue Dogs to support bills that would be opposed by voters back home: “Well, the big difference here and in ‘94 was you’ve got me. We’re going to see how much difference that makes now.”
You see, the problem in the past wasn’t a political impasse created out of vastly differing views on what path to put the country on or out of problems that have arisen from a state of economic withering. The problem was the presidents. This time, the country has Barack Obama. This time, his presence in the White House will clear the way for the people to rise up in unison and forge a path forward.
What the president still fails to understand after three years in his palace is that this type of behavior is of the exact nature that Americans find off-putting. They desire not a self-effusive vessel of grandeur to solve their problems, but rather, a leader who will work alongside them when necessary to overcome the issues of the day. They neither need nor want an educator, a professorial cauldron of never-ending narcissism.
Save for Newt Gingrich—who now appears to be losing some momentum—the Republican presidential candidates speak about themselves in measured tones, for the most part avoiding the grandiose claims of President Obama. They recognize the fatal flaw of the president and have done well to maintain a level of composure and self-awareness representative of the highest office in the land. It is this ability to communicate with voters based on the merits of respect that will help the Republican candidate paint a stark contrast to the self-proclaimed, eager-to-promise Lebron James in the White House.