11 thoughts on “Can Obama Fake Extraversion?

  1. This highlights one of the problems with the democratic system. We don’t elect the person best qualified for the job. We elect the best candidate– the best performer. It’s always been Ronald Reagan over Adlai Stevenson. Jimmy Carer was always criticized for being “indecisive.” I’m not sure that’s the worst character trait for someone whose finger is so close to the button. In a perfect world, the President would be a deep thinker AND a fast thinker.

  2. Fascinating stuff as always. Love the line about coffee and Kierkegaard. Someone should put our own Tony Blair under a similar spotlight, if they can decide which of his many personalities to examine.

  3. Thanks Oliver! So nice to hear from you again, really nice. I am deep deep into the Elliott book. So far so good. I can’t wait for it to come out. I should send you an inscribed copy in thanks for your support. It means a lot. And Tony Blair has always seemed impossibly vacuous to me. Is he real?

    1. Great, I am eagerly anticipating the book and I know other Smith-ites who will be too. As for Tony Blair, you seem to have got the gist of the man as he is seen here (not sure many in the US have a sense of how widely reviled he now is in the UK). Basically he went from being an ingratiating and unprincipled people-pleaser to a deluded hubristic world-saviour in the space of few years. If he had settled for somewhere between the two it would have been nice.

  4. I’ve never understood him (Blair). What you say is spot on. I guess, from here, I always saw the ingratiating people-pleaser. He seemed to be a ZERO. Now it sounds like he wants to be Clinton?

  5. Well it’s telling that he got on even better with Bush; I think there is more of a wannabe messiah thing going on there. Clinton was far too self-aware, fallible and interesting. We have just had an entertaining documentary series about the Clintons over here which recapped how he basically ran rings round his rightwing enemies. Even while being at the mercy of impulses which must surely give your profession what is termed “a field day”.

  6. Always love hearing from you Oliver. Yeah, he did have a curious affinity for Bush. They seemed to yuck it up together pretty fierce. I tended to see Blair as a lap dog then, yapping at Bush’s command. It was pitiful. Did I hear he was into astrology or some other mindless magical fluff? And I agree on Clinton. It seems clear now that he’s a bit of a political genius. And a formidable adversary. I’d vote for him again in an instant. He’s a leader, and he knows what he believes in. (side note: Monica Lewinsky was a psych major at Lewis and Clark College in Portland when I taught there).

  7. I hope that wasn’t the prelude to some admission regarding Ms Lewinsky. After all you do share a first name with her famous lover…

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