August 27, 2012

"Barack Obama: The Story" by David Maraniss

In VDARE.com, I have a long review of famed biographer David Maraniss's gigantic, obsessively researched book on Barack Obama's early years. It is supposed to be a pro-Obama book, but ...
Perhaps Maraniss’s most striking revelation: virtually nobody who knew Obama in the first quarter of a century of his life ever thought of him as their leader in anything. When he got to Harvard Law School at age 27, he was instantly proclaimed The First Black President. But before then, those who knew him found his passivity and disengagement frustrating. ...
Consider Obama’s role in the “Choom Gang” of a dozen potheads at Punahou Prep. You might think that a future Leader of the Free World would inevitably, through sheer force of charismatic personality, exert a disproportionate influence on his fellow teens in their debates over, say, which drug to take next. That’s a pretty low hurdle for leadership skills, right? However: 
“There was not even a designated leader. …. The other members considered Mark Bendix the glue; he was funny, creative, and uninhibited with a penchant for Marvel Comics. … Without exerting himself in overt ways, Barry Obama held as much respect as anyone within the group.” 
Got that? The future Nobel Peace Prize laureate was among the most respected dudes in the Bong Brothers. Granted, Barry was not the glue in the Choom Gang like Mark Bendix was. But he was right up there with any of the non-Bendixian Maui Wowie tokers.
By this point, you may be wondering: “Who was Mark Bendix? And what does this Bendix fellow’s penchant for Marvel Comics have to do with anything?”

Read the whole thing there.

138 comments:

Anonymous said...

Obama became President because our media elites wanted him to become President...

steve's humor critic said...

Ok, this time I lol'ed.

Anonymous said...

By the way, I assume your take on Dinesh D'Souza's anti-Obama documentary '2016' is forthcoming. I don't expect the film to be particularly good or interesting, and from what I gather it tells a p.c.'ed version of half the story you've already told about the prez's background and motivations. But it's still interesting that an intelligent Obama critique is making its way into popular culture.

Anonymous said...

The high-pitched, grinding noise is Thomas Jefferson spinning in his grave.

Anon.

dearieme said...

Ok, he's a very odd narcissist, but is he a sane very odd narcissist? I ask because our recent narcissist, Tony Blair, is probably mad. Consider this, from WKPD:

[Matthew] Parris ... On 18 March 2006 he wrote [in The Times]:

I believe Tony Blair is an out-and-out rascal, terminally untrustworthy and close to being unhinged. I said from the start that there was something wrong in his head, and each passing year convinces me more strongly that this man is a pathological confidence-trickster. To the extent that he ever believes what he says, he is delusional. To the extent that he does not, he is an actor whose first invention — himself — has been his only interesting role.

pat said...

I presume you are aware that you have modified your opinion as to Obama's intellect. I think it's fair to say you have come around to my viewpoint.

I remember you arguing that he was quite intelligent largely on the evidence of his literary style. I never read that style because I had read you instead. What you described didn't make me want to read his lyrical musings about race.

I said years ago that he seemed smart but hardly brilliant. I commented often that he seemed to have a very ordinary mind. He has good verbal fluency but not a particularly large vocabulary. He never makes a subtle point and he seems to be the captive of crude economic and social ideas.

I have argued that his IQ can be no more than 128. Hillary Clinton was a Merit Scholar finalist (or semi-finalist). She states that fact on her website. Obama should have also taken that test but he wasn't a finalist. If that's true then he should have an IQ lower than 128. This is a shaky argument based on too many assumptions but it may very well be true.

Obama has long been the beneficiary of "Black IQ Rebound" effect. Everyone recognizes that blacks are less intelligent. Most liberals struggle endlessly with this unwelcome recognition. Then when they meet an intelligent black person they tend to overestimate his smarts. Thus all the silly "genius" hyperbole about him.

My conspiratorial feeler went off when I read about how boring Obama was said to have been at Columbia. Recently there has been a classmate of Obama at Columbia who has posted a reward to anyone who remembered Obama while he was at Columbia. No one is said to have ever seen him there.

The implication of the "Where was Barrack?" theorizing is that he wasn't there at all but abroad with his leftist Muslim friends plotting. Or maybe he was underground with some of Ayers' buddies - also plotting. Obviously no one really knows - it's a mystery. But Maraniss' book seems to suggest that there is no mystery. Young Barrack was just a very bland guy who faded into the background. He only was noticed at Harvard.

Maraniss' book seems to paper over the biggest hole in Obama's life story.

Conspiratorial explanations are a lot of fun. I seriously doubt if I will live long enough to find out the truth. Intrepid took twenty years to be revealed to the public. Venona took forty. Parts of the Aaron Burr case took more than a century.

Albertosaurus

San Franciscan non-monk said...

As an exercise let's try to refute this article. Have we seen great leaders who seemed to outsiders as un-leaderly at a young age? I'd say we have. Young Steve Jobs was known as a weird, silent intense guy who carefully listened and observed in situations where he wasn't experienced or felt himself to be in the presence of people who knew more than him. Still he would break out into the dominating leader among friends. He was unquestionably the leader of the Jobs - Wozniak duo. And he was a strong leader sort of boyfriend to all his early girlfriends. I'd guess most high intellect leaders start out like this.

How about Eisenhower? He was beloved among his West Point class for his rebellion - isn't that like Obama's smoke-a-bowl thing? I think no. Ike's rebellion, first of all, involved doing a lot of things that would have gotten him tossed out of the Academy had he been caught. Definitely a risk taker - can anyone say Obama took risks? Further, there were a few rebels in his class and IIRC he was their charismatic leader.

OK I tried but I'm not finding a lot of Obama in known great leaders, yet.

Anonymous said...

I have argued that his IQ can be no more than 128.

LOL. Are you sure it's no more than 128? I mean it might be no more than 127. Or 129.

Anonymous said...

He only was noticed at Harvard.

Law school classes are small.

bjk said...

Obama doesn't seem to have learned anything from the 70s. Obama can sound like a 1950s liberal because he is one, I think. He didn't live in the continental US until 1979. Until then he was living in either Hawaii or Indonesia. For most of his childhood he was raised by a conventional liberal, his mother. So when he returned to the US in 1979 and heard Reagan attack liberalism, it must have sounded very strange, because Reagan can only be understood as a product of the 1970s. Obama is liberalism's nostalgia candidate who made people think, hey, it really can be 1962 all over again!

Anonymous said...

When Obama is a few years out of office, I imagine some pretty interesting stories about him to come out...or maybe he really is that boring...

Steve Sailer said...

"Obama doesn't seem to have learned anything from the 70s."

Interesting idea. His political development seems to have lagged most people's by a decade or so because he was off living in paradise playing basketball and smoking weed while most Americans had gotten down to reassessing old liberal pieties.

Hapalong Cassidy said...

The most interesting thing about that article was the CIA's role as King-maker in American politics; something I've always suspected to be the case. For the last four presidents, at least, that seems clearly to be the case. Clinton's bio is very similar to Obama in that regard, i.e the CIA playing a covert role in grooming their subject for future leadership. As for the two Bushes, the role of the CIA in their careers is far less covert.

The Frankfurt School said...

Obama became President because our media elites wanted him to become President...

MOO HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!!

fnn said...

The most interesting thing about that article was the CIA's role as King-maker in American politics;...

Reminiscent of the CIA's dominant role in the bringing into being of modern American conservatism with the creation of National Review. All three of the key founding NR figures-Buckley, James Burnham, Willmoore Kendall-had been former CIA employees-and not insignificant ones either. The early years of NR seemed to be mainly devoted to purging from the "conservative movement" anyone who didn't fit the CIA mold.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Obama became President because our media elites wanted him to become President
-------------------------------

Right, but more importantly, they wanted him to become our first BLACK president.

So they basically went to a bunch of jiberals and said: "Ive got good news and bad news, the bad news is, your daughter is gonna marry a black man. The good news is, with this science kit, you get to design that black man"

This is why I call Obama a "test tube president" He reminds me of something SWPL people would come up with if they got to design a black man for their daughters to marry.

Anonymous said...

"When he got to Harvard Law School at age 27, he was instantly proclaimed The First Black President."

because

"those who knew him found his passivity and disengagement frustrating"

The puppets in the puppet show are just actors given their roles by the money men.

Anonymous said...

Good review. This article might be of interest re the Choom gang:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120827152039.htm

Steve Sailer said...

It would be interesting to make lists of famous leaders whom nobody thought of as a leader until they were well along in life. Nobody thought of Hitler as a leader until he was about 30. But this is a different case -- there's nothing wrong with Obama's personality, it's just not suited to political leadership.

gumm said...

Mao started out by learning to remain quiet, lisrening to others first, assessing the situation, and then making his move at the opportune movement.

Some boxers start the fight slow by assessing the style of his opponent in the early rounds before going on the offensive later. They like to test the waters.

Cats stalk silently before pouncing. Hawks hover peacefully before eyeing the prey and ripping towards it.

Jazz musicians often start slow before getting the ball rolling.

Politics is more like long distance race than a sprint. Most black politicians have been like West African sprinters. Loud, fast, and aggressive, and scaring white folks half to death.
But Obama has been more like a Kenyan long distance runner. He paced himself and made white people feel comfortable and un-threatened by him before he won their endorsement and supply of gatorade to run the full distance.

His style has been 'test he waters before diving in' and 'make other like you so much that they will be willing to everything for you'.

So while Obama seemed to be doing nothing, he was watching the situation.. And he figured his running for power shouldn't kick into gear until he was in the the races that really mattered among people who really matter, especially powerful Jews at Harvard and Hyde Park.



Anonymous said...

Stalin also learned it's sometimes better to lay low and learn than be loud and act big all the time... like Trotsky.

Anonymous said...

"It would be interesting to make lists of famous leaders whom nobody thought of as a leader until they were well along in life."

Can we add George W. to that?

Anonymous said...

I know this is crazy, but....maybe he grew as a person.

slumber_j said...

A thing I've figured out (relatively late in life, all things considered) is that I don't generally like potheads very much. The amused detachment too often masks raw selfishness and a passive-agressive carelessness about everyone's interests but the pothead's own.

Your average big-time dope-smoker will tend to ruin borrowed stuff and then tell the owner to calm down about it, while tacitly accusing the owner of being an uptight asshole for being so concerned about material possessions--and all of it with an entirely unearned we're-still-friends-of-course chuckling condescension... In my experience, the only time most potheads aren't hopelessly boring it's because they're too busy being infuriating.

FredR said...

“apathetic quasi-intellectual sports fan.”

Sounds like me, except I don't even like sports. But like Obama, I have a rich inner life...

Anonymous said...

"Without exerting himself in overt ways, Barry Obama held as much respect as anyone within the group.”

Talk about an empty sentence--it tells us nothing about the subject but everything about a butt-licking author of "historical prose."

"As much respect as anyone"--in other words, thought of no more highly nor less highly than anyone else in the group. "Without exerting himself in overt ways": hmmm, did he do so in covert ways?
Is that a suggestion he was sneaky?

The bloated sentence says only Obama was just someone else in an unimportant group of kids.

Anonymous said...

The first poster has it right.

From the moment Dems had this "clean-looking" black guy with no trace of a black speaking pattern and with the diplomas from the the right schools speak at the 2004 convention, he had been pegged for POTUS by the media.

They dumped their previous fling with the Clintons and left not so much as a $20 bill on their bed.

My anger at the state of things has always been placed squarely first and foremost at the feet of the press. They've been pretty much no better than PRAVDA.

Anonymous said...

derieme quoted Matthew Parris about Tony Blair,

"...he is an actor whose first invention — himself — has been his only interesting role."

That's an apt description of many pols, but it certainly fits Obama, who was, after all, a black slate only because the press refused to look at him.

I mean, come on, it was there for everyone to see and report on, all his "present" votes all the way back to his uninvolved role in the Illinois state senate. He was never, ever, a leader at anything at any level. His role in the US Senate also revealed either an unwillingness or an inability to engage and that was his M.O. according to Richard Epstein at Chicago U. Law.

The press didn't care--

Anonymous said...

BTW, Steve,

Was happy to see the parting shot from the public editor of that fine publication, the NYTimes this weekend.

Liberal bias?

No, really?

We are, of course, shocked, just schocked.

Anonymous said...

"He [Obama] has good verbal fluency but not a particularly large vocabulary."

What, Pat? You mean a Harvard grad ought not pronounce "navy corpsman" as "navy corpse-man? And not just once but again about a year later?

Does that suggest that a Valerie Jarrett might not have known enough to have corrected him? (After all, he might have simply misspoken the first time...but the second?)

Does he have problems with memory?

(And not a word from the press--oh, what fun they would have had with a different President who did such a thing, one with an "R" by his name.)

Anonymous said...

Steve: "there's nothing wrong with Obama's personality, it's just not suited to political leadership.,"

You're probably right, but I'd go further and say, "It's ust not suited to leadership, period."

That's not a slam on a person who wants to lead a productive life, but it certainly is a slam on someone who aspires to roles that need leadership.

Mr. Anon said...

"Steve Sailer said...

It would be interesting to make lists of famous leaders whom nobody thought of as a leader until they were well along in life. Nobody thought of Hitler as a leader until he was about 30. But this is a different case -- there's nothing wrong with Obama's personality, it's just not suited to political leadership."

Stalin was derided as a bumpkin and a boor by the other bolshevik leaders - a mediocrity, suited only to be General Secretary of the Party, which they deemed to be a boring job, fit only for a beuracratic functionary. What they neglected to understand was that General Secretary was the personnel office of the party, and that it allowed Stalin to staff the party with people, who then became loyal to him.

Mitch said...

Obama should have also taken that test but he wasn't a finalist.

Actually, for your purposes, it doesn't matter whether or not he was a finalist. Finalists were chosen based on grades and (at some point) race. Semi-finalists were selected purely on score. So the fact that Obama wasn't a semi-finalist is really the indicator you are looking for.

I won't make any claims about his IQ, but Obama's SATs were probably in the mid-to-low 500s, which that time were top 10% for blacks. It's just not credible that he topped 600 on either test and only got a full ride to Occidental. The fact that he did get a full ride to a decent liberal arts school means that his grades and test scores were not terribly low.

During his first run, both he and his wife talked about their law school debt, but don't mention that this means he didn't get any money, which means he wasn't a particularly desirable candidate.

Mr. Anon said...

I wonder if people have forgotten the laughable spectacle of Obama being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize during his first year in office (which means he was nominated just about the time he was innaugurated). The first such prize ever awarded to a man for being a "magical negro". Obama could have won some admiration if he had declined it. Instead, it was a sign of his overweening arrogance - an arrogance completely untethered to any actual accomplishment or talent - that he accepted.

Obama is the least accomplished, least consequential man to ever hold the office. And that's saying something - this is an office that was previously held by George W. Bush, a drunken, coked-up ne'er-do-well.

Anonymous said...

Steve have you seen this article about Obama's style of basketball play?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tucker-max/obama-basketball_b_1783260.html

Dad said...

By the way, I assume your take on Dinesh D'Souza's anti-Obama documentary '2016' is forthcoming.

D'Souza is now president of the New York college I attended while Obama was at Columbia.

No, I don't remember him either.

Anonymous said...

Leadership vs leaders of the popular kids at school are two different things. Amongst a group of potheads, I would expect a good political leader to sit on the sidelines and "not inhale".

beowulf said...

"She had started out at the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta in 1967, where, according to Obama’s autobiography, CIA men had told her hair-raising stories about the Indonesian military’s vast slaughter of Communists in 1965."

1. So the Ford Foundation gets office space in a US embassy? I wonder what kind of lease terms those were.
2. CIA men working at the embassy (presumably with official cover jobs, commercial attache or whatnot) are breaking cover and sharing info with someone who doesn't even work for the US govt?

I think that moves the ball forward for the theory that Mrs. Suharto was working for the CIA. The biggest hole in that theory is that Obama (who of course now has the power to do this) would have surely declassified his mom's govt work. "His mom was a secret agent for the CIA" sounds cooler (and more patriotic) than "his mom was a left wing anthropologist."

One who was there said...

S"instantly proclaimed the first black president".

Nope. There were/are bunches of Harvard Kids who see themselves as President. There was no instant Obama recognition or Obama proclaiming going on when he arrived. He did not even become The First Black President of the Harvard Law Review until all the smart dweeby Jewish HLR kids fought themselves to a standstill (and exhaustion) in the battle for control of the HLR. Ultimately and after repeated balloting, every HLR clique recognized it was not going to be able to elect its preferred candidate, so they collectively decided to bury the hatchet by electing Obama. He was the compromise candidate: the inoffensive second choice ... With an additional bonus: they could all wrap themselves in their respective Liberal/Neocon/Chicago/Libertarian flags for electing The First Black President of the HLR.

In short, there was no Proclaiming upon Obama's matriculation. He was just one of many bright-eyed and bushy-tailed Harvard kids.

Anonymous said...

The traditional time for Bitter Recriminations is after the first term of a one-term presidency.

Drudge is today dropping some very heavy hints in his photo selection: Mitt and Ann on their wedding day, Obama with Reggie Love, and Obama with Charlie Crist.

beowulf said...

By the way, I assume your take on Dinesh D'Souza's anti-Obama documentary '2016' is forthcoming."

Imagine if Pete Best did a documentary on The Beatles. D'Souza plays up the fact he was born the same year as Obama, graduated from an Ivy League school same year and got married the same year. The subtext is why does this schlub get to live in the White House and the other schlub does not?

D'Souza (born in India) should be out campaigning for an amendment to repeal the Constitution's requirement that presidents be "natural born citizen". I'm sure Schwarzenegger will drop some bucks into that effort.

Anonymous said...

Obama is sparkly-awesome. During the 20 yrs he devoted to the South Side of Chicago, he single-handedly turnned that blighted area around. Using his abilities and ideas (and $1 Billion of taxpayer funding)he virtually eliminated crime, drugs, unemployment, and illegetimacy from Chicago.

Same at the University of Chicago, where Obama was a Distinguished Pri-Emeriatii Professorium of Constitutional Lawisprudence. His brilliant lectures were so popular that all the other lesser-Professors came to the Great Lecture Hall. They crowded against the walls and the base of the podium -- each straining to hear wisps of astute wisdom from the Great Helmsman.

Historians have chronicled how Obama single handedly catapulted that small local college into the great university it is today.

One would think that 16-hr days of Organizing Communities and Re-inventing Constutional Lawisprudence would have been enough. But no! In the evenings, Obama still had energy to write great works of fiction, teach ballet to the homeless, and help small orphaned animals learn to walk.

Evil people say that the Great Helmsman was chosen only because of his skin color -- but we all know it was because of his many fantastigorigalistic accomplishments.

Obama: First he fixed Chicago -- Now he's fixing the world!

beowulf said...

"But this is a different case -- there's nothing wrong with Obama's personality, it's just not suited to political leadership."

Right, he's utterly lacking in command presence, which is best defined as... think Russell Crowe in Master and Commander.
http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/teachings/2005/01/command_presence.html

You think Captain Aubrey would let Boehner and Cantor roll him in a budget negotiation? Ha! You've come to the wrong shop for anarchy, brother.
http://www.thedearsurprise.com/?p=2507

Matthew said...

What's interesting is to just compare Obama to Romney based on family Wikipedia entries - i.e., ancestors and close relations who have Wikipedia articles for reasons other than their proximity to the candidate.

Romney is connected by blood to a substantial number of prominent, successful men. Mostly they were prominent in the Mormon community in a "big fish/small pond" kind of way, but still not all that unimpressive. Mitt Romney is even 3rd cousins to Utah chemical billionaire Jon Huntsman, Sr., and thus 3rd cousins once removed to his Republican "opponent," Jon Huntsman, Jr.

The Obama relatives with Wikipedia entries are all there due only to their proximity to Obama, though Michelle Obama has one or two who might've made it on their own: her brother, the college basketball coach, and a cousin who is a rabbi (yes, rabbi) of a black Jewish synagogue in Chicago.

Obama is an empty vessel into which good white lefties pour all their hopes and dreams, especially regarding race. He is their superhero, their Black President Man.

Living, lecturing and politicking in upscale Chicago, Obama had more than enough opportunities to learn just which words would tickle their political G-spots: "hope," "change," "dreams," "Yes we can." For his sponsors, the ones shrewd enough to see past all that (George Soros, et. al.) Obama is merely a tool.

For those of us who see past the facade, he is merely a man selling out this country's future with trillion-dollar deficits and massive payoffs to special voting blocks. Obama is the ne plus ultra of PC Multiculti politics in America - a shining example of why it all can't work, and why it will ultimately destroy us.

At the end of the Bush Administration I recall a poll showing that 68% of Republicans still approved of the job Bush had done as president. I chalked that up to pride, as I chalk up to pride all the people still claiming they'll vote for Obama this year.

SWPLs are too proud to admit that Obama's preisdency has meant the further undoing of this country. They won't admit it, but they won't vote for him, either. Romney's going to win in a landslide.

Peter A said...

Nobody thought of Hitler as a leader until he was about 30

But that is different. Hitler was always a "leader" in his own mind, he just couldn't find anyone to follow him until the 1920s. If you read stories of his early life (like Brigitte Harmann's excellent "Hitler's Vienna"), Hitler in the years before he became a politician always had one friend whom he would regale with long winded monologues on opera, politics, art etc. until eventually the friend would tire of Hitler and move on. Hitler was a lazy adolescent with far too much self-regard but never passive.

Peter A said...

Excellent critique of Obama, as always. This angle is far more devastating to the image that SWPL Obama lovers' hold of the man than easily disproved conspiracy theories about secret Muslims or Marxist takeovers. If more right wingers would listen to Steve, Obama would be in real trouble.

Anonymous said...

OK I tried but I'm not finding a lot of Obama in known great leaders, yet.

Great leader? No. But he seems a worth successor to Bush II with the Daddy issues, unremarkable pre-political career, helpful personal connections, insular inner circle, and general fumbling once he rose above his pay grade (Though for entirely different reasons-- Obama thinks he's smarter than his cabinet, Bush's cabinet wasn't very smart).

MQ said...

Steve's takes on Obama are always weirdly personal and frankly I think inflected by an inability to look objectively at a black ruler of his country (an inability obviously shared by most commenters on this site). I mean, Steve's article was even internally contradictory -- on the one hand, young Obama is boring and no extraordinary qualities or leadership skills whatsoever, but on the other hand:

"The young Obama didn’t have a lot of money, but he traveled in elite international circles. Lots of people who knew him saw him as an elegant and exotic accouterment to their social scene."

Ummm, yeah. Sounds like a boring loser, doesn't he?

Look, it's bleeding obvious that Obama is very smart and has significant leadership skills. You don't come out of nowhere to become President of the United States without those talents. This is like a discussion about whether some quarterback who won the Super Bowl is a good QB. Yeah, he might not have been the best QB in the league, he might have had a good offensive line, but HE WON THE FREAKING SUPER BOWL.

Obama's leadership abilities are quite evident...just because they are 'cool' and not 'hot' types of skills doesn't mean they don't exist. Piloting an administration through four years and multiple major personnel shakeups without any major scandals or public backstabbing is a management accomplishment, as is maintaining such a high personal likeability rating in the face of an awful economy. It's clear that Obama's leadership skills involve being cool, calm, collected, and having what one might call good poker talents -- being the guy at the table who is relaxed and reliable and able to read the situation well and who people naturally trust. It's entirely natural that 'no drama Obama' might not have stood out very early as anything more than a popular and well-liked observer who always ran with the cool crowd.

When Obama made his move in his mid-20s he immediately evidenced strong leadership skills. Do people really not understand how difficult it is to be immediately pegged as the most impressive future leader in the class and elected Law Review president at Harvard Law? I mean, HLS is a world center for egotistical pushy dickheads who want to be President or a Supreme Court justice someday. For that crowd to look at Obama and all say, oh yeah, him...that's significant evidence of some kind of personal quality.

Anonymous said...

It pains me to even meantion the word "charisma" because I believe the medium of tv has made chosing effective leaders more difficult, but your review mentions the effective pol, Clinton.

Both men were lucky: Clinton was able to beat Bush 1 only because of Perot, who was never serious about actually becoming President (the media, of course, played a huge part in promoting him); Obama benefitted from the financial collapse that occurred at just the right time in the campaign. However, luck always plays a part in victory. I don't hold them accountable for their good luck.

However, it seems to me that whatever "charismatic" means, it actually describes Clinton while the press conjured up the word to describe Obama,and having heard over and over gain he "had it" and out of need to find a leader who "had it" during the economic chaos, the public bought that he had charisma.

Frankly, I never go that sense...that he was charismatic. I think of such a person as one who is like a magnet, people want to be around him or her....because they're fun or they're entertaining or because they make you feel good about yourself or all of these, but I simply never saw anything in Obama that would make me feel naturally inclined to try to get near him at a party or want to be seated next to him at a dinner.

The media applied to word to him simply because they wanted that black Prez.

That having been said, I'd like to dispense with the notion that we must absolutely find a "charismatic" leader. Many people with personalities so magnetic people want to be around them are often con artists.

Anonymous said...

Even mother's milk can be sexist

Beefy Levinson said...

Mild mannered Clark Kent is secretly Superman. Shy, nerdy Peter Parker is actually Spiderman.

In contrast, Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark says at a news conference, "Fuck you, I'm Ironman."

If Obama is the Clark Kent like figure who dreamed of being Presidentman, I guess that makes Bill Clinton Tony Stark. I'm sure Bill was the first to describe a Humvee as a funvee to cute reporter babes.

Anonymous said...

You notice stuff, racist.

DaveinHackensack said...

"Obama doesn't seem to have learned anything from the 70s.".

Or the 80s or early 90s. But that's part of the reason he's the President of the United States now. The lessons most Democrats took from quick, popular wars in Grenada, Panama, and the Persian Gulf were:

1) Every war isn't a quagmire.

2) Smacking around tin pot dictators can be good for your poll numbers.

Obama didn't get that memo, so he opposed the war in Iraq, which gave him a key advantage over Hillary.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 8/28/12 5:00 AM said, "
This is why I call Obama a "test tube president" He reminds me of something SWPL people would come up with if they got to design a black man for their daughters to marry."

You mean like gay, drug using, and with a weird shadowy background? If so, yeah, I guess.

pat said...

LOL. Are you sure it's no more than 128? I mean it might be no more than 127. Or 129.

The Merit test separates the elect from the damned at about an IQ of 128. It's hard to be more exact. They separate out the top one or two percent of students. There are some variations in different areas - or at least there used to be.

So if Obama took the test - which seems likely - and he wasn't in the Finalist group - which seems certain - he can't be really smart. Steve - the purveyor of this blog - is probably from what he has revealed of his test experiences - a 99.9 + kind of guy. He should have been a Merit Finalist or Semi-Finalist. The distinction between full finalist and semi-finalist is based on non-academic criteria.

I was a semi-finalist as were a great many of my high school friends. I think everyone on the debate team was a semi-finalist. It didn't seem like a special distinction at the time. I was not the "smartest guy in the room" in high school.

Mensa is another high IQ group. In their case I think their cut off is a trifle lower than the Merit cutoff. Mensa's qualifying score is about the 98th percentile. There are several other more obscure groups with higher cut offs yet. There are for example the groups who restrict their membership to the 99.9 and 99.99 percentiles. They are often called the "Three Niners" and the "Four Niners". I have known a couple guys who would have qualified.

Jeff Raskin - the brains behind Steve Jobs - once worked for me. He was scary smart. He spoke like a smart guy and he had a long list of accomplishments that you would expect of a very smart person. Things like inventing the Macintosh.

I met and interviewed William Schockly at one time too. He also would have been a Four Niner. My first boss at the consulting firm was also one of them.

All three of these hyper smart men were more or less social misfits. None of them could have gotten elected dog catcher.

Obama seems to be about as smart as an average liberal arts grad student. He is not quite - in my opinion - quite as sharp as the better MBA grads. It is very unclear as to whether he has any quantitative ability whatsoever. Most people with some math background will use terms or anecdotes in conversation that reveals their comfort with quantitative concepts. For example, I give you Paul Ryan.

But not Obama. He does not give the impression that he can handle the numbers. A whole lot of "Green Energy" types are pretty fuzzy on math.

I don't think Obama is stupid but I don't think he's as smart as some other well known figures like Al Gore or Geraldo Rivera. He certainly is much less intelligent than Pat Buchanan or any number of Fox News reporters like James Rosen or Bill Hemmer.

He's definitely smart enough to be a good President. The reason is has been such a bad President lies elsewhere.

Albertosaurus

Baloo said...

Steve reads excruciatingly boring books so we won't have to, and I, for one, am grateful. The review is linked here:
http://ex-army.blogspot.com/2012/08/oboredom.html

Ed said...

Steve Sailer's last comment was the point I was going to make.

There is a surprisingly long list of people remembered as great leaders who were pretty much nobodies until middle age and circumstances took them into a leadership position.

There is an entire novel and TV miniseries about how everyone in Rome thought that the Emperor Claudius was some sort of drooling idiot until, of course, he became Emperor by default because all of Octavian's other relatives had murdered each other in succession disputes (historically, Claudius put out that he exaggerated his disabilities to keep from getting killed). Closer to home, no one thought that Grant or Truman were great shakes until the Civil War/ World War II, though Grant had an impressive record in the Mexican War and Truman seems to have been a competent battery commander in World War I.

Actually I agree Obama has been way ove-rpromoted (see this article :http://www.theonion.com/articles/obama-promoted-to-senior-vice-president-of-america,17321/), but really, Steve is overthinking this.

Anonymous said...

"...the cool crisp grey of fall glows on the teeming faces of the midtown rush..."

This is from a letter to a friend? OMG. What kind of friends wouldn't guffaw at that level of pretentiousness? Could they have been white friends? Whites are used to suspending judgement when dealing with NAMs.

"Boerner can’t remember much about Obama’s fiction."

No kidding?

How could a mediocrity have become so powerful? He couldn't. He's not powerful. Politicians in modern "democracies" are figureheads. Symbols.

Henry Canaday said...

Bill Clinton’s life was extremely boring too. He sat at a school desk for 20 years, and then he sat at a government desk for 20 years, and then he became the first American President to take office in 64 years without any foreign enemies or an economic crisis to deal with.

But many middle-class white readers could identify with and be fascinated with Clinton’s story because they did much the same thing, except for becoming president.

Anonymous said...

"Reminiscent of the CIA's dominant role in the bringing into being of modern American conservatism with the creation of National Review."
_____________________________

Even Revilo P. Oliver was part of National Review.

BB said...

Yep, Obama´s story could be just routine recruiting by the elites. The CIA is just a middleman. They were looking around for marketable candidates for the senate and beyond. Pick up a non-threatenig articulate Black, and promote him. Doesn´t have to be realy brilliant. We´ll cover him. Next step: Harvard, Yale..., nver mind the SAT, and then some cushy job in academia or a front firm from some agency or NGO. Then some community organisin´.
Barack was lucky and got to the Senate after loosing in Chicago.
Had he failed, he´d be working for the USG in some form or other.
What he really is inside doesn´t matter.

Paul Mendez said...

Teens Who Smoke Pot Can Damage Memory, Intelligence

"Researchers from Britain and the United States found that persistent and dependent use of cannabis before the age of 18 may have a so-called neurotoxic effect, but heavy pot use after 18 appears to be less damaging to the brain."

Whew! Just snuck in under the wire! First doobie at 18 years and 7 months...

Ray Sawhill said...

Brilliant and hilarious review.

JeremiahJohnbalaya said...

From the HuffPo article on Obama's hoops game
"He would beat you if given space, but if you played even half decent defense on him, you could take him out of the game."

The word for this is "weak" and it's my impression from simply glancing at the photos of Obama shooting hoops with the UNC players; possibly colored by the video of his throwing out the first pitch at an MLB game. He's a physical pansy and I can almost guarantee that he has no more mental edge, much less dominance, in sports than he does in any other thing that we seen.

Anonymous said...

elected Law Review president at Harvard Law?

He's got a long history of being an AA hire, and Harvard Law was one example of that.

According the the Maraniss book Obama said he was a "B+ student at Occidental and an A- student at Columbia". He got a transfer to Columbia based on a B+ average?

So if Obama took the test - which seems likely - and he wasn't in the Finalist group - which seems certain

I agree that he probably took the test, and probably wasn't a semi-finalist. But then I was a semi-finalist in approximately the same era, and I doubt if there's any public record of that, so it's hard to be certain. Likely his friends from that era would have mentioned if he was, and he would have gone to a more prestigious school straight out of high school. A black kid with semi-finalist scores would have had his pick of the Ivies, and Obama doesn't strike me as the sort of guy who would turn down an offer from a prestigious school.

I agree that he probably has a strong verbal/quantitative split.

Anonymous said...

I think there will be a whole lot of blacks who will take their cue from Obama. The Obama formula or Obamula has even affected Jesse Jackson Jr.--before he made some big boo boo by chasing after the senator's seat.

Jesse Jr. used to be loudmouthed fat pig, but after seeing Obama, he got leaner, nice, and softer. He began to take his cue from Obama than from his famous daddy.
But boy, did he mess up by hungering after that Senate seat.

Anonymous said...

I think you Godwined yourself.

Matthew said...

Great leaders are either born or made.

Those who are born great reveal their intelligence and/or leadership all their lives, in ways large or small. You'll see and hear of dozens of examples of ways in which they exhibited their wisdom and knack for leadership, often from a very young age.

That is not Obama.

Those who become great will have a certain humility about them - an understanding of their limitations and a willingness to listen to those smarter than themselves. They'll toot their own horns when they absolutely need to, in order to get ahead, but they won't do so when it isn't necessary. When it comes time to act they'll be cool but decisive - Harry Truman, for example.

That isn't Obama, either.

Obama was not born to be a great leader and he hasn't made himself into one, either. He's just an empty con man who wanted to be powerful and who's willing to resort to every form of deceit and corruption to achieve it.

Anonymous said...

No, you're right. That's crazy. Let's look at his sterling efforts since taking office. Over a hundred rounds of golf? Check. More fundraisers than last five presidents combined? Check. Accepting the Nobel Peace Prize for not being George Bush? Check. Allowing racial, tribal, and personal hatred to sour our most important ally? Check. Maintaining the high moral and ethical standards estabished as a pot-head, drug using, wasted child of anti-American parents? Check.

Yeah, he grew. Into a bigger crook.

Anonymous said...

"Obama's leadership abilities are quite evident"

No, they are not. I don't doubt Obama's intelligence--pretty high, certainly way higher than the average--, and his social skills. But he's good at leadership style than real leadership ability.
Maybe Obama could have learned to be a really good leader, but he never tried and never had a chance to learn or hone his skills. Everything was handed to him on a silver platter. Blago had to scrounge for money. Obama? People showered him with money. He got favorable press coverage when, by all rights, Hillary should have won the nomination in 2008. Media dumped on Hillary real bad. Because life had been made so easy for Obama and he'd been groomed by his Jewish operators, all Obama had to do was wait and sharpen his social skills. But he never learned to think about real things, never learned to manage and administer. What did he do as Illinois senator? Nothing. He just sat around while his managers, producers, and script writers prepared him for the big event. And he performed real well there, but once he won the presidency, can we say he's really been a leader? He's just a puppet of his handlers. He's taken orders from Wall Street bigshots. He was told to nominate Kagan by his handlers. You think he did that on his own? He's pushed around by liberal Jews and the gay elite. Obama knows he won the presidency but as a symbol, not as a person with real power.
His power didn't even come from the black community. Jews and liberal whites made him what he is. And Obama could easily have been destroyed at any time once the Wright scandal broke. It all depended on how the media played it. The media went easy on him. Obama knows his 'power' is owed to others. Because that's how he gained the presidency, Obama doesn't know how to handle real people and real situations, how to manage, how to rule. He's an 'amateur'. He was used to people praising him, admiring him, and saying "he's the one!!". But once he became the one, he had no clue what to do, especially because his power was so beholden to people who really owned him.

Matthew said...

Sort of off-topic, but do you think Obama has even the most remote interest in scientific subjects? Do you think he ever took a science class in college that wasn't a requirement, or has ever bothered to read a single popular science book (A Brief History of Time, Before the Dawn, Coming of Age in the Milky Way, etc.) out of curiosity?

helene edwards said...

Steve says that in the '70's, most Americans had gotten down to reassessing old liberal pieties.

I don't think this is true. Those doing the reassessing at that time were the original NeoCons, i.e. Podhoretz, Kristol, Nathan Glazer, folks everyone here hates. They were older people, who'd known pre-War II America. Even the oldest Boomers weren't doing any reassessing; instead they were trying to launch careers more deeply embedding the liberal pieties. What's probably true about "most people" at the dawn of Reagan was that they didn't yet understand that the Democratic Party had been hijacked by the New Left. Save for 18% interest rates and a few helicopter crashes, Carter would have been re-elected. I think it's wrong to see Obama's isolation in Hawaii as having deprived him of any central political insight. All he needed to learn was that whites are anxious to extend exemptions to blacks, an insight you don't have to be on the mainland to get.

Anonymous said...

His mom was certainly as anti-American as anyone alive or dead. No I doubt whatever nasty work she would have done for them will never see the light of day.

Anonymous said...

It's an open secret that many successful politicians are nullities; guys who have no ideas but are full of a vague desire for prominence without an idea how to obtain it, until a well dressed man sidles up and says, Hey, did you ever think of running for office?

The mystery in Obama's case is who that man was and when he sidled up. How do you get from the Choom Gang to Harvard Law? Somebody pulled some strings.

Anonymous said...

Yep, Obama´s story could be just routine recruiting by the elites. The CIA is just a middleman. They were looking around for marketable candidates for the senate and beyond. Pick up a non-threatenig articulate Black, and promote him.

Right. The CIA, State Dept., foreign policy establishment does this sort of thing all the time, but it's for foreign countries.

Anonymous said...

Sort of off-topic, but do you think Obama has even the most remote interest in scientific subjects? Do you think he ever took a science class in college that wasn't a requirement, or has ever bothered to read a single popular science book (A Brief History of Time, Before the Dawn, Coming of Age in the Milky Way, etc.) out of curiosity?

Name me one politician who reads books like that, or has the time to do such. Or better yet, name me one politician who reads (whether as part of his career or not) scholarly science books. Nearly all politicians and media types are upper-class jocky lawyers, bursting with "social skills". They would never desecrate their image with anything so nuuuuuuurdy.

alonzo portfolio said...

the only time most potheads aren't hopelessly boring it's because they're too busy being infuriating.

Mellow out, man.

Anonymous said...

Boomers chose a choomer?

Anonymous said...

Obama's style if more like an athlete's or a rock star's. Notice how some athletes and rock stars are actually low-key and 'cool' off-stage, but they fully turn on the power when they're on stage.
It's like they gotta be taking it easy when they're not training or performing. I heard Michael Phelps is like that too. He's been a stoner for a long time, but when he has train, he trains, and when he has to perform, he performs. But he also needs time to take it easy.
In the documentary DON'T LOOK BACK, we often see Dylan doing nothing. He needed time to take it easy between composing, recording, and performing. And therefore, much of DON'T LOOK BACK is boring, and Dylan himself comes across as a bore, but that doesn't mean he really was a bore.

Maybe early on, Obama took it easy more often than he should have because he didn't really have the contacts. He didn't know whom to turn to in order to be placed on the fast track. He hadn't met his sponsors and coaches yet. But once he made himself discovered by others and others said, "that's our kid", Obama did put his mind to winning the presidency some day when the planets were all aligned right. And 2008 was it, especially after 8 yrs of Bush disaster, McCain foolishness, demographic changes, and financial crisis.

Anonymous said...

Lions sleep 21 hrs a day and seem lazy and useless most of the time. But don't underestimate a lion when it's hungry and on the prowl.

Anonymous said...

Angelo Codevilla has the same view about Obama.... The "Chosen One" is basically a CIA foreign policy blowback.

Anonymous said...

Given the health of our economy, should future generations be called gloomers and doomers?

Anonymous said...

Good to know US went from a cokehead(Bush) to a pothead(Obama).

If Romney wins, we'll finally have a sober guy as president. But in Romney's case, a few drinks and few puffs might do him some good. He's so starchy.

bjk said...

Gore's interview with Wired is pretty impressive. He clearly read some science books and understood them, FWTW. By the way, the fact that Obama didn't know the Austrians spoke German strikes me as a pretty good indication of his level of knowledge. If you don't know what the Anschluss is, it means you've never picked up a book on WWII.

Anonymous said...

"Your average big-time dope-smoker will tend to ruin borrowed stuff and then tell the owner to calm down about it, while tacitly accusing the owner of being an uptight asshole for being so concerned about material possessions-"

His pot smoking shows he couldn't stand up to peer pressure.Look at all of our leaders now--Bush, Clinton, Gore. All were drug takers with no backbone.


People like this infuriate me. Here they were taking their drugs and now aren't even for making marijuana legal and on top of that they aren't for making the drinking age 18 or lower.

Any society that has a drinking age higher than 18 is a joke.

I can't believe I took not drinking and smoking pot seriously in high school. I thought that was the right thing to do. Man was I stupid.

I could have had a social life.

But it all worked out because I am rich now because I didn't drink in high school.







Anonymous said...

"Gore's interview with Wired is pretty impressive. He clearly read some science books and understood them..."

I remember Gore saying that the temperature of the surface of the Sun is "millions of degrees". I've known that it's about 6,000 degrees Celsius since I was around 10. I'd say that this was worse than Gladwell's igone moment. A man who makes mistakes like that cannot possibly know anything about science.

Anon87 said...

You can add Churchill to the list of those who were not considered "leaders". He had quite a poor track record until peaking in WWII. Then quickly disposed of.

Zuckerberg's Boson said...

while most Americans had gotten down to reassessing old liberal pieties.

Hmm. Well, I guess the remainder consists of my SWPL friends on FB, since I'm pretty sure they haven't reassessed anything.

Anonymous said...

"...he fact that Obama didn't know the Austrians spoke German...."

Wow. Thanks for the tip. Here it is on YouTube

"It was also interesting to see that political interaction in Europe is not that different from the Unites States Senate. There's a lot of... ah... I don't know what the term is in Austrian... wheeling and dealing."

This is disgraceful.

"If you don't know what the Anschluss is, it means you've never picked up a book on WWII."

Forget the Anschluss. What language does he think Mozart spoke? What sort of a name does he imagine Wolfgang being?

I think it's pretty widely known that Hitler was Austrian. How could an ultra-nationalistic German movement have been led by a... oh, forget it. How can he not know that Schwarzenegger is Austrian and speaks German? Does he not even know what a German accent sounds like?

Anonymous said...

You can add Churchill to the list of those who were not considered "leaders".

Um, no. President of the Board of Trade, Home Secretary, and First Load of the Admiralty, all before WWI. Battalion commander, and then Minister of Munitions, a critical post for WWI wartime Britain. Secretary of State for War, Secretary of State for Air, Chancellor of the Exchequer. He had one of the most extensive careers in government ever before he finally made it to the big post, and had extensive executive experience.

In contrast Obama's first effort at running anything--as opposed to being a critic and mau-mauing the flak catchers--as when he was running his presidential campaign, and I suspect he farmed most of that out to underlings.

Anonymous said...

Steve you might be interested in the documentary called "Dreams of My Real Father" by Joel Gilbert. It puts forward evidence that Obama's father was a black communist named Frank Marshall Davis. I haven't seen the documentary myself but I heard the filmmaker interviewed and it sounds at least plausible. Anyway, just thought you'd be interested to know such a documentary is out there.

The link:
http://www.obamasrealfather.com/

jody said...

i'm a national merit scholar and a member of MENSA.

obama is not smart. we don't have to keep having this discussion. he's been under the most intense microscope possible, president of the united states, for 4 years, and he hasn't done or said anything smart, let alone brilliant, in that entire time. he's not dumb, but he's not even smart, let alone brilliant or a genius.

furthermore, he routinely gives off the vibe that he's actually somewhat of a puppet, and that people are handling him, controlling him, and guiding him. he can barely make a public appearance with a teleprompter and when not reading from a teleprompter, he says dumb stuff routinely. he does not seem to be deeply involved in his own re-election campaign. for that matter, he didn't seem that involved in his original election campaign. he trudges around, making the required campaign appearances, which most of the time, seem to be coordinated by the white and jewish liberals who run his campaign.

he is not an automaton or a robot and does have his own (never original) thoughts and opinions on things (mostly sports) but a lot of his public behavior as well as his political policy seem to be coordinated by somebody else and decided on ahead of time by somebody else.

Anonymous said...

"I said years ago that he seemed smart but hardly brilliant. I commented often that he seemed to have a very ordinary mind. He has good verbal fluency but not a particularly large vocabulary. He never makes a subtle point and he seems to be the captive of crude economic and social ideas."

Agree. His literary style (quoted in the article) is like something a gentle voiced lady on NPR would like. A talented writer would know by college age that purple prose about brownstones and pigeons is lame and gay.

MQ, your thesis that the Emperor must, by definition, have a full set of robes, sounds like the voice of progressivism-in-power. You seem to be assuming collective sanity, against all evidence that we live in upside-down world.

Gilbert P.

jody said...

the guy is clearly informed by marxism and or communism. i reject any notion to the contrary - he's lived his entire life around actual communists and marxists and when away from carefully orchestrated speeches, he lapses into clear cut, classic marxist and communist thought patterns which he expresses somewhat clumsily. because he can't speak extemporaneously.

in fact we can openly state that he is a cultural marxist, a modern, distinct ideology somewhat seperated from marx's ideas by the incorporation of race and gender and sexual orientation.

he's also not a christian. period, point blank, flat out. this is not to say he's a muslim. barack hussein obama is not religious at all. just that truth, that the president of the united states is not only not a christian but doesn't subscribe to any religion (perhaps other than the modern dogma of cultural marxism), is anathema to holding the office which he now holds. although the democrat party has been moving in this direction for 2 or 3 decades now. they are required to say in public that they are religious, it's required to hold national office in the united states, but many democrats at the highest level today are not religious, and pretend to be christian only because it's necessary. jewish democrats don't even have to go that far.

but he does sympathize somewhat with muslims. he has a muslim name, his father was a muslim, and he wrote a paean to his muslim communist racist father. his step father was also muslim, though less of a hardcore one. if he wasn't sympathetic to muslims, he would be identified as an apostate and reviled by muslims worldwide - it's punishable by death in islam. but he isn't. they know he is, nominally, on their side in the grand scheme of things.

he doesn't go along with the israel lobby, and has been rejecting their angry demands of war with iran, leaving courtship of jewish votes, jewish donations, and jewish political influence open to republicans. he's ok with open muslim takeover of previously more moderate and secular nations. he never punished pakistan for completely taking the US to the cleaners.

he's ok with killing individual hostile muslims, only if it polls well, and he can do it from 5000 miles away by pressing a button. the neat, tidy, painless, bloodless way which clinton also preferred. he refused to even declare nidal malik hasan a terrorist. hasan continues to breathe air, an insult to every american. well, americans from america version 1.0. we now live in america version 2.0.

jody said...

"Name me one politician who reads books like that, or has the time to do such"

unless you were living under a rock for the last 10 years, you might have heard of al gore.

it's not uncommon for politicians at the national level to occassionally delve into science, engineering, or medicine.

you really think GH bush and GW bush knew nothing about the geology, chemistry, and engineering involved in the energy industry? i mean, they were not scientists by education, but they knew some stuff.

there is the myth about jimmy carter being a nuclear engineer. he did graduate annapolis with a science undergrad, but it wasn't in nuclear engineering. he did however serve in the US navy and actually enrolled in nuclear power school there, but never finished the class.

Whiskey said...

Following Steve's suggestion, we have a number of famous men in America who were not thought of very highly by their classmates, or marked out for distinction, but possessed great skills besides just politicking.

Grant, Sherman, and Ike. For Ike, it was logistics, logistics, logistics. Alone among the US Military he understood it took machines like ships, boats, planes, landing craft, and trucks to supply an army in the field. That's why he was the Supreme Commander. He was the only one with a grasp of logistics save perhaps Patton who had personality problems. Ike was not a prominent West Pointer, by any means. Neither were Sherman nor Grant. Grant saw fighting in Mexico in 1848, but on the eve of the Civil War had long left the Army for civilian life and was failing running even a general store for his wife's brother. Sherman had only ... logistics experience in California in 1848, but had ridden as Quartermaster all over the South on horseback. He knew most of the battlefields he fought over having ridden over them twenty years before. Sherman was primarily a logistics man also.

What set them apart, was a particular skill WHEN IT WAS NEEDED, besides just politicking. Politicking in and of itself IS NOT ENOUGH. Often problems need to be solved, and to do it the leader must know enough himself to pick experts who can solve the problem and toss out those who can only pose around.

Obama's cabinet is loaded with PC driven mediocrities whose policies have made things worse, and whose mere presence reflect badly on Obama: Steven Chu the clueless Secretary of Energy who is driven around in a chauffeur-driven limo who knows only campus dogma, and has no clue or vision to drive gas prices and energy prices down (to be fair Obama shares Chu's vision of sky high gas/electricity bills which might save the polar bears but is certain to drive a middle class revolt like the one that got rid of Gray Davis). Or the Secretary of the Interior who to save the Delta Smelt has devastated Central Valley Agriculture. Or the Secretary of Education who to make sure Blacks are not suspended at any greater rate than Whites, is defacto pushing nice White valedictorians into suspension for saying "Hell" in their graduation speech (to balance out Trayon's suspension for beating a teacher half to death). THAT is sure to spark a middle class White revolt too.

WHAT exactly is Obama's skill set? Being a professional Black man. That's it. He knows nothing else. Not even the largish-state pork politics that got Clinton ahead. In trouble, Obama defaults to being a Professional Black Man. That's disaster.

Anonymous said...

This is like a discussion about whether some quarterback who won the Super Bowl is a good QB. Yeah, he might not have been the best QB in the league, he might have had a good offensive line, but HE WON THE FREAKING SUPER BOWL.

What the...?

There are no QB's who won the Super Bowl after doing precious little in their pre Super Bowl performances. Every QB who has won a Super Bowl was far and away the best athlete on his high school and college teams, not some back bench 3rd string dude.

Out to lunch comment.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
"Obama's leadership abilities are quite evident"

No, they are not. I don't doubt Obama's intelligence--pretty high, certainly way higher than the average--, and his social skills. But he's good at leadership style than real leadership ability.

---------------------------

In addition, the Obama as genius meme put out by white people is actually an insult; because the bar is so low for black people.

Any black person who is "clean with no negro dialect" qualifies are smart.

Some black people know this because they have done it.

Obama took it all the way to the presidency.

Anonymous said...

"CIA men working at the embassy (presumably with official cover jobs, commercial attache or whatnot) are breaking cover and sharing info with someone who doesn't even work for the US govt? I think that moves the ball forward for the theory that Mrs. Suharto was working for the CIA."

Happens all the time with spooks on foreign postings somewhere hot, muslim and no fun trying to get into bed with women to relieve the tedium. As the topic isn't shoes 99% of the time the woman in question isn't really listening so it doesn't matter.

.
"Angelo Codevilla has the same view about Obama.... The "Chosen One" is basically a CIA foreign policy blowback."

I do think there is some general mileage in this idea though. I think one of the problems with empires is eventually the ruling class starts to see their own population as just another colony.

Anonymous said...

HLS is a world center for egotistical pushy dickheads who want to be President or a Supreme Court justice someday. For that crowd to look at Obama and all say, oh yeah, him...that's significant evidence of some kind of personal quality.

They needed Obama to prove to themselves they weren't racists, dumbass. They didn't really like him. He is the token black dude. An all white (as opposed to half white) guy with the same attributes probably could not have got into Harvard, but if he had, he would have been completely ignored.

Anonymous said...



Frankly, I never go that sense...that he was charismatic. I think of such a person as one who is like a magnet, people want to be around him or her....because they're fun or they're entertaining or because they make you feel good about yourself or all of these, but I simply never saw anything in Obama that would make me feel naturally inclined to try to get near him at a party or want to be seated next to him at a dinner.


Obama is a magnet to SWPL's because he is black on the outside but doesn't act black and is culturally the same as SWPL's. Black looking with no black cultural influences. They wanted to sit next to him to prove they are enlightened and not racists like those "other" white people.

fnn said...

Even Revilo P. Oliver was part of National Review.

Don't confuse the early Revilo Oliver with the later Revilo Oliver.

In the early days WFB called him "the single most erudite man I had ever met." And no one doubts that he was a brilliant scholar. You should read the articles he wrote for National Review and American Opinion before he became persona non grata for his open anti-semitism.

Anonymous said...

Yes they have a 1-in-20 chance of catching their prey. Hard to underestimate that.

Anonymous said...

Gore spent his college years flunking out and smoking opium soaked thai-stick. Obviously pure genius.

Anon87 said...

Anonymous 8/28/12 5:22 PM:

The topic of this blog post being Obama did not show many leadership qualities or was recognized as having any.

If we are talking upbringing and results (not just a lot of positions held since Obama could put together a decent resume pre-presidency, I'm talking results), I still contend Churchill fits the bill.

1) Desolate, lonely childhood

2) Performed badly at school, regularly being punished for poor work and lack of effort
http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/Winston-Churchill%23Early-life

3) Military career filled with failures and was actually demoted. Reference = Gallipoli

4) Politically unpopular and ostracized for a decade

http://www.number10.gov.uk/history-and-tour/prime-ministers-in-history/winston-churchill

I doubt anyone expected him to rise to the level that he did in WWII.

Anonymous said...

"I do think there is some general mileage in this idea though. I think one of the problems with empires is eventually the ruling class starts to see their own population as just another colony."
____________________________

This would explain modern day Europe....

gotch77 said...

This is like a discussion about whether some quarterback who won the Super Bowl is a good QB. Yeah, he might not have been the best QB in the league, he might have had a good offensive line, but HE WON THE FREAKING SUPER BOWL.

Barack Obama = Trent Dilfer. Yeah, I can roll with that analysis.

Anonymous said...

"Sorry I burned down your garage." That was what my pothead neighbor said when we came back from vacation. He got into his resin impregnated brain we were leaving for a few months not two weeks. He broke into our garage and tried to rewire to grow pot. His craftsmanship resulted in an electrical fire.

He figured since I hated drugs it would be okay with me. He thought his apology was enough to make up for losing two vintage cars and all my families stored stuff. It's not like he stole anything.

Anonymous said...

About Revilo Oliver:

"the single most erudite man I had ever met." became persona non grata for his open anti-semitism.

There is a lesson here.

Matthew said...

"Obama is a magnet to SWPL's because he is black on the outside but doesn't act black and is culturally the same as SWPL's."

Oh, but he does act black - just in more subtle ways it takes time to pick up on. His random disregard for standard diplomatic protocal - i.e., the way he bowed to the king of Saudi Arabia or the emperor of Japan (but not to the white, nominally Christian queen of the United Kingdom) is just one example. Blacks love to break such formalities and act as though they're either above them or setting some new standard.

And then there are the cases of "subtle" rudeness that he thinks are clever: slyly flipping off both Hillary Clinton and John McCain near the end of his primary and general campaigns, respectively.

It was after seeing both of these clips that I lost any kind of respect for Obama or hope for his administration.

Oh, and then there's this. Honestly, what kind of pompous asshat past high school would choose that pose for his webpage?

Anonymous said...

"I remember Gore saying that the temperature of the surface of the Sun is "millions of degrees". I've known that it's about 6,000 degrees Celsius since I was around 10."

wasn't there a study of harvard graduates where they thought that seasons happen because of apogee and perigee.

OT:

School: Teacher Helps Students Cheat Because She Says They’re ‘Dumb As Hell’

Anonymous said...

Ike's skills weren't limited to logistics. He was a staff officer par excellence and served as XO or chief of staff to a series of important generals in the 30's: Fox Conner, MacArthur, and Marshall, among others. He was Mr Organization and Planning. You don't work in that field for long with a passive personality.

In contrast Obama had really run no organization of note before his campaign.

Anonymous said...

The better guess is that Barry
Omama Obama smoked reefer with both hands far far too much far far too often. Most people doing that "dealt their own stash". Did he or didn't he?

Anonymous said...

Wow, it's awesome seeing Southern California mediocrity Whiskey accusing Steven Chu, a physics Nobelist, of being an affirmative action mediocrity. I thought HBDers respected STEM achievers? It's even more hilarious than watching the rest of you try to spin Harvard Law Review and winning the presidency when your name is Barack Obama as no great shakes.

Anonymous said...

Grant was selling pencils on street corners to make a living in his thirties. Then war started.

I think that the alpha/beta differentiation is situational. For examples: I go on the local golf course and I am beta; I go to work and I am one of several alphas; I go to the local hotspot coffee shop and I am not alpha or beta - I am just an older guy who is no longer even in the running.



Anonymous said...

Where can we find Obama's short stories? Did he finish at least one?

Anonymous said...

"I know this is crazy, but....maybe he grew as a person."

You're right, it's crazy.

Growth in a person involves matters of character. Obama is very thin-skinned. He's petty.

If he's grown, I'd hate to see what he was like before we met him.

Anonymous said...

"If Romney wins, we'll finally have a sober guy as president. But in Romney's case, a few drinks and few puffs might do him some good. He's so starchy."

When the hell are Americans going to stop caring about about whether a Presidential candidate is "starchy" or faux-cool. What the hell does that have to do with damn policy and working to get something done, shithead?

Anonymous said...

I lived in Hawaii in the 1980's. Now, Obama's a real chameleon and not even a real black guy, so this doesn't apply to him.

But black folks definitely weren't on any pedestal in Hawaii in the 1980's.

The largely Asian/non-white population seemed to despise and detest the few black people there (mostly in the military) and were totally devoid of the slightest trace of liberal white guilt about race despite being insanely liberal in all other regards.

If anyone was benefiting from being a historically disadvantaged minority, it was the Hawaiian blood (and by extension, other Polynesians/Micronesian/Melanesians) who occupied the bottom rung of the socio-economic ladder and sort of were black people-lite; uneducated, obese, out of wedlock births, crime, terrific sense of entitlement, etc, but not to quite the excessive degree that black people can attain.

Anonymous said...

Re: OT: "School: Teacher Helps Students Cheat Because She Says They’re ‘Dumb As Hell’"

LOL. "Shayla Smith was accused of offering students the answers to a test ... Schajuan Jones, who taught a fourth-grade class across the hall".

No need to read any further, pretty clear picture already.

Anonymous said...

"I think that the alpha/beta differentiation is situational. "

yup, as the white women's psychology expert at isteve, Mr. Whiskey, is an alpha on the internet, in real life not so much.

""the single most erudite man I had ever met." became persona non grata for his open anti-semitism.

There is a lesson here. "

it's spelled anti-(scots-irishism)™

courtesy the man who runs hounded by wasp-harvard mafia in real life and from irate white women on internet.

Anonymous said...

Politically unpopular and ostracized for a decade

Churchill sometimes failed but he was too energetic to be kept on the sidelines. He became a noted public figure quite early on--after his first commissioning in 1895 he was an attention and action seeking war correspondent, a first run at parliament in 1899, Boer War, and Parliament in 1900, and First Sea Lord in 1911 in the midst of a naval race with Germany. Someone isn't awarded that position at that time in those circumstances without a good deal of confidence in his abilities as a manager on the part of those around him.

After Gallipoli he was rehabilitated as Minister of Munitions, a critical post in wartime when shell production was everything. He held a number of important posts through the 20's, and really only entered the Wilderness Years at the start of the 30's.

He was distrusted by his peers for being too press-happy and too reckless. Everyone recognized he was a leader, but the fear was that he combined leadership ability with not enough judgement, a potentially disastrous mix. By the time he finally made it to the top of the greasy pole he's held nearly every important position in the His Majesty's government.

Anonymous said...

and does have his own (never original) thoughts and opinions on things (mostly sports)

The Chicago White Sox ended a long wait for a World Series and this White Sox fan had heard of none of their players who ended the long wait.

Then again I doubt anyone in Boston has heard of Curt Schilling.

Anonymous said...

black folks definitely weren't on any pedestal in Hawaii in the 1980's

Anyone who has lived in Hawaii can confirm that. It is the same mentality as the hispanics who are also prone to dissing and blacks.

Ghetto son of Popeye said...

I thought it was already widely known that Obama was a nobody of accomplishment who got into office by playing the mulatto messiah.

Anonymous said...

"yup, as the white women's psychology expert at isteve, Mr. Whiskey, is an alpha on the internet"

He's a buffoon on th Internet.

Kylie said...

"Lions sleep 21 hrs a day and seem lazy and useless most of the time. But don't underestimate a lion when it's hungry and on the prowl."

I don't. I also don't confuse a lion in the wild on the prowl for prey with a lion prowling around its cage waiting for a zookeeper to toss it some meat.

"Oh, but he does act black - just in more subtle ways it takes time to pick up on."

Yes. He's like many blacks attending college whom I met while working in a college town. They were smart enough to take full advantage of both AA and DWLs's desire to be believe in them. But as far as abstract intelligence goes, forget it. He's got that patronizing black preacher singsong down pat (includin' the ability to drop his "g"s) and apparently, he's quite good at preaching to the choir. But as with most blacks, it's always a case style over substance and the substance either isn't there or is fundamentally flawed.

FWIW, another National Merit Scholar here. There is no doubt in my mind that I'm more intelligent than Obama just as there is no doubt in my mind that many here are more intelligent than I am.

Anonymous said...

Oh, but [Obama] does act black - just in more subtle ways it takes time to pick up on. His random disregard for standard diplomatic protocal - i.e., the way he bowed to the king of Saudi Arabia or the emperor of Japan (but not to the white, nominally Christian queen of the United Kingdom) is just one example.

I believe Obama's visit to the Queen of Britain came first. He got so much criticism from his failure to bow, that he (or his handlers) decided that he would bow and scrape to the next monarchs he would meet. Simple as that. Racial and religious prejudice did not figure here.

Besides, blacks, even Muslim blacks, have very little love and respect for Arabs (whom they see as white), and none for Japan (whom they see as whiter than white). If Obama was acting in standard black fashion, then he would have been even less respectful to the Saudi and Japanese royals than to the Queen.
Do any African monarchs still exist? If so, that would be a good test for Obama; to see if he is excessively respectful to them.

Anonymous said...

Churchill sometimes failed but he was too energetic to be kept on the sidelines....

Keep in mind that he had undiagnosed bipolar disorder. He knew about it and referred to it as "black dog", and self-treated it the best he could.

Anonymous said...

But black folks definitely weren't on any pedestal in Hawaii in the 1980's. The largely Asian/non-white population seemed to despise and detest the few black people there (mostly in the military) and were totally devoid of the slightest trace of liberal white guilt about race despite being insanely liberal in all other regards.

Insanely liberal? Really? Maybe Hawaiians seemed so because they lacked the rah-rah-rah WASP jingoisms. They were just the usual ethnic Democrats.

Matthew said...

"I believe Obama's visit to the Queen of Britain came first. He got so much criticism from his failure to bow..."

It did come first, but Obama wasn't criticized for not bowing, he was criticized for touching her arm, and for egotistically giving her an iPod filled with his own speeches.

You don't make up for a slight to one monarch by overdoing it with a completely different monarch. Most of Obama's really big speeches early in his preisdency mentioned civil rights and race - often several times. Obama is a race-obsessed man who hates whites.

Aaron B. said...

Here's a thought: If a white person seems smart, but not a genius -- well spoken but doesn't say anything very new, smart enough to get a degree but not seeming to have delved deeply into many areas of knowledge -- I'd probably guess that he's about two standard deviations above the norm, which would put him at 130 IQ. Maybe a bit less, but not likely more. A lot of people who are smart enough to get credentialed and convince other people to do things for them, but not smart enough to create anything new or accomplish anything concrete, seem to fall into that 120-130 range. Much below that, and you're too average to stand out; much above it and you're too much of a nerd.

If Obama seems to be at the same level of 1.5 to 2 standard deviations -- but by comparison to other American blacks, since that's the benchmark by which people judge him -- that would put him at 105-115. Seems about right.

Anonymous said...

Matthew said...

"I believe Obama's visit to the Queen of Britain came first. He got so much criticism from his failure to bow..."

It did come first, but Obama wasn't criticized for not bowing,

Really?

he was criticized for touching her arm, and for egotistically giving her an iPod filled with his own speeches.

And not bowing.

You don't make up for a slight to one monarch by overdoing it with a completely different monarch.

Obama seemed to think so. Or more likely, after the QE2 incident, one of his PR gurus whispered to him about proper ettiquette. Maybe he overcompensated, either by accident or design. Maybe he just had an aspie moment. It had nothing to do with race.

Most of Obama's really big speeches early in his preisdency mentioned civil rights and race - often several times. Obama is a race-obsessed man who hates whites.

Irrelevant here.

I'll say it again: Obama's inconsistent level of respect to foreign monarchs had nothing to do with race, esp. black racism. Black supremacists hate Arabs (who after all are white), and hate Japanese for being "whiter than white". If Obama was acting under the influence of black nationalism, he would have been equally snot-nosed towards all three equally foreign monarchs, that mean equally nothing to him.

Snubbing a "white, nominally Christian queen" sounds more like typical leftish Jewish behaviour than typical black behaviour.

Matthew said...

"And not bowing [to Queen Elizabeth}"

A leader of one sovereign country does not bow to the leader of another - not now, not ever. Obama was not criticized for not bowing to Queen Elizabeth, It is not the protocol.

Aaron B. said...

“Life rolls on, and I feel a growing competence and maturity while simultaneously noting that there isn’t much place for such qualities in this mediocre but occasionally lovable society.” -- Obama

Wow. I guess we should consider ourselves lucky that he deigned to notice our existence long enough to lead us before he advances to the higher plane of existence for which he is clearly destined.

I guess we've also learned that whiterpeople can't tell brilliance from condescension.

By the way, if you write a bio of Obama and don't interview Rev. Wright, shouldn't your publisher send the manuscript back and demand that you return your advance? That'd be like buying a bio of Arnold S. and finding that it never mentions the Conan movies. You'd want your money back.

Svigor said...

The idea that Obama got any (legitimate) criticism (from anyone who mattered, at all) for "failing" to bow to the Queen of England is preposterous.

What criticism? From whom?

I want to see it.

Sword said...

Anonymous said...
-----
Do any African monarchs still exist? If so, that would be a good test for Obama; to see if he is excessively respectful to them.

8/29/12 10:02 AM
------
Of the top of my head:
Swaziland and Leshoto are still monarchies. A princess of the former - Sikhanyiso Dlamini - has even studied in the USA.

So much for Sailerites claiming that Obama does not know enough.

Sword said...

To all of you who are claiming that Obama is no great shakes:

So what?

He is still the POTUS, at least for now. If you actually want to accompish anything, then you should come up with an argument for not voting for him - that works on those who were inclined to vote for him, or at least were open to the idea.

Figuring out an argument that just reinforces a decision to not vote for him among a group that never was positive to him is not any accomplishment.