September 13, 2012

Michael Lewis's Vanity Fair profile of Obama summarized


Anonymous said...

A disgustingly sycophantic profile. When I read it I guessed you would have the same reaction.

I can never read Michael Lewis again.

Have you remarked before on how shoddy his work is/has become? The writing about German culture was nasty and uninsightful. Moneyball is a great story but it didn't really happen that way.

Anonymous said...

Obama 2012.

Steve Sailer said...

You can see Lewis struggle visibly at times with lucrative assignments where he can't come up with anything worth saying, like the German one. But, he's still way, way above average.

This Obama thing was obviously going to be a demeaning experience for him, bad for his reputation, so he shouldn't have touched the topic.

Anonymous said...

One of the most surprising revelations to me was that the pilot didn't know why he was in Libya.

Is that common? What kind of amoral man would injure or kill someone without knowing why?

James Walker said...

The problem wasn't really that it was sycophantic (though it was, i.e. "teach me to be president") but that it was largely content-free and wholly uninteresting.

It was interesting to know just how much basketball Obama plays and with whom. The press has never figured out that these games are sort of a way for O to fill up his racial tank and reinforce his artificially constructed black identity, e.g. "I'm Lebron, baby!"

Anonymous said...

I got about half of the way in, and had enough. Lewis is a fantastic writer whose work I've enjoyed for years, but it's painful seeing him lower himself to what he's doing in this profile.

Harry Baldwin said...

On the Terri Gross interview, Lewis revealed that he had trouble finding fault with Obama "because he's totally non-ideological."

Get that, everyone? Obama just plots the best course for our nation without regard to "who, whom." Surely he should be appointed Philosopher King.

Foseti said...

It does, however, support your theory that the invasion of Libya was totally made up by Obama. I guess some junior staffers also thought it was a good idea, based on their deep concern for humanity.

Anonymous said...

Charlie Rose had him on a couple of nights ago and Michael Lewis proclaimed that Obama is the best literary president since Lincoln. Rose said, based on what, one book? Lewis said not just the book but Obama's ''08 speech on race and the Cairo speech.

Anonymous said...

At Saloman Brothers they tries to teach he to sell phlogiston.

Anonymous said...

I heard an interview w. Lewis and the lack of insight was awesome to behold. Obama was eager to give him unfettered access for reasons that were COMPLETELY mysterious to him. Did it not occur to him that Obama and his staff would not have let Lewis within 5 miles of the White House if they did not think that this would benefit them.

Anonymous said...

Compare Tucker Max on what it is like to play basketball with Obama:

What It's Like To Play Basketball With Obama

Max is a man with no known political axe to grind (except perhaps a libertarian one), and an acute BS detector.

eah said...

Doesn't that put him squarely in the majority? Isn't most of the media sycophantic toward Obama? Dog bites man.

peterike said...

I didn't read the article and won't read the article -- Steve's summary is all I need to know -- but I did glance at the comments. The sycophants are out in full force. It's really amazing how readily people just swallow the Democrat talking points and regurgitate them without a moments thought about what they are saying. Robots. Every one of them.

Nobel laureate/President said...

I need another 4 years to continue healing the U.S. relationship w/ the world

Alcalde Jaime Miguel Curleo said...

Lewis is from the pious agonized Southern liberal gentry, why would you expect otherwise? If the subject were, you know, bond traders from Long Island, that's different

Anonymous said...

Hey, Michael Lewis, dare you to come to this site and discuss your interview with Obama.

Anonymous said...

The Tucker Max article was interesting. Michael Lewis also says that Obama is not a great basketball player.

Steve Sailer said...

Tucker Max said the 35-year-old Obama was much more mature than undergrads like Max. But, the weird thing about Obama was that he was curiously ineffectual at helping his teams win. Obama was often picked first or second on the assumption that this tall, obviously smart black guy would have "old man game," a set of tricks and skills that would make him a valuable team leader. Nope.

JeremiahJohnbalaya said...

Tucker Max's article confirmed everything that you should know by taking one glance at the pictures of Obama playing basketball. God forbid you should see him throw a baseball. He's a pansy.

I love that one b/c The Mule is pretending like he's trying to block Obama's shot. But you can see that he's forcing himself to stay on the ground, pretending to go up. It's hilarious.

NOTA said...

Greenwald seems equally impressed with this piece.

Anonymous said...

There were many problems with that piece, but I've just got to mention this one:

"In early February, following the lead of the Egyptians and the Tunisians, the Libyan people had revolted against their dictator, who was now bent on crushing them."

A PART of the Libyan people had revolted against Khaddafy. Another part fought for him to the end. Which part was bigger? I don't know, but until NATO intervened, the part that fought for Khaddafy was clearly winning.

Lewis's phrasing is pretty stupid. Even as propaganda. For propaganda to be effective it has to be more subtle than that. Are there really many people out there who are interested in world affairs and who might be persuaded that the entirety of the Libyan people had fought against Khaddafy?

Anonymous said...

It's fun to apply Lewis's attitude towards the truth to the American Civil War:

"The American people had revolted against their president, who was now bent on crushing them." I would guess that if the Brits intervened, they might have tipped the balance in the South's favor.

Anonymous said...

"Lewis said not just the book but Obama's ''08 speech on race and the Cairo speech."

OMG...The Cairo Speech? The Cairo Speech?????????????

Anonymous said...

John Hughes before John Hughes.

Truth said...

That Tucker Max article really got me thinking about my own life and how incredibly similar my BBall game is to what I've become. Pretty good from some Dweeb who wrote a book called "I wonder if they serve beer in hell."

Anonymous said...

pretty good movie

fickle said...

I love how Lewis depicts Obama like some genious/great leader for not accepting either of the Libyan options presented by his staff.
(They presented the options of either a no-fly zone or do nothing)

He went with a third option that he came up with on his own - bomb and invade. They must have been mystified.

It's not good leadership when your top people have no idea that you would consider bombing and invading another country. The top people should have a good idea of his strategy, his priorities, his values, etc. When some crisis arises, it should not come down to what mood the president is in or how he feels war these days. If your generals are mystified, your allies are also mystified and your enemies are also mystified. If Obama had relayed the message earlier in his presidency that he was willing to use force in a Libyan situation, he may not have had to use force there.


Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous said...

One of the most surprising revelations to me was that the pilot didn't know why he was in Libya.

Is that common? What kind of amoral man would injure or kill someone without knowing why?"

The kind of amormal man that governments want for their militaries and security forces. Remember, they are "fighting to defend our freedom". And if they were ordered to kill us - to defend our freedom, of course - I guess they would readily do so.

Mr. Anon said...

How can Lewis mention Obama's Nobel Peace Prize as anything other than an embarrassment? It was the first affirmative action Peace Prize - awarded solely because the recipient was a POC. That Obama consented to accept it, I can only take to be a sign of his seemingly boundless arrogance.

Gene Berman said...


No, it's not "amazing" at all. You could be "amazed, perhaps on a legitimate basis, 50 or, perhaps,
even 40 yrs ago. But the "liberal media bias could have been somewhat evident for as long as i can remember--it was simply not as preponderant.

So, when it become just completely preponderant , I quit reading "the papers" (and news magazines, as well) completely--and haven't as much as touched one since, after a near-lifetime of at least two newspapers daily, local and NYT on weekends, and the WSJ a couple of times a week.

I can't remember the precise date when I quit "cold turkey"--but it was certainly during the first week of March, 1980. Took another 13 years to do TV news likewise.

Rupert Murdoch reaped a fortune on the basis of a widespread desire for an even somewhat even-handed treatment of news. Remarkably (or not so remarkably, actually), he's thought of as "conservative," even though he threw Hillary's "hat in the ring" party (about $200K) and gives Democrats over 90% of his political contributions. O'Reilly
does a decent job on the "balance" but I'd bet the guy NEVER (not even for Reagan) voted anything but D before GW (against two of the most transparent phonies in political history).

Gene Berman said...


You shouldn't be surprised. He wasn't even quite "black" until moving to Chicago to train for it.

Anonymous said...

Tucker Max is not actually a dweeb. He's a (possibly recovering?) nihilist who was smart enough to go to the U. of Chicago, then get a full scholarship to Duke Law School, from which he graduated without doing any schoolwork while he was there, including an entire semester spent in Cancun (before returning to pass his final exams).

Here's an article about Tucker Max growing up and realizing the extent of his own psychological issues:
Tucker Max Gives Up The Game

The "Tucker Max approach to life" illustrated by his books is obviously immensely destructive to society and to his young acolytes, but he's not stupid. He, like Heartiste/Roissy, has a critique of orthodox feminist ideology that is powerful for young men and women who grow up marinated in gender egalitarianism.

The BS detector is something that he shares with Steve, other paleocons, South Park, etc. (except more focused on sex vs. race). His interest in puncturing contemporary elite pieties is valuable.

However, unlike Steve, VDare and the paleocons, he has no interest in what actually creates the social bonds that hold society together (that is, families, kin, and trust). So, in practice, he's more of a libertarian.

One more thing: Max and Sailer share the achievement of creating a wide readership solely through the power of their own writing, after having been shut out of the "legitimate" publishing industry by gatekeepers (in Max's case, female assistants at publishing houses) who find their ideas abhorrent in spite of their truth.

Anonymous said...

Muslims did no wrong. They were just a bunch of guys 'armed with bags of figs'.

Anonymous said...

The invented President! Should have taken this one to the patent office rather than merely seeking a
copyright. The difference between
BHO and "Flo" the remarkable now
icon of the Progressive Insurance ads is that we all know "Flo" is a put on--she's someone else off camera. BHO appears to have no life other than what is created by the camera and the spin folks.

Anonymous said...

I don't know, folks. Consider Romney. An "all about money" guy who seems to be an Israel-first neocon itching to obey orders re. Iran.

From what I can see, Obama as president has done only four objectionable things:

1. He actively sought the worst provisions in the NDAA of 2012.

2. He has not returned economic activity to its bubble level;

3. He continued US meddling in the Middle East;

4. He got his health care scheme - "Obamacare," which is based on "Romneycare" - passed.

(I could add a fifth thing, but people will jump up and down saying he had no choice except to do it. To wit: He bailed out Wall Street to the tune of $12-19 trillion. The second estimate is by leftie Nomi Prins, formerly of Goldman Sachs. I believe she has walked it back a bit.)

All the rest of the Obama scene - the Chicago connection, the graft, the "secret Muslim" theory, the hoops game critique, Steve's distance-psychoanalysis, Mrs. Obama's grammatical error ("thank-you"), the crypto-commie-with-a-secret(?)-agenda-to-destroy-the-free-world-for-Soros-Africa-and-Ayers idea - seems to me to be classifiable under either

a. within the normal range of American presidential behavior; or

b. mad speculations of an hysterical far right.

I'm saying Obama, considered soberly, is a low-end-competent moderate Democrat handed a bad deck of cards and muddling through at least as well as Carter did in his day, and probably better.

And I'm thinking that's just no reason to vote for the simply awful Mitt Romney. After all, consider how well Romney would have handled my issues 1 thru 4, listed above.

It's true Romney is white and Obama has some black blood, but so what? It's meaningless. Clinton was as white as snow but was our "first black president."

On Nov. 6 I'm going to stay home and compact my garbage.