Obama's arrogant remarks at the posh, pricey fundraiser in San Francisco on April 6th are still reverberating, and will for some time. The inner-Obama revealed by those remarks were a surprise to many, but they weren't the first sign of Obama's arrogance -- just the first time it was widely reported.
Many more examples are out there, and now that the 'seal has been broken' on Barack Obama's carefully crafted and marketed image by citizen journalist Mayhill Fowler other past examples are surfacing.
The Politico's Carrie Budoff Brown reports on a few in this post on the CBS News website:
Barack Obama's remarks on small town America were an off-key note from a politician who has rocketed to the top by being brilliantly on-key.
At the same time, the comments were not a total departure: On the campaign trail, Obama can reveal moments of aloofness or tone deaf reactions that belie his image as the epitome of polished.
At 46, Obama carries a political persona that draws on many origins. He is the son of a single mother who grew up middle class in Hawaii and worked as a community organizer in the poorest neighborhoods of Chicago. But he is also the Harvard Law Review president who knows well - occasionally too well - that he is smart and successful.
Obama is a brilliant person, but so are Hillary Clinton and John McCain -- you don't reach the pinnacle of world politics as a contender for the top job in the U.S. without being an intelligent and bright leader.
And I've been very fortunate in my life to have met and worked with really bright, exceptional talent of Obama's equal. Without exception, and this is so true in my experience it bears repeating -- without exception -- the truly extraordinary people I've met and known are the most humble, self-effacing, empathetic, kind folks you can imagine. Pompous and arrogant individuals never measure up to the image they attempt to project, in my experience.
Brown correctly touches on Obama's past and upbringing as key, but she misses an important and defining fact regarding Obama that seems to me to be highly pertinent here -- namely that Obama's mother was an atheist. His early examination of religion though his mother's guidance framed the subject as one of intellectual curiosity, not empathic understanding or first-hand experience.
This calloused, aloof perspective has cost Obama dearly. but it isn't the first time signs have emerged of the arrogant Obama. Back to Brown's report:
[...] his remarks at a private San Francisco fundraiser amplified the flip side of his personal manner, a sort of freestyle rhetorical approach sometimes better suited for a dorm room bull session.
Obama fielded almost identical questions from the donors in San Francisco as he does from voters across the country. Yet his answers in the more intimate - and in his view, off the record - gathering were a bit more revealing.
Asked what he would seek in a running mate, Obama said despite the conventional wisdom, he wouldn't need somebody with military expertise because "foreign policy is the area where I am probably most confident that I know more and understand the world better than Sen. Clinton or Sen. McCain."
Thoroughly bereft of foreign policy experience, but such a lofty opinion Obama has of... Obama. And it isn't trivial -- this is precisely the kind of arrogance that would cause Obama to shun and turn away from the counsel of more experienced advisors.
At a New Hampshire roundtable in December, Obama betrayed little emotion as one participant sobbed while describing her situation: She lost her job on her 65th birthday, struggles to afford her $2,900 monthly prescription drug costs, and lives in 30-year-old trailer where the thermostat is set at 64 degrees.
At the same event, he later mentioned how the success of his book had allowed him to buy a big house. He was making a point about inequities in the tax system, but the story felt misplaced in the midst of such dire tales.
No empathy, no understanding beyond the world formed by his own genius. A shiny, impressive genius to be sure, but he's all 'inside his head', and out of touch with those he seeks to lead as President.
Just before the Iowa caucus, Obama began telling voters about a phone conversation with his wife, who said this year was the right time to run for president because they are "still almost normal." She meant that before her husband became a U.S. senator and received a $1.9 million book advance, they juggled school loans, grocery shopping and mortgage payments like other middle-class families.
"Michelle's point was, in eight years from now, 10 years from now, we may still be nice people, but we may be in this orbit where we just don't remember, we don't hear people's voices anymore," Obama explained at the time.
Earth to Obama - Earth to Obama -- the Eagle has landed. You're there, somewhere, out in orbit and out of touch.
Two women in the Sioux City audience were not impressed.
"That was a mistake," said Lindsay Pelchat, 30. "That was a big mistake."
"Don't ever forget where you come from," her friend, Paula Yasat, 53, piped in.
"Does that mean in the next election he's already going to start losing sight of the middle class?" Pelchat asked.
The women approached Obama afterward to tell him they remained undecided.
"What do I need to do?" Obama asked, almost disbelieving. "You're really making us work."
I'd suggest walking a mile in their shoes, but it really is too late for Obama. In his 40's now, his formative years are over. He is who he is.
At a February town hall meeting in Racine, Wis., Obama showed little patience for a rowdy crowd. When one young man asked for his views on Native American rights and "people getting screwed" by NAFTA, Obama took a sharp tone.
"I'm sorry, young man, you have a series of different questions and why don't you ask your questions in a more polite fashion," Obama said.
An aide later said that Obama, who was on his last stop before a trip home to Chicago, appeared irritated because was anxious to see his family.
Frustration over people not behaving as he wants them to behave... not a good sign. Any parent knows exactly what I mean, and so did Obama's handlers, which is why they spun this to be "about family."
Reacting in mid-February to Clinton's charges that he was all talk, Obama offered a confident self-assessment, one that might sound arrogant to some. "It's true I give a good speech. What can I do? Nothing wrong with that.".
Only later did we learn that Obama was a serial plagiarist, and many of the words were not his own. Still, he's incredulous that anyone could perceive "all talk" as being a problem. For Barack his entire world exists between his ears, inside his head. He's stuck inside of himself.
Obama infuriated supporters of former Sen. John Edwards by continuing to use him as a punch line on the stump even after he left the race. And New York magazine reported last month that Obama blew the endorsement, in part, because he came across as "glib and aloof" during a phone conversation on the day that Edwards dropped out.
Think about this situation with Edwards for a moment. Edwards represented a key endorsement -- probably the most important endorsement he could receive in his quest for the nomination -- and Barack Obama is just too vain and too self-absorbed to humble himself. Does that sound like someone with an understanding of foreign policy?
Barack Obama is a legend in his own mind, and in the minds of millions of Democratic voters as well - no question. But the legend is a myth born of web-enhanced packaging propelled forward obstacle-free by a fawning and admiring press.
A careful examination of Obama reveals a brilliant but arrogant pompous man incapable of empathy, and a very poor choice as a world leader.
Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!