Reason has a great review of a new book on the Obama economic advisers who tried and failed to spend and regulate the economy into recovery. But for all the space devoted to those around President Barack Obama, it’s the way he treats them – and wants them to treat him – that is most disturbing:
But Obama was not exactly a man without a team. He was loyal to the cult of policy smarts. He may have even been its high priest. As Scheiber reports, outside analysts reporting to the president were advised to highlight their expert credentials so he would know he wasn’t talking to cranks and dummies. Obama also wanted his inner circle to credit his own abilities: The president, Scheiber writes, “craved intellectual affirmation” and often badgered his lieutenants into acknowledging when his own ideas were perceived to have succeeded. Obama “had a habit of prompting his aides to acknowledge his wisdom and foresight,” Scheiber writes. The president would sometimes wonder aloud, “Whose idea was that?” when he deserved credit.
Whatever is Obama’s conscious motivation for overemphasizing credit and credentials at every turn, this window into his personality reveals a deeply insecure person.
Remember, this is the same man who’s boasted about being a better campaign manager than the one he employs, a better speechwriter than his scribes, and so on.
If this is the way the President wants to play it, why not let him own every decision by his administration?
$787 billion in stimulus spending and no change in the unemployment rate – Whose idea was that?
A federal takeover of the health care industry that raises the deficit while reducing services – Whose idea was that?
Selling thousands of guns to Mexican drug cartels so they could be traced to crime scenes – Whose idea was that?
The list could go on and on and on…