Do we have a misanthrope as president? According to a former aide to Barack Obama, Neera Tanden, the answer may be yes. Her comments were made when discussing the relationship between Obama and Bill Clinton and were reported by New York magazine, which wrote:
“People say the reason Obama wouldn’t call Clinton is because he doesn’t like him,” observes Tanden. “The truth is, Obama doesn’t call anyone, and he’s not close to almost anyone. It’s stunning that he’s in politics, because he really doesn’t like people. My analogy is that it’s like becoming Bill Gates without liking computers.”
I must correct Tanden: It would be stunning that Obama is in politics if liking people — which is, it is rumored, associated with wanting to help them — were the only reason, or even the main one, for entering politics.
Obama Image vs. Obama Reality
Obama may not like others, but that dislike isn’t generally returned. As polls have shown, the president’s “likeability” rating has been relatively high. Yet I heard years ago already through the grapevine — via journalist contacts who knew someone who had contact with Obama — that, far from likeable, he was arrogant to the point of being dismissive. So what is the reality?
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