President Obama told House Democrats at their retreat in Leesburg, Virginia Thursday that the job of the presidency has made him shed some of his famous ego.
From this remarks:
I’m deeply grateful to have been reelected, and I’m humbled by the support that I received from all across the country. (Applause.) And I said at the National Prayer Breakfast this morning — and I was telling the truth — I genuinely am humbled.
The fascinating thing about this job is the longer you’re in it, the more humble you get, and the more you recognize your own imperfections. And you try to make up with effort and hard work those gaps in your personality or your intelligence that become so apparent to everybody on the daily news every day. (Laughter.)
Well, that would be nice. It might mean he would start imagining that conservatives actually have legitimate ideas of their own and aren’t just trying to score political points against . . . The One.
Of course, that wasn’t exactly the theme of his Inauguration speech, which boiled down to “My way or the highway because the Founders wanted it my way.”
And let’s, for a moment, look at how the president phrased this. He said, in essence, the “fascinating thing” about the job of being president is . . . me. How it has affected me.
Seems like there might be other equally or even potentially more fascinating things about the presidency.
But, hey, why should I be such a jerk? If Obama says he is getting more modest, let’s take him at his word. It would be a good thing for him and the country.
I’m not rooting for Obama to fail. Four years of failure and unadorned liberalism could be too much for the country to take. If Obama’s humility mitigates his normal proclivity to try to slam lefty things down the throats of righties, then all the better.
It’s just, when you’re entering your fifth year of speaking to fawning crowds and listening to adoring advisers, I’m a little skeptical that an increase in humility is in the cards.
A few days ago, following Obama at the podium, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney found that Obama had left his glass of water at the podium. Instead of having it removed, he left it, mentioning something about its potentially empowering effects.
I know he was joking. But it’s not a joke any of the Clinton or Bush press secretaries would have made. Because it just wasn’t the culture in those White Houses to be quite so impressed with the boss.