Wednesday, July 13, 2016

I am not a narcissist, I am merely in love with the sound of my own voice

President Obama's public speeches seem more and more concerned with himself. According to The Daily Caller, President Obama referred to himself 45 times over the course of the speech he delivered Tuesday at the memorial service for the five police officers killed in Dallas last week. An article in The Washington Examiner reveals that in a gun-control speech in January Obama referred to himself 76 times over his 33-minute remarks. Following an October mass shooting in Roseburg, Oregon, Obama mentioned himself 28 times in a 12-minute speech. During a visit to New Delhi last January, he referenced himself 118 times in 33 minutes.

[Editor's note. I should like to point out that the elegant variation a pedant or English teacher might detect in the previous paragraph (referred, mentioned, referenced) were part of the Washington Examiner article and are not of my own making. --RWP]

President Obama is not alone, of course, in being the center of his own universe. Everyone is, to some extent. For example, in an emotional final speech today, outgoing U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron said, “I will miss the roar of the crowd. I will miss the barbs of the opposition...I was the future once."

And given the brouhaha in the U.S. recently concerning Hillary Clinton's destruction of classified emails and the FBI's decision not to recommend indicting her, another former player on the world's stage now wishes to revise and extend his remarks:


  1. You know I’m not an Obama fan, but in all fairness if you’re going to count references he makes to himself as evidence of narcissism, I think you need to compare his speech to the speech of others. So far, I’ve referred to myself three times in two sentences, so am I thus a narcissist? Would you like it better if, instead of saying “I think,” I made pronouncements that implied the weight of universal, undeniable truth that you could either accept or be wrong? My point is that references to oneself can be taken as evidence of humility as much as of narcissism. I really think it is unworthy of you to nitpick in this way because you’re not being fair to the person you dislike. I say this as one who dislikes him at least as much as you do, but there’s so much bad to say about him, why not stick to things like the lies he’s told. For instance, when that flooding wrecked the Northeast coast, he told those people that he was going to pull out all the stops to get them back into their homes. That was years ago, yet their neighborhoods are still a wasteland, and Obama has long since moved on to other things. It’s amazing how many lies a president can tell and still draw generous government benefits for the rest of his life. There’s little accountability.

  2. I would agree with Snow here. I would much rather that people claimed opinions as their own than had an attack of the infallibles and, by implication at least, assigned them to a higher power.

  3. To see President Obama as a narcissist is quite astounding. The humanity and the kindness he has shown in speaking with bereaved families and comforting communities scarred by shootings has revealed the true character of the man. And the powerful, heartfelt way in which he spoke up for Hillary Clinton when endorsing her in North Carolina last week also showed where his loyalties lie. President Obama has been a kindly giant in extremely trying times and it is, in my opinion, so very sad that half of America has refused to accept this. Narcissist? No way man. No way.

  4. I have experienced a painful and disastrous relationship with a diagnosed narcissist ~~ President Obama does not come close.

  5. “I have experienced a painful and disastrous relationship with a diagnosed narcissist ~~ President Obama does not come close.”

    It would certainly a lot more proof than how many times he used the word “I” in a speech given that it’s something we all do. For narcissism though, I think one could easily look to Trump or Clinton, and that one reason people hate them is that they’re both so obviously infatuated with themselves.