The Boredom of Obama

Neo-Neocon ruminates on this 2008 comment by Valarie Jarrett:

“I think Barack knew that he had God-given talents that were extraordinary. He knows exactly how smart he is. … He knows how perceptive he is. He knows what a good reader of people he is. And he knows that he has the ability — the extraordinary, uncanny ability — to take a thousand different perspectives, digest them and make sense out of them, and I think that he has never really been challenged intellectually. … So, what I sensed in him was not just a restless spirit but somebody with such extraordinary talents that had to be really taxed in order for him to be happy. … He’s been bored to death his whole life. He’s just too talented to do what ordinary people do.”

Says Neo-Neocon:

Think about it. Jarrett is saying that as a compliment, not an insult. Boredom, however, is not a sign of intelligence (unless one is sitting in a classroom learning something one already knows). Perhaps Obama thinks he already knows everything? Perhaps he is depressed? What on earth could make a person bored his or her whole life, not to mention bored “to death?”

Obama’s bored by the suburbs, and being a senator didn’t really do it for him either.

Out of law school, Obama did some civil rights work in Chicago before running successfully for the Illinois Senate in 1996. Almost immediately, Obama began “chafing … at the limitations of legislating in Springfield,” in the words of a Washington Post profile. Easily bored, and with a growing sense of dissatisfaction, he set his eyes on the House of Representatives, unsuccessfully challenging Rep. Bobby Rush in 2000. In 2002 he began his campaign for the U.S. Senate.

He won in 2004, but the Senate proved unsatisfying, too. By mid-2006, Majority Leader Harry Reid “sensed his frustration and impatience, had heard rumblings that Obama was already angling to head back home and take a shot at the Illinois governorship,” write Mark Halperin and John Heilemann in the new book Game Change. Reid knew “Obama simply wasn’t cut out to be a Senate lifer.”

Things were too slow for his marvelous mind in the Senate. He needed more power; to make life interesting for him. How to keep Obama properly entertained? A run for presidency, of course. Everyone’s life should be so fulfilled. Unfortunately, it hasn’t worked out so great.

While not specific to foreign policy, there is a mounting whispering campaign in Washington about the current President’s disenchantment with the job he currently holds. “You hear it a lot from White House staff,” says a Democrat lobbyist in the financial services sector, who worked on the Obama transition team. “The President is tired of dealing or bored with all the B.S., or that things haven’t broken the way he wanted and it’s not shaping up to be the job that he thought it was going to be. The way some of them talk they make the President sound like a recent college graduate unhappy with his first job stuck in the mailroom.”

At least his has basketball and golf to keep him entertained.

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