Use all your well-learned politesse

Of all the wingnut memes about President Obama, the one that I find most puzzling is the one that presents him as some kind of narcissist. Never heard that one? Then you don’t spend much time in Greater Wingnuttia.

It’s puzzling for a few reasons. First of all, I like the guy, so I may be biased, but I just don’t get a cocky, me-first vibe from Barack Obama, certainly not the way I did from a certain ex-pres. And secondly, he’s the president of the United States. If that job title doesn’t put a little spring in your step, you aint doing it right.

I came across a particularly weird example of this meme on Althouse today. She’s talking about a new book, “Barack Obama: The Story” by David Maraniss. Specifically, Althouse highlights a section in which Maraniss reveals that Obama was well known in college for his Mick Jagger impression.

“He could do the walk, the strut, the face, and act out the dramatic scene of the Rolling Stones onstage at the Altamont Speedway outside Livermore, California, on December 6, 1969, as violence that would lead to murder broke out in the crowd below: ‘Hey, hey people, sisters and brothers, brothers and sisters, come on now! That means everybody just cool out! They’re fightin’ a lot. Will you cool out, everybody?'”

(about 1:50 in the video below)

To which Althouse contributes this insightful commentary:

It’s interesting to think of Barack Obama seeing himself in the Mick Jagger role. It’s not just that Obama envisions himself as the rock star, but that he saw the partying dorm-mates as the rough crowd at the Speedway who needed instruction from the stage on how to cool out.

So imitating Jagger implies narcissism? Maybe if Obama had the appropriate level of humility he instead would have perfected his Bill Wyman imitation. You know, stand stock still and wiggle your fingers in the vicinity of your belt. Or maybe he could do Charlie Watts? Sit on a stool and raise one sardonic eyebrow whenever Mick goes off. Or if there was a swimming pool nearby he always could have done Brian Jones.

But those impressions wouldn’t have gotten him elected president. Narcissism and all. Then again, maybe narcissistic is just the polite way of saying uppity.

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