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Pseudo-macho Obama

The president tries to sound tough.

5:04 PM, Jun 8, 2010 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
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In an interview with NBC's Matt Lauer, President Obama said this:

I was down there a month ago, before most of these talking heads were even paying attention to the gulf. A month ago I was meeting with fishermen down there, standing in the rain talking about what a potential crisis this could be. And I don't sit around just talking to experts because this is a college seminar; we talk to these folks because they potentially have the best answers, so I know whose ass to kick.

What is one to make of this moment of (comic) high drama from the (previously) no-drama Obama?

Let's go sentence by sentence:

1. "I was down there a month ago, before most of these talking heads were even paying attention to the gulf."

Not so. Obama went to the Gulf on May 2. In the preceding week, the spill had been mentioned six different nights on CNN's Situation Room. The panel on Fox's Special Report had discussed it twice.

And even if this were true: Does Obama really think a president gets credit for being more on top of things than talking heads?

2. "A month ago I was meeting with fishermen down there, standing in the rain talking about what a potential crisis this could be."

"In the rain" is the operative phrase here. The president stood out in the rain! What a man!

3. "And I don't sit around just talking to experts because this is a college seminar; we talk to these folks because they potentially have the best answers, so I know whose ass to kick."

Guess the criticism of him as a professor and seminar leader has gotten to him. But his pseudo-macho defense of "talking to experts" is itself professorial: He talks to experts so he'll "know whose ass to kick." Real men don't need experts to tell them whose asses to kick. And real presidents aren't so thin-skinned and self-pitying.

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