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Is Barack Obama Suffering from Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

April 16th, 2010

Months ago, my friend Brad noticed that whenever Obama gives an address he speaks in a condescending manner. His body language is that of someone who is looking down on the audience, and his verbal language accommodates this. Brad noted that he makes frequent use of the command, “Look:” which just isn’t how mature adults converse with, or address one another. Sure, it’s a weird personality trait to behave like that, but I’ve grown to expect a certain level of disdain from the political class toward the rest of us.

Then, a few days ago I read an op-ed which suggests Obama is beginning to display signs of narcissistic personality disorder. I wrote it off as partisan ass-hattery because a few cherry-picked examples, spun in the worst possible light in the context of an op-ed that cites “Newt Gingrich” as an authoritative source probably isn’t the best way to evaluate someone’s mental health.

But the more I think about it, the more merit it seems to have. For example, it lists a number of specific cases and explains how the bizarre behavior might be signs of a personality disorder:

In March of last year Obama was on “60 Minutes” with Steve Kroft. Throughout the interview as Kroft questioned about the economic downturn and people losing their life savings, Obama just kept laughing. A one point CBS’s Kroft stopped him and asked, “Are you punch drunk?” How will the American people react to seeing their president laugh off their predicament? Obama’s inappropriate laughter clearly demonstrated he has lost touch with the pain that people are feeling.

An author on the subject, Sam Vaknin also suggests that

[A] narcissist always prefers show-off to substance. One of the most effective methods of exposing a narcissist is by trying to delve deeper. The narcissist is shallow, a pond pretending to be an ocean.

This is interesting, because Obama doesn’t fare well under close scrutiny. Some of the most grandiose claims on his resume may be false: Obama was never a “Professor of Law” at University of Chicago—he was an ‘instructor’ or adjunct, below the level of an Associate Professor. He also has the dubious honor to have been the only “Editor” of the Harvard Law Review to never have been published while in school, which kind of suggests the position was an “honorary” one, without any merit whatsoever.

Then I read this morning that Obama had the audacity to jest that the Tea Party protesters should be thankful that he has “cut taxes”. The Dallas News reports:

[Obama is] amused by the Tea Party tax protests that took place around Tax Day and that contrary to claims of demonstrators, he has cut taxes.

“You would think they’d be saying thank you…” he said at a fundraiser in Miami.

Does he mean the tax “cut” that wasn’t really a “cut”? Whereby they temporarily reduced the amount of withohlding from our paychecks, but did not make any downward adjustment to the schedules determining what we would be liable to owe at the end of the year? For many people accustomed to receiving “refunds” (I use this term loosely, since it’s not really a “refund”) they’re discovering for the very first time what it’s like to “owe” taxes at the end of the year. Hopefully they’re pissed off about it, too.

Even if you take his word for it, the average American got something like $8/month, at the very same time that banks were receiving a Trillion dollars worth of corporate welfare…

Even though he was speaking to supporters, at a fundraiser, I think this is flagrant statement; it’s not like the rest of us were never going to hear about it. But that sort of arrogant, cavalier attitude is one hallmark of a person suffering from NPD.

Now, don’t get all butthurt over this. I’m not a doctor, and even with all of the powers of Google at my command, I’m not qualified to evaluate anyone’s mental health. But according to Teh Wikipedia list of characteristics of Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Obama exhibits all of them:

  • Is inter-personally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
  • Lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others
  • Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her
  • Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes.

Check, check, check and check. Sooner or later all this stuff starts to add up, and the probability of it all being a series of extraordinary coincidences drops to zero.

Then again, these traits are strong in anyone who is successful in politics. I mean, the first two especially, basically define how politics works, and what politicians do. Kip, Esquire used to say that “all politicians, by definition, are moral defectives.” Perhaps severe narcissistic personality disorder is that defect.

It’s one explanation.



  • John says on: April 16, 2010 at 6:10 pm


    This isn’t restricted to people with narcissistic personality disorder, because a lot of politicians might do it (then again, maybe they have personality disorders, too), but have you noticed how Obama always says that people who object to his plans are “naysayers” and “troublemakers” and are spewing rhetoric and talking points? It seems like there’s even other phrasing that I can’t remember right now with which he labels his detractors and their objections in order to brand them as biased and hateful by simply mentioning them. He doesn’t want to acknowledge that anyone might have a legitimate gripe with his plans for them, and he wants to paint them all as bad guys instead of addressing their (our) objections to his aggressive power-grabbing.

    • Jon says on: July 18, 2010 at 2:51 pm


      Don’t forget the ever popular ‘racist’ accusation hurled at almost anyone who would dare to disagree with “The Won”.

  • David Z says on: April 16, 2010 at 11:06 pm


    yeah, that’s classic partisan hackery. See my post from yesterday!

  • Don says on: April 17, 2010 at 2:14 pm


    I first noticed it back in the early 90’s about Clinton, and it continues through to this day with Obama. Either it’s outright lying, or the most basic of obfuscation. I’m talking about the media rhetoric about the speaking ability of these clowns. Clinton, Bush 2 and Obama are less than 3rd rate speakers and anyone that disagrees with that should start paying attention. I saw right through all of them in less than 5 minutes of hearing them for the very first time. I have spent a lifetime talking to thousands of very wealthy people with millions of dollars on the table in the private sector and I’ll tell you right now, none of those 3 have what it takes to cut it out here. Everyone of those lying, conniving, unaccountable assholes would find themselves in the soupline pronto in a free market economy, or shot dead right on the spot. There is no eloquence here, no intelligence and certainly no personality at all. Just suits blownup with hotair puffed even bigger by the MSM to an audience of children. Face it, this country has mainly become elementary school with belligerent children from one end to the other. Cowardly kids choosing bully kids to rule over them and the rest of us are to just shut up and deal. Right.

  • gilliganscorner says on: April 17, 2010 at 2:19 pm



    I found the so-called “Punch Drunk” Video….is it fake or really bad?

  • gilliganscorner says on: April 17, 2010 at 4:08 pm



    Good post.

    You know….the more I think about it, the more I am starting to understand that what we call “culture” (i.e. I put the cult in “culture”) is nothing more than the scar tissue of child abuse.

  • Don says on: April 18, 2010 at 4:43 pm


    @gilliganscorner, in the vintage stereo realm it’s called “sound to noise ratio. (oh dear, what happened to this font, can barely see it. [ctrl-scroll-scroll-scroll, there, thats better – thanks foxfire]). I got out of suburbia about 4 years ago and turned off the toob about a year ago, now all my input is from the web exclusively, and I’m pretty selective about what I expose myself to. There’s a lot of (bull) shit flying around out there man and it’s not possible to keep up. Weed out all the riff-raff and the picture starts to become crystal clear.

    My wife has the nasty habit of watching the news at bedtime and then falls asleep with that trash blowing through her skall for 1/2 the night. When I climb in the sheets, after she’s asleep, I instantly turn that thing off. I mean, who needs to know about *another* stabbing in downtown Indy? Who is this stuff important to? Or a blurb from some politician giving his on the fly interpretation of what some other politician said. Who is this *news* to? No one, its just silly little gurl gossip meant to keep the silly little children dressed up in grown up clothes pre-occupied. And then they strut around all puffed up thinking they know whats going on. Yeah right. Idiots. This started way back when when they really were just kids when the Public Indoctrination System taught them how to not think. Now, 30 40, 80 years later they act on their training that taught them to go with the flow and do as they’re told and just shut the fuck up and punch the chad of your choice – dikhed A or dikhed B, the equivalent of heads I win tails you lose, and they are happy to stand in long lines on the 1st tues after the 1st thur in Nov to do their public duty. If you suggest to them another way, a way that requires growing some ballz and thinking they glaze over and flame on in full blown self defense mode.

    It’s not the rotten politicians that got us here, it’s the rotten votists that got us here and will keep us here. I very small glimmer at the end is there are less and less votists each go around.

    Unless you can summons the fortitude to leave the insanity behind and recognize that you live in a world slammed full of lying bastards, thieves and murderers and every person you meet, known and unknown can sell your ass out on the spot you’re doomed to the role of a marionette headed for the cage. This is the cold blooded truth of life in the USSA in the 21st century and getting more so everyday. Freedom starts in your mind.

    I can barely tolerate anyone anymore………

no third solution

Blogging about liberty, anarchy, economics and politics