Sunday, December 12, 2010

Bubba's Return

Warning: Coarse language at 1:45.

For those of you who are too young to remember, this is what an actual, adult-type President sounds like. He doesn't just use language in order to cheer-lead and "inspire" people. He uses it to, like, you know, explain stuff. Also, to present rational arguments.

Obama's skill set is impressive but extremely narrow: mainly, he's good at giving a certain sort of speech. So far, he doesn't seem to be outstandingly good at much of anything else. Soon we will all know whether he has the sort of humility (I can't think of another word for it) that it takes to fundamentally re-orient yourself and learn profoundly new things. The evidence, to me, is still ambiguous. On the one hand, he seems to be trying to learn a thing or two about running a giant nation-state from Bill Clinton. That's a good sign. On the other, he voluntarily did this news conference with Clinton (even going through the trouble of as it were hunting for the key to the briefing room), when many of us could have warned him that Bubba's performance would make him look, well, weak by comparison. That's not a good sign. He does seem to be a person who is profoundly unaware of his own limitations.

Below is the entire press conference. The laugh-out-loud moment, where Obama says he can't stick around because he can't keep the Ol' Ball 'n' Chain waiting, is at 10:40.

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