January 28th, 2013

Obama is heavy bored…and this is heavy scary

[NOTE: I thought this post, first published here in November of 2010, could bear repeating. I had forgotten the Jarrett quote with which it begins. But on looking at it again, it seems even more chilling than ever—and it was already quite chilling enough. So I present it to you once more, very lightly edited.]

Many of you may have already encountered this 2008 remark by Valerie Jarrett about Obama:

“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.”

We talk a lot about Obama’s ego, and rightly so. But if Jarrett’s perception is correct (and she’s the adviser closest to him, and has been at his side for more or less his entire political life), then the worst sentence in her chilling quote may just be this one: “He’s been bored to death his whole life.”

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? Perhaps everything that isn’t about him is boring? What else on earth could make a person bored his or her whole life, not to mention bored “to death”?

There’s the beautiful world of nature. There’s art and literature and love. There’s always-fascinating history. There’s friends and family. There’s the challenge of studying and observing people and their almost-endless foibles and crochets. There’s everything on earth and everything in the universe.

Of course, this is just Jarrett’s perception of Obama. But it’s hard to believe it doesn’t reflect a certain reality. What it really puts me in mind of, however (because I’ve got all those old poems floating around in my head), is poet John Berryman’s “Dream Song 14,” published in 1964.

Yep, that’s what I said. Take a look:

Life, friends, is boring. We must not say so.
After all, the sky flashes, the great sea yearns,
we ourselves flash and yearn,
and moreover my mother told me as a boy
(repeatingly) “Ever to confess you’re bored
means you have no

Inner Resources.” I conclude now I have no
inner resources, because I am heavy bored.
Peoples bore me,
literature bores me, especially great literature,
Henry bores me, with his plights & gripes
as bad as Achilles,

who loves people and valiant art, which bores me…

38 Responses to “Obama is heavy bored…and this is heavy scary”

  1. James Says:

    I don’t believe it. The super smart part anyway. It’s a huge bluff ( by him, his cronies, and the MSM) that if ever stood up to in a determined way will collapse under it’s own weight of lies, incompetence, and miscalculation. Yes I know the standing up part will be hard, but once done the fall and disintegration will come quickly.

  2. KLSmith Says:

    It’s probably related to the nihilism of the Marxists he was raised and mentored by.

  3. RandomThoughts Says:

    Jarrett sees Obama through the lens of the infatuated. What she perceives as the boredom of an unchallenged intellect is in reality a vapid, empty mind. Or as Berryman’s poem so perfectly stated, a man with “no inner resources.”

  4. neo-neocon Says:

    Random Thoughts: he sure has a lot of outer resources, though, doesn’t he? 🙂

    Actually, one of the most chilling aspects of Jarrett’s statement is that she thought conceit plus boredom would be a good thing, and a good thing to actually own up to. Naked unabashed narcissistic arrogance is considered a plus these days (and even in 2008), I guess.

  5. holmes Says:

    We’re a nation unworthy of his genius. Perhaps we should be grateful, if he took actual interest in the world, like Napoleon, we might have more problems.

    It goes back to daddy issues. No more Presidents with daddy issues. They’re missing some important piece.

  6. Jim Nicholas Says:

    If Valerie Jarrett is right in her perception of how President Obama sees himself and since she is his (and Michelle’s) closest advisor, there is a vicious feedback system generating frightening grandiosity.
    Presidents need critics–even loving critics–but certainly not uncritical lovers.

  7. James Says:

    When they tell you how smart they are, how tough they are, how sexy they are, they’re trying to convince themselves more than you.

  8. southpaw Says:

    One has to wonder about how such a super genius has left behind virtually no body of work – hardly any legistlation, no thought provoking works, no inventions or new ideas, not even within his “field of expertise”, politics. The only accomplishment besides a book about himself, which was most likely written by a ghost writer, was to get a lot of people to love him as much as he loves himself.
    Peers who have read what little he left behind at Harvard conclude his work was at best, unremarkable, forgettable, and in most cases, badly written; nobody really remembers much about him in pre-law college.
    Maybe the definition of intelligence is the issue here – if it’s defined in the sense that it produces evidence of a mind that is able to conceive of things most people cannot, create new things, demonstrate advanced abstract thinking abilitiy, I would contend he’s an average intellect. When he speaks extemporaneously, he seldom generates a clear, lucid train of thought. He contradicts himself, wanders off topic, and struggles to give an intellectual argument for anything he says. He fills in the space with cliches and banal sound bites, and engages in inflammatory rhetoric, reminiscent of Jerehmia Wright.
    However it’s hard to deny that he is talented or gifted in getting other people to believe he is a smarter than smart, and those people are definitely intimidated by it. The act doesn’t work on me, but I’m an admirer of the creative geniuses – whether it’s science, art, or philosophy. I’m in awe of the likes of Nicola Tesla, Newton, Archimedes, Leonardo, etc. They have looked at the physical world around them and have left the rest of us with a greater understanding of it , not to mention a multitude of inventions and concepts ordinary men just didn’t think of.
    To me, an extraordinary intellect produces something, increases our understanding of things that nobody understands. The only thing more remarkeable than his galactic sized ego, is Obama’s ability to do nothing at all, and be viewed as a bigger than life intellect and leader.
    I guess it could be possible that his brain is processing teraflops of data at every instant, but can’t transform any of the processed data into actual work because he was born with a normal mouth and hands, which cannot keep up with the super computer brain. Sort of like an overloaded phone line — so much traffic, it gets clogged up and everything comes to a halt.
    That would explain an infinite intellect which produces nothing at all.

  9. Mac Says:

    I love that Dream Song. One of my half-dozen or so favorites, though I always sided with Berryman’s…oops, Henry’s mother. I think of #7 frequently.

  10. Ray Says:

    I suspect there is a good reason we have never seen Obamas school grades. They might be embarassing.

  11. Occam's Beard Says:

    Barack Obama is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I’ve ever known in my life.

  12. Occam's Beard Says:

    Obama is of modest intelligence, high average at best. He evinces no ability whatever at abstract reasoning, and has a severely circumscribed vocabulary. (What’s more, he doesn’t know many words. /g)

    To those who doubt this assessemt, I say: There’s a reason why his academic performance is a better kept secret than the A-bomb. They need to come up with a plausible explanation for that secrecy. Modesty on Obama’s part can safely be ruled out.

  13. gracepmc Says:

    Vapid. Internally vapid comes to mind.

  14. kaba Says:

    Ray no doubt has it right. We’ve been denied the possibility of seeing Obama’s academic transcript for fear the reflected brilliance would blind we mere mortals. How very thoughtful of the President.

  15. M J R Says:

    He has been thoroughly marinated in a certain (His mother’s) worldview.

    Viewing life-experience through that utterly simplistic worldview — when everything is readily explainable in terms of racial and/or colonial and /or class repression — one will get bored very easily indeed. There will be no richness of complexity, only the same old same old paradigm staring one in the face.

    Only the continuing swooning by those in His life over His Wonderfulness keeps Him from being bored out of His mind — that and (I’m guessing) dealing with Michelle Antoinette may keep Him from dying of terminal boredom and on His toes.

  16. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    As others here point out, its Jarrett’s highly questionable view we’re discussing. As for Obama’s vaunted intelligence, an objective evaluation of that is easily obtained; just listen to him answer questions he’s unprepared for without the aid of a teleprompter.

    Jarrett either obtusely or intentionally mistakes boredom that a lack of challenge brings for Obama’s narcissism, hubris and ennui.

    The evidence however indicates that Obama has avoided challenge whenever he lacked the supportive resources sufficient to assure outward accomplishment.

    This is not a man who picks himself up by his bootstraps after repeated failure, determined to meet the challenge, whatever it might be.

  17. M J R Says:

    Thought just a little bit more while out walking the pooch . . .

    This is an addendum to my 4:21 PM post:

    I omitted, and other commenters have already remarked on this, the fact that He always has someone or some entity doing the heavy lifting for Him. Need a health-care bill? Get Harry and Nancy to do it, including all the dirty work. No need to twist arms Himself, a la LBJ. (No need to expound further.)

    No wonder He’s bored.

  18. expat Says:

    Obama never had an anchor, be it parents or a community, or even a culture. He was taken from one situation to another by ideologues and he always had to fit into new situations. He learned early on how to say what others interpretted as smart or cool so he could find a place. He never learned that sometimes you have to stick around and deal with your own imperfections. It was probably so much better to say the right thing to the right folks without ever testing whether what he was saying was real. He came to fantasize that all he neeed was more power to make his half-baked ideas work.

    Valerie Jarrett fell for that and used it to gain her own power. She is incompetent at anything except manipulation.

  19. Artfldgr Says:

    ah so that would explain the black hawk helicopters in the dark flying over crowds and firing blanks…

    bit dont worry… its just a drill..

  20. parker Says:

    Obama could walk into any kindergarten classroom in the nation and be the least informed person present of what happens in the real world outside of perpetual campaigning. Valerie-Michelle-Barack: a menage a trois bent on sowing the seeds of destruction.

  21. NJcon Says:

    His boredom comes from a place he cannot intellectually grasp because he is intellectually incurious. He doesn’t know what he doesn’t know and worse, he doesn’t care. He has no depth of soul, that is where his anger.

  22. southpaw Says:

    My dogs are bored everyday, all day. This would make them intellectual giants in Valerie Jarret’s estimation.

  23. Bob From Virginia Says:

    Once upon a time I worked at the Marine Corps Museum in Quantico. While there I met a number of generals, decorated veterans and service members, including veterans of Guadalcanal and Pelelieu. They all had one thing in common, they were all the guy next door types, completely indistinguishable from any average Joe. There was not an once of pretentiousness on their personalities. They had nothing to prove.

    Compared to them Obama’s demeanor betrays him. He is doing an Hollywood imitation of what a leader is supposed to sound like. He is playing the adult speaking to children in the parent, adult, child paradigm. Small wonder he is unpopular with active duty military and veterans. They can see through him at a glance.

    That said Obama does have an incredible ability to convince others of his abilities. Perhaps because he acts the part of a great leader people who have never experienced the real thing think he is genuine. The WW2 generation would have laughed Obama off the stage in a nanosecond. He is a leader for our time.

  24. oldflyer Says:

    Ha! If I may get personal, and I will in any case. As a young man I was very quiet; particularly in a group setting, or with people I did not know well. The reasons could be analyzed, but are not important.

    My Father-in-Law was a bit of a local dignitary, and man about town. He owned a popular restaurant and lounge that was the gathering place for local and visiting sportsmen, so he had a rather eclectic circle of friends and acquaintances.

    During the course of a football weekend in New Orleans during which Father-in-Law’s suite had become a gathering place for a fairly large crowd, a local TV personality, who was truly the big frog in a middle sized pond, took me aside and told me how nervous I made him over the years of our acquaintance. He thought I was very quietly sitting back, watching everyone carry on and thinking how foolish they were. He actually implied that I was too sophisticated to join the revelry of the moment.

    I just did not have the heart to tell him that I simply had nothing to say.

    Clearly, Jarrett has made the a similar mistake with respect to Obama. Of course the analogy only holds if he is reticent around people who are really in a position to evaluate his intellect. We know that he is anything but, when he has his teleprompter to lean on.

  25. Artfldgr Says:

    perhaps he is trangulating in 7 dimensions over a hyperspace bypass that would get him a solution to

    Next question: Must women register for the draft?

  26. parker Says:

    “Must women register for the draft?”

    Must they, yes after now being allowed in the front line infantry, should be required. Heavy lifting ia beyond 99.9 % of them but the goose now gets the ganders’ gravy.

  27. Gary Rosen Says:

    “We’re a nation unworthy of his genius.”

    Yes! Now if only he would realize this and resign because he’s too good for us. Oh wait, then we’re stuck with Biden …

  28. SteveH Says:

    Obama isn’t nearly as scary as the half of Americans who support him. Their inability to spot the simplest of con men has evil the world over licking its lips.

  29. Noga Says:

    Bored people are boring people.

    I remember seeing Bill Clinton or George W. Bush on TV as they walk to or from Airforce 1, always they would have a book in their hands. I used to wonder where they get the time to read. Has anybody seen President Obama going about with a book in his hand? His seems to be an incurious mind.

  30. Trimegistus Says:

    Noga: I recall a blogpost on Ace of Spades a couple of years back about Barack’s reading habits. He was photographed carrying a book with him when he went on vacation.

    It was always the same book.

    Just a prop, in other words.

  31. Don Carlos Says:

    It is very curious that Jarrett would start with a reference to “God-given” talents. They deny the Natural Rights of Nature’s God.
    More wolf in sheep’s clothing, Eh?

  32. Occam's Beard Says:

    It was always the same book.

    Das Kapital?

  33. Occam's Beard Says:

    Of course the analogy only holds if he is reticent around people who are really in a position to evaluate his intellect. We know that he is anything but, when he has his teleprompter to lean on.

    Can’t you just imagine him saying, “Line, please?”

  34. Ymarsakar Says:

    If a leader is a mad dog in power and is bored to death, what makes anyone here think he won’t pull another Nero and burn down the homes of a bunch of people just for entertainment value alone?

  35. Yackums Says:

    Has anybody seen President Obama going about with a book in his hand? His seems to be an incurious mind.

    Yet everyone thinks of Palin first when the lack of reading comes up. Go figure.

  36. jamie Says:

    I would be interested to see how he scores on a test of psychopathy. Anecdotally, he gaslights, he has stated that he sees himself as a mirror reflecting what people think he is, his affect when he thinks no one is watching tends often to be not just condescending but actively disgusted or angry, when he expresses empathy it is only on subjects that carefully toe the line and is always expressed in correct and rehearsed-seeming soundbytes (no chance of a “Bring it on” from this man – not only does he not seem to have the internal potential for righteous anger, but those particular words would not correctly reflect his administration’s foreign policy platform)… In short, he acts like a psychopath in the same way that Wall Street hotshots have been accused of acting lately.

    I’m not saying that he’s a serial killer, for heaven’s sake- just that he seems not to see the rest of us as human beings but as tools placed on earth for his use. Or obstacles. Nothing more.

  37. Bob Agard Says:

    I clicked on your link to Valerie Jarrett’s 2008 remarks. The link took me to the current issue of Commentary Magazine.

  38. Obama | checked out | campaigning | speeches Says:

    […] we know that Obama is easily bored. No less an expert on Obama than Valerie Jarrett has said so, in the strongest possible terms: “He’s been bored to death his whole life. He’s just too […]

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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