Monday, June 18, 2012

Portrait of a Hollow Man

The Amateur, written by Edward Klein, former foreign editor of Newsweek and the editor-in-chief of the New York Times Magazine, is an expose on the Obama presidency, or as Hans Christian Anderson would say, "The Emperor has NO clothes."

"The Amateur" presents a president who is inept in the art of management and governance, who doesn't learn from his mistakes and chooses to blame all his problems on those with whom he disagrees including Republicans and George W. Bush. Author Klein paints a portrait of a man who discards old friends and supporters when they are no longer useful (this list includes Democrats, African-Americans & Jews-those who aided Obama both with getting out the votes as well as substantial financial support when he was a complete unknown).We discover a man who is so thin-skinned that he constantly complains about what people say or write about him. 

The picture of Obama that emerges in The Amateur is different from the Photo-shopped image that Obama's campaign staff and media fed to the public. Obama portrayed himself as a new kind of politician, a peacemaker, a mediator, a conciliator, a man who would heal the rift between the red and blue states, and help to heal the racial divide here in America. In effect, he campaigned as the "great uniter." So where did that Obama go, or did he ever really exist or was he just a figment of his own imagination, our imagination or both?  How did he turn out to be the most divisive president in American history?

Ed Klein exposes Obama as a left-wing radical who has refused to embrace American exceptionalism and who rails against our capitalist system, demonizes the wealthy, and even embraces failed groups like the Occupy Wall Street movement. 

As a state senator and U.S. senator, Obama was MIA (missing-in-action). He didn't even show up for picture day at the U.S. Senate, never went to committee meetings. One observer noted, "He had no interest in government itself. He just wanted to stand on the Senate floor and give speeches." And true-to-form, this is the image of Obama that emerges time and again. 

Obama: Master of the "Blame Game"
As President of the United States, he calls meetings with his experts on foreign affairs which include high-ranking generals, and every time, he does most of the talking. We are presented with a man who has two big ears, but does very little in the way of listening. In every meeting, he plays the role of the wisest man in the room, or the adult in the room amidst all the children. He lectures but he doesn't listen. Even when he listens, he is not listening. As referenced time after time in the book, Obama has already made up his mind. He is just acting like he's interested in what you're saying, or put another way, he's enduring your presence and your foolishness, waiting so he can finally lecture you and tell you what he's going to do, whether you like it or not. This is exactly how he treated Benjamin Netanyahu, current prime minister of Israel

In the Amateur, those who have known Obama the longest recall that he always had delusions of grandeur and was preoccupied with his own place in history--so much so that he wrote his own autobiography before he was 30 yrs. old and during his first year in the White House, hosted a dinner with 12 famous historians so that he could influence his place in history.

Barack & Michelle guesting on Oprah!
One other shocking revelation is the chapter on the sacrifice of Oprah Winfrey who jeopardized her career and her television ratings, going out on a limb to support and campaign for Obama. Soon after the election, Oprah was treated like a pariah, left out in the cold, not even welcome at the White House.

The chapter where Obama's pastor of 20 yrs., Jeremiah Wright, is interviewed, is worth the price of the book itself. Wright talks about the ways Obama has stabbed him in the back and disowned the black community in Chicago.

The Amateur is a compelling, spellbinding book about a man who is cool, aloof, detached, and hollow to the core, yet as a passionate ideologue, wants another four years to finish the job of destroying America.

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