We all like to psychoanalyze people in power, and Michael Barone appears to be no different. Here he is putting a microscope on Barack Obama in The president who is uninterested in other people.
It's probably not Obama's biggest problem, but it certainly contributes to the atmosphere that got the country into the situation it's now in. Barone contrasts Obama with Bill Clinton, Rudy Guilliani, George W. Bush, and Ronald Reagan and concludes that Obama isn't concerned enough about learning how another person thinks to be an effective negotiator.
They’re good at reading people, an essential quality for an executive and especially for a president. Recent presidents have had that quality in varying degrees. ...
The ability to read other people comes more easily if you’re interested in others, curious to learn what makes them tick. It comes harder or not at all if you’re transfixed with your image of yourself.
Wait a minute. Wasn't it George W. Bush who was supposed to lack intellectual curiosity?
Well, President Obama's greatest talent is convincing voters to believe the image is real. Unfortunately, that talent has limited utility when trying to work with other country leaders. In fact, it isn't a talent at all but a weakness if Obama himself believes that image. One has to wonder how many of Obama's hangers-on have figured out how to exploit that weakness.