Obama Mastered His Demons. Trump and Hillary Are Owned by Theirs By Francis Wilkinson
Politicians are desperate people. That was the premise of a question David Axelrod posed to President Barack Obama in a podcast earlier this week. Their exchange on the topic will become especially poignant on Jan. 20, when the erstwhile non-politician Donald Trump is sworn in as Obama’s successor.
“Most politicians have some sort of wound,” said Axelrod, who has worked with dozens of candidates for House, Senate and statewide offices as a Democratic media consultant. “I find, especially at a higher level, that something happened in their childhood, and they really need the approbation of the crowds and the affirmation that comes with being elected.”
What Axelrod was asking the president was the big question I’ve always harbored about Obama: Where’s the hole? Where in Obama is the insatiable hunger, the vast, unfillable void that drives someone to the daily madness of running for the American presidency?
Has Obama truly defied what even his close friend and adviser understands is a dominant rule of political character — one that’s evident not only in extremes such as Richard Nixon and Anthony Weiner, but in George W. Bush and Bill Clinton? Or is Obama just especially ingenious at camouflaging his need? Even that would require a level of self-awareness, and self-correction, that few national politicians can muster.
As it happened, the “news” from the Axelrod podcast was something different, yet intimately related to the question of the hole. Obama claimed in the interview that he could have won a third term, though he didn’t use those exact words. The president’s statement was more nuanced than a plain boast, and rendered in service of a larger point: that the “Obama coalition,” an electoral majority that twice had carried him to victory, was only sleeping, not dead.
“You know, I am confident in this vision because I’m confident that if I — if I had run again and articulated it,”
Obama said, “I think I could’ve mobilized a majority of the American people to rally behind it.”
Obama could have made the point without reference to himself. Surely he knew, even as the words departed his mouth, that Trump would find the claim an intolerable taunt.
OBAMA PERSONALITY TYPE
August FOURTH the Day of the GUIDING LIGHT: Those born on August 4 are often the guiding light to whatever social group, political movement, family or business they belong. Not always cut out to be leaders they must nevertheless occupy a principal position; indeed, they make their influence felt and philosophy known to all with whom they associate. Often they are useful to their group in a largely symbolic role, as they may perfectly represent its aspirations and embody its ideals in their external appearance or lifestyle;
STRENGTHS: Clever, Quick, Elusive
WEAKNESSES: Oblivious, Hot-Headed, Undiplomatic
Billy Bob Thornton shares Obama’s August 4, 1955 birthday and smooth talking style. Obama says he could have been elected to a third term but could he get Angelina Jolie to tattoo his name on her arm?
LEO II – The Week of BALANCED STRENGTH August 3-10: Solid and tough, Leo II’s do not back down from challenges; in fact, they thrive on them, and are often at their best when facing problems and difficulties. Although drawn toward experiences that hold an element of danger, they are usually not foolhardy enough to attempt the impossible. Realists, they are well aware of their limitations, which they may stretch to the limit if necessary but will rarely try to over leap. Fixed attitudes characterize those born in this week, so it will take a great deal of persistence to get them to change their mind. Leo II’s pride themselves on their ability to spot phoniness and nonsense, and are particularly critical of metaphysical ideas (religion) not strongly grounded in the here and now.
Strengths: Devoted, Trustworthy, Physical
Weaknesses: Masochistic, Depressed, Guilty
The NINE of Diamonds playing card is an unlucky card known as the ‘Curse of Scotland’ Origin: Scotland, 17th Century or earlier. The Earl of Stair, Sir John Dalrymple, was said to have used the card as a coded message to trigger the Massacre at Glencoe in 1692 – the card was said to resemble his coat of arms. An order to give ‘no quarter’ to the Scots after the Battle of Culloden was also said to be scrawled on another Nine of Diamonds card by the Duke of Cumberland; and supposedly the death warrant for Mary Queen of Scots was written the back of the same playing card, although this last maybe stretches the story a bit a too far. An alternative story is that the ‘Curse of Scotland’ was a tax levied on Scots to pay for nine diamonds stolen from the crown of Scotland.
The ‘Curse of Scotland’ came to America with the election of our first NINE of Diamonds president, George ‘W’ Bush. Eight years later we put a double NINE of Diamonds, Barack Obama, in the White House. There but for the grace of God we failed to make NINE of Hearts Hillary, Madam President – three nines and you’re OUT!
NINE of Diamonds: The Card of UNIVERSAL VALUES and THE GIVERS’S Card: Nine of Diamonds people are here to let go and complete a major chapter in their evolution. This entails a lot of giving to others. If they have not heeded the call to give and let go of others, money, relationships, and love, their life can be filled with disappointment and remorse. Those on the positive side are philanthropic and generous, happy and productive. All have the opportunity to experience first hand, the heightened consciousness that comes from living a “universal” life.
MID-LIFE TRANSITION 45 to 55
Between the ages of forty-five and fifty-five men and women relive the lessons of their childhood. This ten year transition includes the so called ‘mid-life’ crisis.
Presidential term: January 20, 1993 – January 20, 2001 (47-55) The impeachment of Bill Clinton was initiated by the House of Representatives on December 19, 1998, against Bill Clinton, the 42nd President of the United States, on two charges, one of perjury and one of obstruction of justice. These charges stemmed from Clinton’s extramarital affair with former White House Intern Monica Lewinsky and his testimony about the affair during a sexual harassment lawsuit filed against him by Paula Jones. Clinton was subsequently acquitted of these charges by the Senate on February 12, 1999 at age 52.
George ‘W’ Bush Presidential term: January 20, 2001 – January 20, 2009 was swore in on January 20th 2001 at the age of fifty-four and shortly after celebrating his mid-life transition birthday on July 6th, he shared his mid-life crisis, 9/11, with all of us.
I don’t know if you remember this conversation I had with you when you were — when you came to my office, right? You got back from Hawaii, you’re about to make the decision to run, you come in unannounced and we talked for a long time. And I told you,
“I’m not sure you’re pathological enough to run for president.”
And what I meant by that was I didn’t think you had that sort of pathological need that so many people who run for president do. And I don’t know why that is because your dad abandoned you basically when you were two years old. And your mom — I know she was very loving, but you were separated from her for long periods of time. And if you were just looking at those facts, you’d say yeah, this guy’s gonna be a real needy person.
Obama responded with a few points: first, his character had time to develop because he achieved success relatively late in life; second, he felt unconditionally loved by his mother, despite her long absences; third, his marriage to Michelle had grounded him.
“an arrogance anchored by authentic cockiness”
Obama can’t help it, he was born that way 1) all of his cards in one basket, 2) a Leo’s Birth Card and Ego Card are the same, leaving no doubt “Who They Are,” 3) b/c Obama has no Think, Feel & Do cards he can’t help but appear aloof.
To people who have witnessed the hole in countless other politicians, it’s not a completely convincing answer. Yet even on occasions when Obama appears overly competitive or arrogant, it generally comes off as an arrogance anchored by authentic cockiness, not raging insecurity. “No Drama” Obama has let countless slights, many of them racist and despicable, evaporate.
THE HOLE THE CHILDHOOD WOUND
ATTACHMENT STAGE (0-18 months)
The AVOIDER: Minimizer, Rigid Boundaries
Basic Fear (Wound): Contact may lead to emotional and physical rejection, loss of self through contact with parent (partner).
Internal Message: Don’t be
Core Belief: I have no right to exist
Relationship Belief: I will be hurt if I initiate contact with you
Image of Partner: Demanding, all consuming
Relationship to Partner: Detached; avoidant
Core Issue: Too much togetherness; too many feelings; too much chaos
Typical Frustration: You hate me; you feel too much
Recurrent Feeling: Terror and rage
Conflict Management: Hyper-rational; avoidant; passive/aggressive withdrawal and coldness
Growth Challenge: Claim right to be; initiate emotional and physical contact; express feelings; increase body awareness and sensory contact with environment
Basic Fear (Wound): Separation and abandonment; loss of self through loss of contact with parent (partner)
Internal Message Don’t need me
Core Belief: I can’t get my needs met
Relationship Belief: I am safe if I hold on to you
Image of Partner: Unavailable; has no feelings; a rock wall
Relationship to Partner: Clinging; demanding; attempts to fuse
Core Issue: Separateness
Typical Frustration: You are never there
Recurrent Feeling: Voracious rage and terror
Conflict Management: Hyperemotional, uncompromising; demanding, then giving in
Growth Challenge: Let go; do things on your own; negotiate