In any White House, it is easy to develop a siege mentality and reject not only criticism but the facts on which that criticism is based. This presidency is particularly susceptible to this malady because of President Obama’s acute narcissism.
Even, or maybe especially, his humor reflects his self-absorption. Where President George W. Bush was self-deprecating, Obama is self-satisfied. That’s how he winds up with cringe-inducing lines such as this at the NBA fundraiser: “It is very rare that I come to an event where I’m like the fifth- or sixth-most interesting person.” (He’s not interesting by the way. Clinton was interesting;Obama is drearily predictable.) The comment is so intellectually needy, you wind up admiring Bush and Ronald Reagan, neither of whom would dream of saying such a thing, even in jest.
This problem not only causes those who shun the Kool-Aid to shudder, it also sets the Obama team to look completely disingenuous. Take Stephanie Cutter, who declared that in “27 months we’ve created 4.5 million private-sector jobs. That’s more jobs than in the Bush recovery, in the Reagan recovery.” This is flagrantly wrong, and it’s disturbing to think the Obama team might actually believe this.
Jim Pethokoukis of the American Enterprise Institute explains:
Cutter counts the job gains from the low point of Obama’s term forward. The low point was February 2010 when U.S. nonfarm payrolls measured 129,244,000. In July, they measured 133,245,000 for a gain of 4.0 million jobs in 27 months
If you measure the Reagan recovery the same way, he created 8.0 million new jobs in 27 months.
And if you measure the Bush recovery the same way, the low point was in August 2003 when U.S. employment stood at 129,820,000. But 27 months later, the figure was 134,654,000 in November 2005 — a gain of 4.8 million jobs.
Is Obama’s bubble so tight that he and his advisers don’t realize this is the worst recovery since World War II? Do they actually think their policies are working? Let’s hope this is just Cutter lying, for if the Obama administration is so benighted as to imagine its economic record is superior to other presidents, this president is dangerously out of touch.