For eight years, tracking Obama's use of the personal pronouns "I" and "me" has been a cherished ritual in the conservative media — one small way to promote the idea that the president is self-centered and therefore out of touch with all the decent, hard-working folks out there.
On Tuesday, the Drudge Report linked to an American Mirror story that criticized Obama for "repeatedly talking about himself" — 40 mentions in 22 minutes! — when he welcomed the World Series-winning Chicago Cubs to the White House. The American Mirror noted that Obama said stuff like this: "I will say to the Cubs: 'It took you long enough.' "
What a narcissist.
Last week, the Daily Caller dinged Obama for referring to himself 75 times in his farewell address.
"My fellow Americans, Michelle and I have been so touched by all the well-wishes that we've received over the past few weeks," the president said near the top of his speech. "But, tonight, it's my turn to say thanks.'
Gah, that's three self-references right there!
Fox News appears to have been among the first to make this a thing, publishing an important finding by the conservative Media Research Center eight months after Obama took office:
Obama loves to hear himself talk — about himself. In just 41 speeches so this year, not including this week's big speech at the United Nations, Obama has talked about himself nearly 1,200 times — 1,198 to be exact. (That breaks down to 1,121 "I's" and just 77 "mes.")
Does Obama actually refer to himself uncommonly often? The Fix's Philip Bump tackled this question in 2014 and found that the answer is not really. He compared the speech patterns of Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton and found that all three said "I," "me" and "my" at similar rates: 2.68 percent of spoken words for Obama, 2.25 percent for Bush and 2.6 percent for Clinton.
If the conservative media really wants to keep monitoring presidential self-references, however, Donald Trump should provide plenty of material. Just look at the way he recently turned a question from the Times of London about heroes into a monologue about his own natural talents:
There are a lot of I's in there. I didn't count them, but perhaps the Media Research Center will.