When President Obama was first elected back in 2008, many observers hailed him as being a brilliant communicator who would erase all the tropes of Bush-era communication. Where Bush was inarticulate and stumbled over words like "nuclear," Obama was crisp and clear with everything he said. Where Bush's engagement with certain issues appeared to some to be fumbling and awkward, Obama would be a bright light of intelligence. And where Bush appeared to be an unquestionably warm person, Obama would be...well, a bit of a cold fish.
That last part has caused the President problems. In fact, over the course of the Obama Presidency, more than a few people have remarked that the President's emotional engagement with issues is rather difficult to gauge. At times (like the 2010) BP oil spill, he has seemed to fumble awkwardly for some attempt at indignation or emotion, and his speeches have always come off as more than a little academic or pedantic. This has caused many people to wonder whether the President has poor handlers, or just doesn't know how to talk to people.
New information revealed by President Obama's own physician in the new book "Amateur" suggests that it's the latter more than the former. Human Events includes the relevant excerpts, which depict the President as a cerebral, hyper-intellectualized man who is out of touch with his own emotions almost as much as he's out of touch with the emotions of others:
In a revealing new book, The Amateur, author Edward Klein interviews President Barack Obama’s physician, Dr. David Scheiner, MD, who blasts the president’s health care plan and says that President Obama has an “academic detachment” that he could never break through.
The doctor fears that if the health care plan is “the failure” he believes it will be, because of runaway costs and other problems, then any health reform will be set back for years to come.[...]
Scheiner said that he believes the president miscalculated politically and that the health reform is ultimately doomed to fail. Worse, Scheiner doubts the character of a man who holds the highest and most influential office in America: “I think there is too much of the University of Chicago in him. By which I mean he’s academic, lacks passion and feeling, and doesn’t have the sense of humanity that I expected.”
The author, Klein, later in the book, compares Obama’s personality to early the 20th Century progressive president, Woodrow Wilson. By quoting the historian Forrest McDonald, who called Wilson’s perception of himself, “little short of Messianic,” Klein says that McDonald’s description of Wilson “fits Obama to a T.”
The comparison to Wilson, arguably the first really committed progressive president, isn't surprising. What is surprising is that these harsh words are coming from a man who shares Obama's political affiliations. The doctor in question is a liberal Democrat. Now, when even a member of the President's own party thinks he's a little off, you have to wonder - just how on earth does this guy think?