Anorexic and narcissistic? Our president’s a walking DSM.

Yes, that is a mean post caption, but I wanted to capture your attention.  First, I truly believe that Barack Obama is a clinical narcissist.  This is something I’ve been saying for over a year, and more and more people are starting to chime in.  I know narcissists first hand, so I know one when I see when — and he is one.  But an anorexic too?

Well, I don’t know about the anorexia.  Obama has certainly lost a lot of weight.  This is a new one for Americans.  Clinton went the opposite direction, bloating up periodically, while other Presidents, though they aged, retained their figures throughout their White House years.

Weight loss in a person who started out skinny is an interesting thing, since we know it’s not done for aesthetic purposes.  Instead, it usually reflects (a) stress or (b) the person’s warped sense of his or her own body.  To be honest, I doubt that Obama has that warped sense, so he’s not a classic DSM anorexic.

I do think, though, that Obama is reflecting the stress he’s under.  But why is he reacting so extremely?  Let me play amateur psychiatrist:  I think that’s he under more stress than the usual president because this whole thing is an act.  He’s not as smart as his fans think (by a long shot), and he’s totally unprepared in terms of experience for the demands of the job.  Of course, no one can be prepared for the presidency, because it’s a unique role, but one can still be practiced in the motions of being a courageous executive, and therefore able to apply those skills in varying situations.  Obama has no such skills.  He’s swimming as hard as he can, but he’s sinking fast — and he knows it.

This visible failure is a terrible blow to anybody, and especially to a narcissist.  You see, the narcissist has no strong sense of self, but is dependent for his identity on the way in which other people view him.  We are, collectively, his mirror.  Like a vampire, he has no reflection of his own.  He can only see himself through our eyes.  As his approval numbers plummet (with even his first fans growing doubtful), his sense of self collapses too.

In this regard, Obama is entirely different from George Bush, a man who weathered storms of alcoholism and failure — and who came out stronger on the other side, with a very clear sense of self and purpose.  Obama, a chimerical figure in his own mind is literally wasting away.  Without an adulatory public to invest him with a sense of self, he’s vanishing before our very eyes.

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  • expat

    This made me think of Obama’s citation of Team of Rivals as the way he wanted to execute the presidency.  I haven’t read the book, but from what I’ve read of it, it deals with the genius of Lincoln in getting the rivals to serve his ends. I suspect that Obama could read this book as a tactical how to and totally ignore that Lincoln had real substance beneath the tactics.  I don’t think that Obama ever really appreciated that leaders like Lincoln, Churchill, and yes Bush understood the gravity of the situations they were called to see their citizens through. Nor did he understand the personal tolls of assuming that responsibility.  For him, the scratches on his self image are more threatening than foreign enemies and financial crises.

  • Charles Martel

    In the myth of Narcissus, doesn’t Narcissus waste away while mooning over his reflection in the pool?

    Please, Barack, moon as fast as you can.

  • Zhombre

    A weak President is perilous for America, and I think a number of our adversaries, and nominal allies, have already read Obama’s weakness and inexperience and made plans accordingly.   We have a Mimic in Chief, and the electoral losses that may occur today in Virginia, New Jersey and New York 23 may further erode his confidence.  And c’mon, Charles, you want to see President Biden?  A guy of whom it has been said if BS were currency he’d be richer than Soros?

  • Zhombre

    Had to share this: best line about Obama, from Buddy Larsen @ Belmont Club.  “Obama would’ve inspired Orwell to write “Homage to Catatonia”.

  • saveliberty

    Anorexia is a need for control in what the patient believes is an “out-of-control” situation. The patient controls what he or she eats to control weight.  This is also done to see if more people will “like” the patient.

  • Ruth H

    I prefer Obama to Biden, so I hope this is not a serious situation. Or maybe Biden could be lead around by different people.

  • pst314

    DSM? Then put this thought balloon on a photo of Obama: “At 1 mg Thorazine per kg bodyweight, I can appease with equanimity any enemy I can still see.”

  • Ari Tai

    Any guesses on who from the press will call for Mr. O. to release his medical records?   How long between rumors of a checkup and Mr. Cheney’s doctors called to task on national TV?   Did we ever see Mr. Clinton’s records? 

    I do remember the reporting of Mr. Reagan’s quips – as his lungs collapsed.   Maybe the difference is “class” – as in classy.   Strangely all the post WWII ‘pubs save Nixon.  And Mr. Kennedy perhaps, until he was darkened by the shadow of his family issues and hidden lifestyle.