George Will on Obama's Enormous Brain

Many years ago in "Doonesbury," leftist Garry Trudeau satirized George Will by having an intern named T. Hamilton Tripler serve as Will's "quote boy." In Sunday's column, Will brings his tendency for quotations to deliver a blow against Obama's ego.

How did Obamacare unravel so badly? How could Obama be so uncurious about its progress? Will suggested his advisers, like his longtime Chicago friend Valerie Jarrett, might be mostly qualified in telling him how terrific he is:

The place to begin understanding the unraveling of his presidency is page 274 of “The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama.” The author, David Remnick, editor of the New Yorker, quotes Valerie Jarrett, perhaps Obama’s closest and longest-serving adviser, on her hero’s amazingness:

“He knows exactly how smart he is. . . . I think that he has never really been challenged intellectually. . . . He’s been bored to death his whole life. He’s just too talented to do what ordinary people do. He would never be satisfied with what ordinary people do.”

Will added: "Leave aside the question of whether someone so smitten can be in any meaningful sense an adviser. About what can such a paragon as Obama need advice?" But Will actually shortened the quote for space! Get a look at it without shortening:

"I think Barack knew that he had God-given talents that were extraordinary. He knows exactly how smart he is...He knows how perceptive hs is. He knows what a good reader of people he is. And he knows that he has the ability -- the extraordinary, uncanny ability -- to take a thousand different perspectives, digest them, and make sense out of them, and I think he has never been really challenged intellectually. I mean, he's the kind of guy you'd hate in law school, who would pick up the book the night before the final, read it, and ace the test. So what I sensed in him was not just a  restless spirit but someone with extraordinary talents that they had to be really taxed in order for him to be happy." 

Then came the "bored to death" line. Remnick then talked to another Obama friend who insisted that early on, Jarrett was their ticket to the Obamas meeting "the black aristocracy" in Chicago and invited them to Martha's Vineyard for vacation. "Without Valerie, it would have taken Barack a lot longer."

Tim Graham's picture

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