Former President Barack Obama, well versed in the art of self-cheerleading, doesn’t want to be forgotten.
His grand reintroduction into the political scene during a speech on Friday revealed that leaving the White House has done little to diminish his characteristic arrogance.
Or perhaps it was just the ethics in government award that the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign bestowed on Obama on Friday that bolstered his self esteem.
Whatever the reason, Obama brought himself up over 100 times in the 64-minute speech he gave to the university, according to The American Mirror.
“By the time I left office, household income was near its all-time high, and the uninsured rate had hit an all-time low, and wages were rising, and poverty rates were falling,” Obama said.
“I mention all this just so when you hear how great the economy is doing right now, let’s just remember when this recovery started.”
There are whiffs of the Norma Desmond-type of aging starlet (“I am big, it’s the pictures that got small”) in the compulsive self-absorption present in Obama’s speech. With his signature dramatic pauses, Obama pleaded his case for still being worthy of attention.
“When you hear about this economic miracle that’s been going on – when the job numbers come out … and suddenly Republicans are saying, ‘It’s a miracle!’ I have to kind of remind them: Actually, those job numbers are the same as they were in 2015 and 2016,” he said.
He declined to mention that 2015 and 2016 saw the largest increases in violent crime in a quarter of a century as the country responded to Obama’s divisive leadership. These rising rates dropped when Trump came into office.
“Sometimes the backlash comes from people who are genuinely, if wrongly, fearful of change,” Obama said.
“More often it is manufactured by the powerful, the privileged, who want to keep us divided and keep us angry and keep us cynical,” he continued, keeping it humble as he quietly excluded himself from the group of the powerful and privileged.
“Because that helps them maintain the status quo, keep their power, keep their privilege.”
Again, despite giving a speech where he mentions himself once or twice every minute, Obama claimed no privilege for himself. That’s the self-effacing ex-president we know and love.
However, as Trump noted, Obama’s tooting of his own horn doesn’t quite make compelling listening.
“I’m sorry, I watched it, but I fell asleep,” Trump commented at an event in North Dakota, according to The Hill. “I found he’s very good, very good for sleeping.”
All right, Mr. DeMille, Obama’s ready for his close-up.
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