Writer-in-chief: the stylings of Obama and Clinton.

I find this sort of thing fascinating.  Granted, you can only take so much of this, and with a grain of salt, but I’m of the mind that it does matter.  An ability to write well doesn’t necessarily indicate an ability to govern well; but an inability to write well, or speak well – you needn’t look too far for an example of how that goes

The books of Hillary and Barack are stacked up against each other, and Hillary doesn’t fare very well.  I’m sure HRC supporters will add this to their tally of grievances against the media for attacking HRC and heaping hossannas on BHO, but the piece dishes out criticism of Obama’s stylings, too.  I question the assertion abut HRC’s sincerity, but the self-pity – and both the authenticity/narcissism of BHO – have some truth to them.  The whole thing’s worth a read, but here’s an excerpt:

Indeed, whenever Mrs. Clinton lashes out at her political enemies — President Clinton’s opponent in an Arkansas governor’s race, or the editorial writers at the Wall Street Journal, or Kenneth Starr — it is always in a tone of self-pity. This is not to pass judgment on her complaints, simply to note that, unlike most politicians, Mrs. Clinton sees political attacks as personal grievances — especially when she feels that her good intentions are being questioned. For if self-pity is Mrs. Clinton’s major vice, that is only because it corresponds to what she understands to be her biggest virtue: sincerity. While she will admit to losing her temper or to misjudging the consequences of her actions, nowhere in the pages of "Living History" does she admit to a bad motive. She always sincerely means well; and it follows that, if her opponents disagree with her, they must be insincere and mean ill…

Conversely, if Mrs. Clinton’s favorite anecdotes have to do with demonstrating the sincerity of her feelings, Mr. Obama’s have to do with overawing people with the force of his authenticity. He writes that his constituents "tell me that they have great hopes for me, but that they are worried that Washington is going to change me and I will end up just like all the rest of the people in power. Please stay who you are, they will say to me."

As these lines suggest, if the vice of sincerity is self-pity, the vice of authenticity is narcissism — the belief that one is virtuous and lovable simply for being one’s self. When one of Mr. Obama’s supporters, questioned on a television talk show, notoriously couldn’t name a single one of the candidate’s accomplishments, he was inadvertently carrying to its conclusion the logic of authenticity: the idea that what you are matters more than what you do. The overreliance of Mr. Obama’s campaign on his personal charisma is already emerging as the favorite target of his opponents. Ironically, if his books weren’t so well written, they wouldn’t offer such credible support for the charge.



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