November 13, 2009

Which politician is the greater believer in his/her own cult of personality?

Barack Obama or Sarah Palin? If you had to say one actually believes the hype and the other is knowingly exploiting the nonsense, what would you say?

This is a hypothetical. Do not change the hypothetical. Answer the question asked.


Dust Bunny Queen said...


Barack truly believes he IS everything that he would like us to believe he thinks he is. He is the hype... a legend in his own mind.

Palin doesn't believe that she is what we have been led to believe she is, but is going with the flow in order to accomplish a goal that is outside of self.

Both are knowlingly exploiting the nonsense.

former law student said...

Palin. Has she ever poked fun at her personality cult the way Obama did?

Obama- “Contrary to the rumors you’ve heard, I was not born in a manger. I was actually born on Krypton, sent here by my father Jor-El, to save the planet Earth.”

John said...

Obama, despite being of below average intelligence and a complete product of affirmative action, managed to get himself elected President based upon a cult of personality and legions or derranged and creepy supporters. If he doesn't believe his own cult of personality, he has more self control than any man in history.

So the answer would be Obama.

John said...

"Obama- “Contrary to the rumors you’ve heard, I was not born in a manger. I was actually born on Krypton, sent here by my father Jor-El, to save the planet Earth.”

So what? I mean his supporters are so derranged and over the top, how can he not? He clearly believes it. How could he not? How could someoen go from failed community organizer and junior Senator to President and not believe in the cult that put them there?

traditionalguy said...

Does the question permit the answer that both are exploiting hype? If not, then Sarah Believes the hype she presents and Barack believes some nuanced hype that only he can ever decode including, but not limited to, everyone's fantasy about a Mr Good Promises that they always dreamed about.

former law student said...

despite being of below average intelligence and a complete product of affirmative action, managed to get himself elected President based upon a cult of personality and legions or derranged and creepy supporters.

Hey, Reagan was white.

John said...

Obama has so mercylessly screwed and made fools of his supporters, maybe he doesn't believe the hype. It is not so much that Obama thinks he is that intelligent as it is that he knows that is supporters are not intelligent.

John said...

"Hey, Reagan was white."

Joke on. How is that closing GUITMO going? How is pulling out of Iraq? How is fighting the real war in Aghanistan going? How is bringing all the torturers under Bush to justice? How is that stimulus going? You know the one that was going to keep unemployment below 8%? How about the Patriot Act that was creating the Stazi in America? That has been repelled right? Those were all fierce moral imperatives right? The biggest issues in American history.

Do you understand what an idiot Obama has made of you? Obama may be stupid, but he clearly understands how stupid and what cheap dates his supporters are.

LonewackoDotCom said...

BHO of course.

He's not used to losing or being challenged, and when challenged he didn't take it too well and appeared to be on the point of breaking. Palin's problems more are due to other things, such as not self-editing what she's going to say.

Regarding BHO's failings, right after one of the debates, I asked people at Freerepublic to create a video from the debate footage that just contained the part where BHO got flustered. A couple hundred people saw that, but no one did anything.

Meanwhile, a similar video showing McCain losing his cool got hundreds of Diggs and hundreds of thousands of views.

The point of that is to suggest that people concentrate on, you know, doing things that are effective and are a bit less academic than who's cooler.

For instance, the energy put into discussing what Palin had for breakfast could have been much better spent encouraging people to ask this question. If someone had really pressed her on that it would send at least minor shockwaves through DC, encouraging them to stop lying and misleading the public. Let me suggest concentrating on things like that, and asking folks like Instapundit and HotAir why they aren't promoting things that could be highly effective.

J said...

"Do not change the hypothetical. Answer the question asked."

This is why the pirate version is so much more fun. Answering the hypo: Obama believes it, Palin uses it.

Freed from that constraint -- having Rorschached myself -- I'd say they both kinda believe it and they both kinda cynically use it. Which is just to say they're politicians.

John said...

"This is why the pirate version is so much more fun. Answering the hypo: Obama believes it, Palin uses it."

That is pretty close to the truth. You have to remember Obama has spent his entire life around white liberals like FLS. Those people have no balls and are incapable of independent thought. So they sat around him and went "oh wow it is a black man, isn't he profound". Hard to imagine that didn't go to Obama's head. How could it not have?

Jason said...

"I have a gift."

edutcher said...

Listen to both of them speak. Bambi believes every word out of his mouth is Gospel, Sermon on the Mount quality. The self-deprecating stuff is courtesy TOTUS (even it must get sick of him).

Miss Sarah is looser when she talks, the lady doesn't take herself all that seriously - although, like many a frontier woman, you don't want to get crosswise of her.

Like another daughter of the frontier (the Old Northwest, anyway), my wife and an adopted daughter - Althouse.

former law student said...

He's not used to losing or being challenged, and when challenged he didn't take it too well and appeared to be on the point of breaking.

Is this Barack Obama you're speaking of? Obama lost to Bobby Rush, the ex-Black Panther, and went on to run again. Has Palin learned from her mistakes? That, like confronting one's press staff instead of trying to circumvent them, is a sign of maturity. Has Palin failed only to rise another day? She couldn't handle being governor while the mean kids were picking on her.

I see very little difference between how Palin reacts to a challenge and how Carrie Prejean reacted to Larry King's questioning.

OldGrouchy Doug Wright said...

What Jason said!

Plus Michelle says that Obama owns our soul and she believes what she said! So, is her hype relevant to AA's question?

John said...

"Is this Barack Obama you're speaking of? Obama lost to Bobby Rush, the ex-Black Panther, and went on to run again."

That is right. He lost that brutal dog catcher election in Chicago. My God, the man is a giant. Think about how his accompishments make people like Eisenhower look so feeble. What is taking on the SS in Normandy when compared to losing and recovering from losing an election for dog catcher in Chicago.

Do you realize how pathetic it makes Obama to even have to have this debate about Palin? Palin was a one term governor from a small state and she had a comparable resume to Obama. Obama is almost 50 years old and his supporters still point to what he did in law school. They have to because he didn't do anything else as a lawyer.

Reagan was governor of California for two terms. Bush I was VP for 8 years and head of the CIA. Clinton was a two term governor and a Rhoades Scholar. Hell, Bush II was a two term governor of Texas. Obama was a two bit state legislator and a junior Senator. He is the most pathetic mediocrity ever to be elected President. And he shows it every day as he dithers, proposes insane program and screws over even his most ardent supporters.

Your a right Palin isn't qualified to be President. But, Obama was even less qualified.

Cedarford said...

Nothing before or likely after will top Obama's Nomination-clinching speech where he sucked up every word his own suck-up TelePrompter writers gave him about how his Nomination marked the start of the planet healing, the sick being cared for, good jobs created, and the ocean's rise slowed.

However, more often than not politicians like Hollywood celebrities have big egos.

Had Palin been a normal person, she would have responded to McCain's offer with a "are you nuts???" Explaining that she was barely into her 1st term as governor, was woefully without knowledge on foreign affairs, economic issues outside energy. But Palin was not. Had she received an offer to make 30 million doing brain surgeries...she probably thought she was just so gosh darn good she would work out just fine slicing temporal lobes..
And the people would all love her doing brain surgery and call her the Goddess of Neural Scalpelwork, because she was hot and would have a cult of worshippers praise her every operation. Even if her patients ended up dead or moving and talking like John McCain..

John - John said...
Obama, despite being of below average intelligence and a complete product of affirmative action

Most of our leaders are above-average intelligence, even though truly brilliant ones like Jefferson, Hamilton, Havel, Nixon, Lee Kwan Yew, Bill CLinton remain rare.
Obama and even Palin are above-average intelligence.
Truly stupid leaders are blessedly as rare as the truly brilliant ones. Mel Martinez, Patty Murray, a handful of loud-mouthed black females like Cynthia McKinney come to mind. Barnara Boxer is supposedly the Stupidest Senator after Bill Smith of New Hampshire lost in a primary to Sununu. But while Smith was unquestionably stupid as a rock, Boxer is merely dumb and clueless.

DBrooks17 said...

I must say that I am absolutely sick and frickin' tired of little nitwits like FLS claiming Ronald Reagan was stupid. You'll never do it, FLS, but go read Reagan: In His Own Hand, then tell me you still think he wasn't an intelligent, thoughtful man.

Beth said...

Since I can choose only one, it's Palin. Her entire campaign-plus story is one of being a victim, everything's so unfair, blah blah blah.

Bruce Hayden said...

Obama, by a mile. Ever notice how many times he uses the word "I" in his speeches?

Paddy O. said...

I actually don't think Obama believes it.

Cuts against his childhood driven psychology. I suspect he actually has some pretty deep-seated insecurity about himself.

But he accepts it when it is offered from others. And he runs with it.

Palin, I think, has a sense of humor about it. But, I also think she has a lot of inner confidence. So that while she doesn't take people as serious as Obama does, she believes that they're actually right.

PatCA said...

"I have a gift."

He meant it.

John said...


In fairness Obama is probably of average or above average intelligence, although he is profoundly ignorant about many subjects. You are right, the truely stupid politicians tend to be idiot sons and daughters whose connections got them elected. See e.g. Al Gore, Nancy Pelosi, Joe Kennedy.

John said...

"You'll never do it, FLS, but go read Reagan: In His Own Hand, then tell me you still think he wasn't an intelligent, thoughtful man."

People like FLS don't read books. They may read the occasional polemic that re-enforces their prejudices. But they don't read books and they don't think. If they did, they wouldn't believe the nonsense they do. They pretend to read and act like they know someting. But under it, Newsweek or Huffington is their idea of deep reading.

miller said...

I think that Obama believes it, but he doesn't really know that it's hype. He just thinks it's his due.

I think Palin is using it with a tongue-in-cheek attitude like "hey, can you believe it?" response.

I think it would be fun to go bowling with Palin.

I think it would be horrendous to go bowling with the Man-child, because every time he got a strike he would say "and many people never expected a son of Africa to play bowling and yet here I am, hope and change. And let me be clear, it's not about me. It's about you paying attention to me."

lucid said...

Obama believes the hype more than Palin does. His sense of himself as a Lincolnesque historic figure who is going to fundamentally shift the direction of American political economics toward a social democracy model, who is going to meld the world into one, who is going to heal the planet, etc., etc., etc, is completely real to him. It is why he even puts his own election at the center of the Berlin Wall celebrations.

Mark said...

Okay, let's postulate that Palin believes the hype more than Obama.

Doesn't that say she believes in what she's actually selling than Obama does?

I've always believed more in Palin's package than Obama's package of lies.

This question changes nothing.

J said...

What I get a kick out of is that this question -- to be answered as asked -- places two goods on opposite ends.

Thereby, one can be idealistic and naive or Machiavellian and intelligent. So, pick your positive (idealistic, intelligent) for your preferred pol and find them saddled with a negative (naive, Machiavellian).

Pr. A. was this intentional? Please answer the question as asked. A yes may indicate a certain refined evil while a no may indicate a salt of the earth goodness.

J said...


My fingers have odd ideas as they type. And they're lazy.

Lou said...

If Obama really believed his own hype I'm at a loss to explain why he equivocates so much. His hype says he's a decisive leader who can solve the world's ills, yet every new story seems to be about how he's not finishing tasks, not passing legislation and not making decisions.

Palin on the other hand has been hyped as a rogue who speaks off script and off message when it suits her. That seems to be the case to me. She's now slamming McCain (perhaps justifiably) and letting the Republican Party chase her (if it wishes to do so).

traditionalguy said...

When wondering out loud what obama really believes one must first factor in whether he is pleasing Michell Obama or his sugar daddy Soros or a Moslem Sheik with oil wealth at that moment. He takes on their language and their attitudes until the next more powerful influence over him comes along. So Barack may never show us what he believes about anything. Sad since he seems like a nice clean black man according to Joe Biden and the many swing voters that he has left swinging in the wind.

Fred4Pres said...

Miller said: I think it would be fun to go bowling with Palin.

I can think of other things it would be fun to do with Sarah.

1jpb said...

It's obviously Palin.

BHO was originally opposed to the "Yes we can" line because he thought it was corny. But, in the end Axelrod convinced him to go w/ it. [And, it (among other things) worked!]

Also, I've repeatedly heard him parse his language so carefully that it was obvious that he's doing some serious political and image calculating. To me this indicates that he's well aware of his limits and his need to dodge and weave around the world as it exists rather than rely on his "hype" to make problems go away. For example, BHO's denial that his campaign had sent a message to the Canadians regarding NAFTA was extremely parsed, such that even after all was revealed it was still true.

And, even his greatest gaff--the bitter comment--if taken literally would pretty much refer to nobody because of his use of the conjunction 'and' when he defines who he's talking about. Even so, in this situation, and the beer summit, and surely many others BHO does something that folks who truly believe in their own cult of personality don't do. He takes action to acknowledge and remedy an error.

I can't think of situations where Palin took actions to acknowledge and remedy an error. I'm sure there are examples, perhaps folks could identify them for me. This way her ability to accept blame could be compared to BHO's blame acceptance prowess.

Does anybody know if she's used BHO's "I screwed up" line (re Daschle). I mean she's clearly screwed up plenty. And, she seems to have a lot to say about how others gave her bad advice. And, she seems to spend a fair amount of time complaining (whining?) about the ways folks have been mean to her. It seems like she knows that the Couric interview was bad, but she can't/won't accept complete responsibility for the fact that any of the GOP presidential candidates that lost to McCain could have easily answered Couric's questions, which seems to indicate that Palin was the problem, not Couric, not a campaign staffer who suggested that Couric would be a good interviewer for Palin.

When BHO is backed in a corner, he knows it, and he changes course. Palin can't even recognize when she's backed in a corner because she is the greater believer of her own cult of personality.

I just love this link. I can't link to it enough, sorry.

peter hoh said...

I hate X, so it's obvious that X believes the hype about him/herself.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Obama totally believes the hype. That is the only explanation possible for the string of disasters that is his administration, culminating in the KSM trial announced today. He thinks he can do anything and everything he wants, send the deficit to incredible levels, mandate ruinous expenditures for health care, trash the US in public speeches around the world, and he will pay no price for it politically because he is, well, just so amazingly great. It is being leaked that he will begin talking up-- incredibly-- deficit reduction in time for elections next year. Only a man who thinks he can walk on water could contemplate such prevarication while thinking that we will swallow it.

J said...

Evil and smart versus against good and dumb.

Another way of looking at this comes down to whether or not you think the person is on your team. We'd all take the evil and smart player on our team and we'd all prefer the good and dumb player on the opponents. We might not admit it though.

Joe M. said...


ContraMan said...

What a sad question.

Oprah represents one degree of separation between the President and Palin. Oprah confirms for them their shared belief in the value of their own peculiar cult.

Who believes themselves to be the greater dancing political bear?.... Who cares?

d-day said...

I don't think it's a blowout, but I think Obama. He gets the edge because I think Palin knows that she needs some kind of record to point to to back up the hype. Not that she always has the greatest experience to point to, but she gets the impulse. Obama sincerely seems to believe that his greatest qualities and accomplishments are the his rhetoric and deliberation. Success for him is determined entirely within the boundaries of his own skin.

For example, with Afghanistan, it seems like he cares more about making the right decision than achieving the right result.

Joe M. said...

...but it's a close call.

Jason (the commenter) said...

I have to say Obama. In my opinion Palin thinks so highly of herself, she considers what Althouse calls "hype" inconsequential, because the hype isn't good enough, and it could never be for someone like her. The way I see her rationalizing things she's done to make herself look like a hero is a very bad sign.

I think Obama toys with his cult, but he believes it and feeds off of it.

Take Obama's cult away and he'd shrivel up. Take Palin's away and she'd act exactly the same--until she had a nervous breakdown.

miller said...

It's obviously Man-child President who believes his own hype.

But I think he dithers about it before he falls for it.

davis,br said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Palladian said...

Hmm... one of these things is not like the other. One of these two is nationalizing huge portions of the economy, making life-and-death national security decisions based solely on political score-settling, is dithering away the lives of our troops in Afghanistan, evinces (to me anyway) not a shred of fondness, pride or care for the United States or its citizens, and takes every opportunity to debase the country with grovelling, self-serving apologies to the cadre of dictators, socialists, cynical bureaucrats, and post-national wealthy jet-setters that are sometimes charmingly and colloquially referred to as "the rest of the world".

One of these two miscreants is in a position that gives this person the power to bring the entire malignant mechanism of federal power down upon any one of us, for any reason, without question, the power to shape and misshape our future prosperity, our freedom, our property, our money and our very lives.

The other of these two currently holds no public office and spends their day promoting a book and delivering folksy and clumsy bon-mots to fans.

They may both be believers in his/her/its cult of personality, but one of these souls and their cult of personality is currently able to seriously damage our nation.

I do not think Sarah Palin is the answer to our problems. I find her thoroughly unconvincing and cringe-inducingly average. But her mediocrity doesn't frighten me because it is currently engaged in doing what mediocrity does in these times of ours: making a lot of dough. Her fingers are on the microphone and the money.

Barack Obama, the other thoroughly unconvincing and cringe-inducingly average mediocrity of the pair, should be frightening the shit out of everyone. His fingers are in your pockets and on the Button.

Palladian said...

Does anyone else wish the ghosts of that dreadful year of mediocrities 2008, would just start fading away?

I hope the exorcism of these spirits starts with Sarah Palin so she can't damage our chances in 2012 and ends with Barack Obama, when he's voted out on November 6, 2012.

jimspice said...

<>1jpb saved me a lot of typing: nailed my thoughts exactly. To add just a bit, I sense sincerity when Mr. Obama laughs at himself. I also feel Mrs. Palin is sincere in that she believes God willed her to run. Now that seems more than a bit full of ones self to me.

miller said...

I don't think Palin's running for President.

She's out speaking her mind and just having a "conversation."

Only in this case she seems to really be having a conversation.

And having a good time.

I don't get the feeling that MC President is having a good time.

I think he's wondering when his Teleprompter will make him popular again.

1jpb said...

Who's on Palladian's short list of so-called saviors for 2012?

And, what Scotch are you currently reaching for first?

P.S. For the record; I'm not an Althouse-voter, or a hoping-for-ghosts-to-fade voter, i.e. no regrets for my BHO vote.

Skookum John said...

I recall reading an interview with Obama a few weeks after his inauguration. They were talking about governing, and Obama said "I happen to be VERY good at it." I thought that was the sign of a dangerously cocky man who'd never run into real opposition, and believed deeply in his own cult of personality.

Number one, he'd never governed anything in his life before, not so much as a hot dog cart. He was a back-bench legislator who could barely be bothered to cast a vote, much less sponsor a bill.

Number two, he'd barely been in office long enough to find the john without getting lost. How dare he compare his performance thus far with the men who led us through wars and depressions?

Number three, even if you believe such things about yourself, it is tacky and desperate and self-sabotaging to make the claim openly. It's the flip side of "I am not a crook!"

Number four, it has been obvious since he first came on the scene that his mind is a stopped-up sewer overflowing with all the bad ideas about government that were tried and then flushed down the crapper in the 20th century. It's plain he thinks that socialism would be just ducky if only the smart kids like him got a chance to try it again properly.

Barack Obama believes to the marrow of his bones that he is the "Lightworker" and all the other bilge his toadies say about him. Sarah Palin believes in little more than her God, our Constitution, and the American Dream.

davis,br said...

Politicians have huge egos? That's a question?

Oh. Wait. Tricksie premise from the Professor "...the greater believer in his own cult of personality?"

Hmm ....

Well ...there's "I have a gift, Harry." (And I may never stop chuckling over that.)

There's the "O" handsign. There's the Grecian columns. There's the marching songs by the Obama Jungen (oh gawd, the songs). And the lovely prose of the [reputedly] adult songwriters. There's the Workers of the World Unite symbolism (and no slightest trace of tongue in cheek about it).

It's become quite the target-rich environment, don'cha know.

But mostly there's the unalloyed and irrefutable consistent narcissm on permanent public display by President Pretty Princess hisself.

I mean, Got Berlin Wall? Much?

And the total void in recognition of any of this as an "indicator" by the rest of the braying farmyard followers.

Oh, and in response to the observation about the self-deprecation that he's uttered: BZZZT-DING-DING-DING ...that's an inside joke, dude: the One don't really believe it.

Or should I emendate: he don't really believe that you don't disbelieve it.

So that's just the dog-and-pony show for the yokels and 'baggers.

But like I observed, it's a trick question: who believes in the cult more?

Perhaps an exploration of what the opposing "cults" call each other might be efficacious?

From the Jim Jones camp ...we hear mostly [shouted] variations on how stupid and dumb those mind-numbed yokels and their hillbilly princess are.

From the staunch independents who believe in America as the last best hope of man hear "what are you people thinking?" hugely understate the contrasts.

So I guess I'd have to fall down on the "Obama by a squeeker" votes.

Or if I wasn't being snide, and was being trixie myself, I'd say the question is one of a kind with several other posts at Althouse today.

To wit: Ann is having a bad day. A very bad day.

"Meow" dearie.

Palladian said...

"To add just a bit, I sense sincerity when Mr. Obama laughs at himself."

It's easy to laugh at yourself when you're the winner and you have the guns.

"Who's on Palladian's short list of so-called saviors for 2012?"

I wish I knew. Though I do quibble with the word "savior". I don't search for saviors in politics. I search for competent managers.

"And, what Scotch are you currently reaching for first?"

I've been on an Ardbeg kick, the 10 year old stuff, nothing exotic. But it's amazing stuff.

To economize I've been knocking back martinis between Ardbeg days. Either Plymouth (subtle and beautiful) or Beefeater (higher alcohol and more juniper-forward) gin, 4 to 1 with Dolin dry vermouth, the best French vermouth on the market.

And my home-brined olives, natch.

Jason (the commenter) said...

1jpb: Who's on Palladian's short list of so-called saviors for 2012?

I'm sick of saviors. I want someone boring and dull who likes balancing budgets. Any accountants out there? You're looking pretty sexy to me right now.

Palladian said...

"I'm sick of saviors. I want someone boring and dull who likes balancing budgets. Any accountants out there? You're looking pretty sexy to me right now."

I would so go down on a great and modest accountant in the Oval Office. Cigar optional.

miller said...

I would just want a President that loves America and finds her worth keeping.

1jpb said...


There's one in NY-23. He's had recent experience w/ a congressional campaign. And, he's really boring!!!

John Lynch said...

Palin believes, Barack deceives.

AST said...

Just like a law prof. Hypotheticals! It's been over 30 years and I STILL hate law school!

Synova said...

I suspect Obama actually believes it.

Hm... notice DBQ said that first comment.

Bob_R said...

My guess is Palin since her is based more on fact than fantasy. Her persona is the hardworking prol do it all hockey Mom. A lot of it is based on social class. (I love it when the class based bigotry of her detractors - including some close at hand - show its ugly head.) These may not be good reasons to admire a political candidate, but they are real reasons.

Obama's cult is based more on wishful (and perhaps racially bigoted) thinking. The idea that he is a towering intellect when he is objectively identical in intellectual achievement to people like Gore, Bush, and Kerry is laughable. The idea that he is a racial healer when he has taken every opportunity to sow racial division is risible. His cult is based on BS, and he must be aware of that at some level.

ricpic said...

You can't have it both ways: you can't state baldly that "Palin is dumb," and then posit that she's cleverly exploiting her daughter of the people image.

I believe that she's bright, bright enough to know that much of her appeal is based on her regular gal image. At the same time she is a regular gal, a regular gal plus. So is she exploiting that image? A toss up.

On the other hand Obama really believes - being not nearly the brain he's made out to be - that he's hot stuff.

LoafingOaf said...

It would've been harder to answer this when Palin was first picked as McCain's running mate, but now the answer seems easy.

For both politicians, both things are going on to some degree, but Obama is the greater believer in his hype. This is a guy for whom everything went right ever since he gave that 2004 speech. So there's been a long period of time where he's had people telling him he's "the One". It had to have gone to his head!

When he entered the primaries, he probably thought he was just setting the stage for the future, or maybe he'd get lucky and Hillary would pick him as her running mate. But everything just kept going his way, as if it were preordained.

His over-ambitious attempts to radically change America in quick, arrogant, and reckless fashion suggests he believes the hype as well. I'm still glad I voted for Obama over McCain and I hope his presidency turns out to do more good than harm for America when all is said and done, but stronger checks on his power cannot come soon enough.

With Sarah Palin, she never entered the primaries on her own, and I don't recall her doing much of anything to raise her profile in the lower 49 states before McCain plucked her out of obscurity at the last moment. She certainly hadn't already written two memoirs like Obama! And, unlike with Obama, there hadn't been a period of years where she was experiencing this massive cult of personality forming around her.

When Palin was the VP candidate, she probably did start believing the hype and that she would just magically land in the VP office. Levi Johnston says she was depressed after she lost, so she probably thought that even after she had a terrible campaign that the planets would still align on election day for her, because it was destiny.

Levi Johnston said that after Palin went through her depression she decided to cash in. So, she quit on Alaska and is now all, "It's time for me to do me!"

She wouldn't have quit the governorship if she believed the hype about herself. You don't do that if you think you'll soon be running for high national office again. She was quickly knocked back down to earth, went through depression over it, but she saw she had a segment of the population that worshipped her and she could exploit that for money.

And look how un-seriously she took her book. She rushed to get ghost-written product into the stores ASAP while her profile was still high.

tjl said...

Our politics have become so Oprah-fied that a mere competent manager could never be elected. Face it, we're doomed to have a series of cult-of-personality Presidents.
Do the Republicans have anyone other that Palin who registers on the public's radar screen? Unless another mediagenic personality emerges between now and 2012, she will be the nominee, for better or worse.

Joseph said...

I think both genuinely believe in the personality they promote and both recognize and manipulate the power of that personality for their personal ambitions. I think Obama probably more sincerely believes in himself and his story than Palin, but so do I and so do most Americans.

tjl said...

"so do I and so do most Americans"

Barely 50% in current polls.

Jason (the commenter) said...

ricpic: You can't have it both ways: you can't state baldly that "Palin is dumb," and then posit that she's cleverly exploiting her daughter of the people image.

Althouse isn't saying Palin is dumb in this manner.

The problem is that when Palin makes a mistake she doesn't admit it, she rationalizes what she did to make it look positive. If Palin were to say, "in the past I did dumb things," she would be intelligent now. But she can't do that; instead she has to make up stories which only show believable viewpoints if she is, in fact, a dumb person who doesn't learn.

Palin should be on a national apology tour, not having other people write this crap for her. And I say this as a former Palin supporter.

jag said...

Obama has messianic delusions. Palin is paranoid.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

What a clever way to sidestep the question of which one is a more serious political figure.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Palladian hits on the libertarian's dilemma: Palin is less scary by virtue of her failure as a political figure.

The paradox is that, assuming you care enough to at least want a "competent manager" in office, you might want someone competent enough to figure out how to do more with her time than spending "their day promoting a book and delivering folksy and clumsy bon-mots to fans".

In short, she or he will have to be able to do more than something Obama could just as easily do.

TMink said...

Palin. Because her cult is more accurate in their assessment of her actual values. Obama is more competent, but his cult is largely deceived.


wv= brain, I kid you not

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

What's amazing here is that, with a wave of the hand, Althouse has made her reassessment of Palinism complete. The commentariat have seen fit to swallow Their Leader's commands and now unreservedly accept Palin's mediocrity by equating her... almost but not quite... to BARACK OBAMA!

What a demonstration. What support.

Next assignment: Figure out how Obama and Palin are actually different - in terms that go beyond race, gender, political affiliates or job description.

That should be a tough one for you. Good luck.

Joel Rosenberg said...

Obama, clearly. He's developed not only an ongoing political campaign, but a governing philosophy based on his own intrinsic wonderfulness, and that hasn't apparently so much as shaken by real-world evidence that it's just not working.

miller said...

BSR, you really should change your avatar when you change your user name.

Because otherwise it's too easy to identify your BS from R.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Believing in one's own potential is different from believing that one's potential is the same as their actual record.

I'll leave it to the disgruntled Palinites to discern which view applies to whom.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

That was mean, "Miller". You didn't have to go all Katie Couric on me like that.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

I think the next Republican will need a cult for their personality that is sophisticated enough to think in terms that go beyond the alphabet, acronyms and the associated Da Vinci Code style of conspiratorial thinking that Miller's so fond of. But that might not happen.

Cardboard FLOTUS said...

Loaded question.

DaveW said...

From Wikipedia:

A cult of personality arises when a country's leader uses mass media to create an idealized and heroic public image, often through unquestioning flattery and praise.[1] Cults of personality are often found in dictatorships and Stalinist governments.

I just don't buy the premise that Palin has been hyped. Quite the opposite.

The question of who believes their BS more? Seems clear to me that would be Obama. Palin strikes me as a much more grounded person.

FWIW, though I do like Palin and appreciate what she accomplished in her life, I am not that big a Palin fan. I doubt she'll ever be a serious national candidate again. She has too many flaws and weaknesses.

But who knows, maybe she can develop the way Reagan did over the next 10 years. /shrug

peter hoh said...

If Palin continues to find ways to milk her fans for money and does no more than toy with a presidential run in 2012, then I will agree that she does not believe in the hype that surrounds her.

Jason (the commenter) said...

TMink: Obama is more competent, but his cult is largely deceived.

Does Obama even have a cult anymore?

JAL said...

Is this Barack Obama you're speaking of? Obama lost to Bobby Rush, the ex-Black Panther, and went on to run again. Has Palin learned from her mistakes?

C'mon fls -- Bobby Rush had way more street cred than BHO.

And as for losing and going on to run again ....

Palin ran for Lt. governor and lost. That was before she ran for governor and won. Which was after she helped assist some unethical political muckety mucks out of state positions; one at the state level, one on the the Oil and Gas Commission -- which she was head of, and left so she could pull the rug out from under the above mentioned muckety mucks.

I think she knows something about politics, winning, losing, etc.

JAL said...

I think Obama believes it.

And I would bet that Sarah Palin has a much more expansive sense of humor about everything - including herself.

Seneca the Younger said...

The real answer is that we haven't anything like the information we need to answer it.

Now, my guess is that Palin, with things like winking at questioners and her "Oh, Jeez, do we have to?" response to Oprah, has considerably better humor about the whole thing.

But what you and a lot of other people keep responding to is tiny quotes, often taken out of context, and passed around by people who historically haven't had any particular scruples about accuracy, down to and including flat making shit up. (See my dusty old Palin Rumors site, which I suspect I need to clean up and prepare for a new onslaught.)

William said...

If Palin wishes to escape her cult, she has only to open a newspaper or turn on the TV. There she will find the unbelievers flinging dung and putting clown masks on her graven image. Obama would have to go to the moon to escape the hype. Throughout the world, thoughtful, intelligent people are jotting down thoughtful, intelligent thoughts about what a thoughtful, intelligent man Obama is. It is unrelenting, and it is everywhere....The cult of Palin is like Christianity in the west: the excesses and contradictions are fully explicated. The cult of Obama is more like Islam in Saudi Arabia: You cannot be too excessive in your beliefs....There's a far greater likelihood that Obama is a greater believer for the simple fact that he is surrounded by far greater believers in a far greater, belief. Palin's followers believe in her authenticity not in her charisma.

Dark Eden said...

I think at one point Barack knew it was all a bunch of BS. But that time is long gone and he's really convinced of his God-King status.

Palin, on the other hand, is surrounded by negativity and people telling her she's an ignorant hick not fit to wash dishes much less be involved in politics. Her 'arrogance' or whatever seems to boil down to believing she still has a career in politics. The horrors! I don't see her really having much of a cult of personality.

Is it a cult of personality to say, 'I don't think Palin is a vapid whore who should go back to Alaska?' Really? That's all it takes?

elHombre said...

Palin believes the hype. Obama, a classic exploiter, believes in nothing beyond his ambition.

Big Mike said...

@DBQ - perfectly analyzed. Why anyone would reach a different conclusion is mystifying.

former law student said...

@DBQ - perfectly analyzed.

Except for, like, you know, including factual support for her claims.

Why anyone would reach a different conclusion is mystifying.

Someone who could back up their claims with facts, perhaps? Hopefully dbq does not practice faith-based investing, and can articulate reasons to back up her advice to her clients.

AF said...

This is like asking who believes he is a rock star -- Bono or William Hung?