Neera Tandem, President of the Center for American Progress (a liberal think tank) and a former aide to President Barack Obama, is getting a lot of attention after saying that President Obama dislikes people:
“People say the reason Obama wouldn’t call Clinton is because he doesn’t like him,” Tanden said. “The truth is, Obama doesn’t call anyone, and he’s not close to almost anyone. It’s stunning that he’s in politics, because he really doesn’t like people. My analogy is that it’s like becoming Bill Gates without liking computers.”
It’s not the first time someone has said something like this about Obama. Here’s Scott Wilson in the Washington Post one year ago:
Beyond the economy, the wars and the polls, President Obama has a problem: people.
This president endures with little joy the small talk and back-slapping of retail politics, rarely spends more than a few minutes on a rope line, refuses to coddle even his biggest donors. His relationship with Democrats on Capitol Hill is frosty, to be generous. Personal lobbying on behalf of legislation? He prefers to leave that to Vice President Biden, an old-school political charmer.
Obama’s circle of close advisers is as small as the cluster of personal friends that predates his presidency. There is no entourage, no Friends of Barack to explain or defend a politician who has confounded many supporters with his cool personality and penchant for compromise.
Obama is, in short, a political loner who prefers policy over the people who make politics in this country work.
Tanden has issued a cringe-inducing apology for her candid remarks:
I was trying to say how President Obama, who I admire greatly, is a private person, but I deeply regret how I said it. I apologize.
— Neera Tanden (@neeratanden) October 16, 2012
A few Twitter users recalled the “hostage video” made earlier this year by Newark mayor Cory Booker:
— Michael C. Short (@michaelcshort) October 16, 2012
— Derek Hunter (@derekahunter) October 16, 2012
But all will be forgiven and forgotten.
Or maybe not: