Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The introvert in chief

One of the most fascinating things about President Obama is that he is an introvert rather than an extrovert.  The main criticisms of Obama, especially from Democrats, is that he is not like Clinton or LBJ, i.e. he is not a people person.  He is not good at reaching out, persuading, twisting arms, making alliances, gathering people and resources around him, giving and getting favors that he can use to promote policy agendas.  In short, he is not a normal politician.  

I can understand that, because I am much the same way.  I am a salesman who is not a normal salesman.  I am not really a people person.  I am not an extrovert.  But I am a good salesman even though I am not the way many salesmen are.  So, I am happy enough with the job that Obama is doing, even though he is an introvert rather than an extrovert.  Who says you have to be an extrovert to be a president?  I think there are many leaders who are basically introverted.  I think introverted people are more likely to be more thoughtful, cautious, calculating, strategic, evaluating people.  And I think they can be very effective indeed.

Gay conservative, Andrew Sullivan, makes the same observation.  Indeed, he says one of the reasons he likes Obama is because he is also an introvert who  has good communication skills and can identify with him because of that.  Me too.