‘It creates a lot of noise and clouds your judgment…’
Now, after having been outdone by current President Donald Trump, the Democrat diva is trying desperately to shake the label—and claim Twitter is un-presidential, along with other pop-culture touchstones he once embraced.
While speaking at a conference in San Francisco, Obama offered some pedantic, unsolicited advice to Trump (without directly naming him) on presidential decision-making,” CNBC reported.
“Make sure you have a team with a diversity of opinion sitting around you,” he said. “The other thing that’s helpful is not watching TV or reading social media. … It creates a lot of noise and clouds your judgment.”
Ironically, Obama was often considered to be one of the more indecisive presidents in recent memory, with his hesitancy on foreign policy widely panned at times as a sign of weakness to U.S. adversaries.
Even his supporters acknowledged that he was prone oftentimes to pensive inaction—though euphemistically labeling him with words like “erudite.”
One thing Obama did love: Being doted upon by his legions of admirers and, in turn, incorporating social media as a way to take his message directly to the people—even with the large majority of the mainstream media following lockstep with him like a trail of baby ducklings.
“The biggest lesson that we’ve learned is that the bully pulpit is dead,” then-White House Communications Director Jen Psaki said in January 2017, looking back wistfully in the waning days of the Obama Administration.
“So we have a responsibility as a government and as his staff to come up with a range of ways and levers to communicate information,” Psaki said.
Now, however, publications like the left-wing Independent are insisting he really didn’t use it all that much.
“While Mr Obama was the first sitting president to make use of social media, he did so sparingly,” the British-based paper wrote, while covering his recent remarks. “By contrast, Mr Trump, who has 64.5m Twitter followers, uses it as a way to communicate directly with his supporters.”
It was an Obama staffer, deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes (brother of the then CBS News president) who popularized the term “echo chamber” and admitted to exploiting leftist groupthink to misleadingly sell a controversial Iran agreement to the media.
But Obama himself declared that he put a premium on surrounding himself with an array of different viewpoints to foster healthy discussion and debate over policies.
“What it does mean is that if you are susceptible to worrying about what are the polls saying or what might this person say about this topic—or you start mistaking the intensity of the passion of a very small subset of people with a broader sense about your country or people who know something about the topic—that will sway your decision-making in an unhealthy way,” he told the San Francisco audience.
Obama should know. His refusal to acknowledge dissent on the Affordable Care Act resulted in the largest red-wave midterm in modern history.
When later faced with congressional majorities that opposed his agenda, Obama turned instead to his autopen-and-phone doctrine of issuing executive orders, including open-door immigration policies that paved the way for the ongoing border crisis.
That, in turn, became a central them in his successor’s 2016 campaign.
The latest revisionism is not the first time he has tried to selectively curate his legacy. Obama has previously claimed—to much derision—that he presided over a “scandal free” administration and that he was responsible for the economic boom of the Trump years following eight years of stagnation.
“That was me, people,” he told a Rice University audience last November.
The man whose 2012 campaign slogan was “You didn’t build that” continued to chide the audience:
“Have you checked where your stocks were when I came into office and where they are now?” he said. “What are you complaining about? Just say thank you, please.”