With Obama, Introspection Makes a Comeback

President-elect is pragmatic, but his thinking is mysterious
By Gabriel Winant,  Newser User
Posted Jan 14, 2009 11:38 AM CST
President-elect Barack Obama speaks to reporters during his meeting with Mexico's President Felipe Calderon, not pictured, in Washington on Monday.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Looking at President Bush gets John Dickerson wondering, in Slate, if anything complex is going on behind the simple facade (Answer: Probably not). President-elect Obama prompts a different question: “How much of his true thinking is he actually sharing with us?” Obama, unlike Bush, is deeply self-reflective, and seems to constantly be creating and crafting himself: “Pragmatic is becoming the word of his presidency.”

If Obama’s political style comes from his introspective, memoirist personality, “Since he recognizes the personal roots of his own style of he, he may be more likely to see others’ motivations as well.” On the other hand, Obama risks being sphinx-like to outsiders, Dickerson notes: “The danger for politicians who practice excessive pragmatism is that it’s hard to know where they stand.”