It’s been really crazy here for me these past few weeks. There’s a lot of campaigning in my life recently. In addition to the national election, to the local elections…they’ve been keeping me pretty busy. All that said, I have been wanting to write an article on what I think is the most significant about Senator Obama – his intellect, his comprehension of the human spirit. But I found this written by David Brooks and I thought he said it better.
I thought you would like to read it.
“Brooks also spent time praising Obama’s intellect and skills in social perception, telling two stories of his interactions with Obama that left him “dazzled”:
Obama has the great intellect. I was interviewing Obama a couple years ago, and I’m getting nowhere with the interview, it’s late in the night, he’s on the phone, walking off the Senate floor, he’s cranky. Out of the blue I say, ‘Ever read a guy named Reinhold Niebuhr?’ And he says, ‘Yeah.’ So i say, ‘What did Niebuhr mean to you?’ For the next 20 minutes, he gave me a perfect description of Reinhold Niebuhr’s thought, which is a very subtle thought process based on the idea that you have to use power while it corrupts you. And I was dazzled, I felt the tingle up my knee as Chris Matthews would say.
And the other thing that does separate Obama from just a pure intellectual: he has tremendous powers of social perception. And this is why he’s a politician, not an academic. A couple of years ago, I was writing columns attacking the Republican congress for spending too much money. And I throw in a few sentences attacking the Democrats to make myself feel better. And one morning I get an email from Obama saying, ‘David, if you wanna attack us, fine, but you’re only throwing in those sentences to make yourself feel better.’ And it was a perfect description of what was going through my mind. And everybody who knows Obama all have these stories to tell about his capacity for social perception.