Saturday, July 04, 2009

Politicians and Narcissism

Michelle Goldberg, writing over at The Daily Beast originally titled this Is She A Narcissist, and then after Palin's strange resignation updated the piece and changed the title: Palin Has Really Gone Rogue.
Politics has always attracted the deeply screwed up, but our current political system seems to do so more than most. Perhaps that’s because healthy people looking to make their mark on the world don’t want to subject themselves to the inquisitorial media attention or crushing vapidity of modern campaigning. The gloriously sane Barack Obama is the exception that proves the rule—watch people wonder at his unfeigned affection for his family, the fact that he doesn’t seem desperate for praise. Success in our politics often requires a voracious, antinomian egotism, a sense that rules are for others.
Obama is no exception to that egotism, but he is more normal and smarter than most politicians. People with his talents rarely go into public service.

Here's the interesting take:
The Alaska governor shares the personality flaws of many of her male peers, but there’s no evidence she express them via the preferred method of politicians like John Edwards or Mark Sanford—by being sexually reckless....Palin may have gone rogue on John McCain, had public feuds with her grandson’s teenage father, turned on loyal aids, flubbed interviews, spent tens of thousands of other people’s money on clothes, told countless lies and now walked away from her responsibilities, but as far as we know she hasn’t cheated on her husband. If congenital narcissists dominate our politics, Palin may still be just the narcissist the GOP needs.

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