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>> In the final days of the 2012 campaign, it looks like the Obama campaign has decided to peel away the veneer of “likeability” that his strategists had once considered an advantage over Mitt Romney. Under pressure from an apparent Romney surge, someone – perhaps even Obama himself – has decided to let Obama be Obama. But, considering the strong narcissistic streak that many observers have noted in Obama’s character, that decision could prove to be one of the more colossal tactical blunders in recent political history.

A candidate’s personality – often described generally as likeability – can greatly affect the way in which his or her policies are perceived.
But now, four years later, the tidal wave of enthusiasm has receded and the results of Obama’s economic and foreign policies lay revealed in the wake. We are left looking at Obama the man, without the distraction of all the messianic trappings. And it is hard to put a positive spin on the arrogance, snide condescension, and intolerance for disagreement that have become increasingly apparent in Obama’s style as the pressure of the campaign mounts.

Confidence is an essential characteristic in effective leadership. Taken to the extreme, however, it takes on an air of arrogance and begins to look more like compensation than true confidence. The distinction between confidence and arrogance can be difficult to describe, but it is easily detectable by most voters.
It is difficult for people in powerful positions to manage others effectively if they cannot first manage their own egos. The pressure of the job, the approval from some and the disapproval from others, and the constant personal exposure all put intense emotional strain on even the most balanced of egos. Reasonable confidence is a plus in those moments, but an exaggerated sense of one’s importance can lead to blaming, distortion, and outright lying to protect that image. <<

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