There is a familiar refrain from the White House staff: “He’s running late.”
Whereas President George W. Bush despised being late and was punctual to a fault, Obama is routinely late to events and news conferences. His tardiness was noted by FoxNews’ Stephen Clark barely two weeks into the presidency.
But Obama’s bad habit did not begin when he became president. He was habitually late to events on the presidential campaign trail and to meetings as a U.S. senator, as you can see in this video:
Presidential historian Doug Wead, who advised both Bush presidents said: “To me, being tardy, it’s got to be one of two things. Bad organization that can be corrected, or it’s arrogance. It sounds to me like this is arrogance.”
Psychologist Pauline Wallin, Ph.D., author of Taming Your Inner Brat: A Guide for Transforming Self-defeating Behavior, maintains that chronic lateness is not a genetic condition, even though some people treat it as such. Latecomers have trouble not with time, but with self-discipline. They may also have underlying anxiety about the task they’re faced with.
Dr. Wallin says if you have problems with being punctual, especially for things that are a bit threatening, such as doctor’s appointments, new social situations, or meeting with people you don’t like, then your lateness is anxiety-based. Putting off the inevitable is how your mind tries to cope with anxiety.
But if you are habitually late for routine business and for events that don’t cause you much discomfort, which is Obama’s situation, then the problem is mainly with self-discipline and your “inner brat,” the part of you that balks at being told what to do. Being late thus is a way to act out one’s rebelliousness — thumbing one’s nose at others.
Like Obama’s inappropriate meandering 17-minute non-response to a woman’s question about taxes, and his inappropriate affect — laughing throughout his “60 Minutes” interview in March 2009 with Steve Kroft on the economic recession and Americans losing their life savings, which prompted Kroft to ask “Are you punch drunk?” — the Punk’s chronic tardiness is a sign that something is askew with this increasingly disturbing and disturbed man.
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