The press loves to psychoanalyze the president, but no one does it better than the president himself. Rereading Obama's 1995 memoir, Dreams from My Father, Walter Shapiro notes that the then-lawyer foresaw many of the problems he now faces as president. Obama wrote about over-intellectualizing his decisions, and having difficulty dealing with people who seemed unwilling to compromise. He praises his stepfather Lolo as the embodiment of "practical people who knew life was too hard to judge each other's choices, too messy to live according to abstract ideals." But despite the continuous thread of pragmatism in the memoir, Obama also writes little notes to himself about the way the world works: success depends heavily on "the role of luck in the world," and that people who can't be strong on their own should "make peace with someone who is strong." The best explanations of Obama's presidential style, Shapiro writes, have already been written.
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