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Maureen Dowd Critiques: 'Thin-Skinned Obama' Doesn't Like Media Portrayal

Dowd tells ABC host George Stephanopoulos: "So, he's thin-skinned. And when you're thin-skinned, you like to control the image. And he doesn't often like the image that the media has of him."
Appearing with Good Morning America's George Stephanopoulos on Wednesday, liberal New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd derided Barack Obama as "thin-skinned" and not happy with media coverage. This prompted Stephanopoulos to admit, "And his press hasn't been nearly as bad as he thinks."

Dowd prefaced her critique by analyzing Obama's self image: "...I cut him a lot of slack here, because many presidents like JFK and W have rich daddies. And so, they have a lot of confidence. But he's had to develop a lot of shields."

Dowd continued, "So, he's thin-skinned. And when you're thin-skinned, you like to control the image. And he doesn't often like the image that the media has of him."

In regards to other problems the President has run into, she theorized, "Well, he can't connect at moments. He wants to ride to the rescue. So, he holds back too much. And he doesn't connect when he could."

As for journalists not being tough on Obama, Stephanopoulos would know. During the 2008 campaign, for instance, he declared the Democratic presidential ticket the winner in all four debates.


A partial transcript of the June 30 segment, which aired at 8:33am, follows:

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Before I let you go, speaking of President Obama, your Pulitzer Prize-winning colleague at the New York Post, Kathleen Parker, has a pretty provocative column out calling him our first female president. And I was wondering your take on it. Because, you have columns that go into a similar vein to that.

DOWD: I love Kathleen. And I would agree with her that President Obama has female management traits. Consensus, compromise, and listening to everyone. Whereas people like Hillary and Sarah Palin have traditional male traits, which is alpha, "my way or the highway." But, I don't think his main problem is a gender one. It's more of a humanoid one.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Humanoid?

DOWD: Well, he can't connect at moments. He wants to ride to the rescue. So, he holds back too much. And he doesn't connect when he could. He waits. It's more like his mother is an anthropologist. He has that anthropologist side of just waiting and looking. That's not really a male or female trait. It's a problem.

STEPHANOPOULOS: That's fascinating. And I'm sure you know that this kind of analysis drives him nuts.

DOWD: I know. He's told me many times I'm irritating. I'm so proud.

STEPHANOPOULOS: What's irritated him most about your columns?

DOWD: Oh, he doesn't- He's- he's very unlike- You know, it's funny and I cut him a lot of slack here, because many presidents like JFK and W have rich daddies. And so, they have a lot of confidence. But he's had to develop a lot of shields. He's come up, you know, basically, as Michelle says, he was raised by wolves. So, you know, he has a lot of shields. So, he's thin-skinned. And when you're thin-skinned, you like to control the image. And he doesn't often like the image that the media has of him.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And his press hasn't been nearly as bad as he thinks.

DOWD: No. But, he thinks it's been bad.

STEPHANOPOULOS: All presidents do. It comes with the territory. Maureen Dowd, thank you very much.

- Scott Whitlock is a news analyst for the Media Research Center. You can follow Times Watch on Twitter.