When we first heard Obama’s “I am not a dictator,” as we noted Friday, it reminded us of Nixon’s “I am not a crook.” But on further reflection, Clinton’s “I did not have sexual relations with that woman” is a more apt comparison. Of course Obama is not attempting to cover up wrongful behavior, but he did answer Yellin’s question in a weirdly literal way that was both a deflection and a revelation.
It’s true, of course, that Obama isn’t a dictator. He also seems to point that out a lot, as National Review’s Andrew Stiles observes. Last month, for example, he noted that “I’m the president of the United States, I’m not the emperor of the United States” and called this a “problem” that he has “struggled with throughout my presidency.”
It seems Obama wishes he had dictatorial powers. He probably enjoyed that little fantasy of having the Secret Service take his adversaries prisoner. In itself, that’s no big deal: We wouldn’t be surprised if other presidents occasionally entertain similar flights of fancy.