Great presidents don’t think they’re ‘smartest guy in the room,’ ex-defense chief Gates says

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates gave about the most damning assessment of the Obama presidency he could have Sunday handling what sounded at first like a softball question from “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd.

What question, Todd asked, did Gates think would be the most important that could be asked of a potential president.

Gates never mentioned President Obama in his response, but it was clear who he was talking about. And it wasn’t a compliment.

“I think if you look at our greatest presidents,” he said, “Washington, Lincoln, both Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, Reagan, they were people who had a first class temperament, and so they never considered themselves the smartest guy in the room, but they wanted the smartest people around them and they could take their advice, shape it on their own instincts and own views.”

If there’s an American left who’s unaware that the current president thinks he’s not only the smartest guy in the room, but pretty much every other room, here’s a gentle reminder.

“I think that I’m a better speechwriter than my speechwriters. I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And I’ll tell you right now that I’m gonna think I’m a better political director than my political director.”

That was President Obama talking White House Political Director Patrick Gaspard back in 2009.

For the record, he also knows more about being pope than Francis, more about being an NFL coach than Bill Bellichick, and more about being first lady than … you know who.

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