A former aide to President Barack Obama is rushing to apologize for her candid analysis of Obama’s interpersonal skills after The Drudge Report spotted and promoted those remarks to the site’s vast audience.
“The truth is, Obama doesn’t call anyone, and he’s not close to almost anyone. It’s stunning that he’s in politics, because he really doesn’t like people,” said Neera Tanden — now president of the powerful Center for American Progress — in an interview with New York Magazine. “My analogy is that it’s like becoming Bill Gates without liking computers.”
The description is a jarring diversion for the Obama campaign whose candidate will seek to establish believable political empathy in tonight’s town-hall format presidential debate.
After the quote went viral, Tanden tweeted out her regret for the way she expressed the thought.
I was trying to say how President Obama, who I admire greatly, is a private person, but I deeply regret how I said it. I apologize.
— Neera Tanden (@neeratanden) October 16, 2012
Tanden did not elaborate on whether the follow up was induced by any member of the Obama campaign.