Pop Culture

What MBTI Type is Barack Obama?

Barack Obama


Today’s Typing Tuesdays post focuses on the current President of the United States: Barack Obama. Part of the challenge in understanding Obama (or any public figure) is peeling away his politically-fabricated persona and presidential image. Below are some bits to help you see him behind the curtain.

“I realized that who I was, what I cared about, was no longer just a matter of intellect or obligation, no longer a construct of words. I saw that my life in America — the black life, the white life, the sense of abandonment I’d felt as a boy, the frustration and hope I’d witnessed in Chicago — all of it was connected with this small plot of earth an ocean away, connected by more than the accident of a name or the color of my skin. The pain I felt was my father’s pain. My questions were my brothers’ questions. Their struggle, my birthright.”

-Barack Obama, Dreams from My Father

An interview with Barack Obama before he was president.

Sixteen years later, watch a part of an interview with Jon Stewart, aired July 21, 2015 . (hint: the link starts at 7:11. If you’re short on time,  jump to 13:00 and 15:38)

Just for fun, check out what Obama is grooving to this summer: https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2015/08/14/white-house-just-joined-spotify-listen-presidents-summer-playlist

Post a comment below to share your thoughts on Obama’s MBTI personality type (and add additional links).

Click to see the answer

Barack Obama- Giant Panda (INFJ)

Dreams from My Father

“Information-what city, please?”
“Uh…I’m not sure. I was hoping you could tell me. The name’s Obama. Where do I belong?”

Perhaps the best way to analyze Obama is through his writing. In Dreams from My Father, Obama’s style is filled with metaphor. The book is a search for his identity. When talking about his high school self,

I was different, after all, potentially suspect; I had no idea who my own self was.

More than any other type, the idealist’s quest is for self-knowledge. Obama’s early arc is about finding himself, thus revealing his NF personality.

…If the talk began to wander, or cross the border into familiarity, I would soon find reason to excuse myself. I had grown too comfortable in my solitude, the safest place I knew.

In the earlier parts of his life, young Obama is shy, solitary, and uncertain. All traits suggestive of an inexperienced INFJ.

Like most first-time authors, I was filled with hope and despair upon the book’s publication-hope that the book might succeed beyond my youthful dreams, despair that I had failed to say anything worth saying. (Preface to the 20014 Edition)

This combination of ambitious optimism and fear of self-worth is also characteristic of the INFJ.

The earth shook under my feet, ready to crack open at any moment. I stopped, trying to steady myself, and knew for the first time that I was utterly alone.

INFJs desperately seek to fit into society while remaining true to themselves. I think most idealists have a point of complete isolation, like Obama did, when they realize how different they are; however, it is Obama’s actions later in life that go beyond his personality and reveal his true character.

Joe Green Interview (Young Obama)

What is interesting in this interview is Obama’s emphasis as a community organizer. The approach he has to bringing people together, suggests ENFJ or INFJ.

There are a number of stages and steps we have to take.

The thinking expressed here highlight’s Obama’s strategic planning with a diplomatic slant.

…have to embrace a notion that academic excellence is important..

INFJs are perhaps the most academic of the four NF temperaments. Obama’s reinforcement of academics as a priority, provides more evidence of his INFJness.

Daily Show Interview (Old Obama)

In this interview, Obama is passionate: not calm, cool, and collected.

We move the ball forward

Systematic improvement: emphasizes progress, through a cautious, pragmatic perspective.

“The question is-”
“Whose fault is it?”
“No, NO NO…how do we set the right benchmarks so we know we’re making progress.”

Obama is a forward looking thinker. Like other NFs, he is not worried about the past (assigning blame), but in what is possible for the future.

How do we work together to get things done.

Obama is focused on teamwork. In describing his negotiations for the Iran deal, one of his considerations is the international coalition, and keeping them together.

Here’s what I fight against, the cynicism that is fed by the notion that government doesn’t get stuff done.

While an ENFP or INFP would more likely try to destroy the system or revolt against it, Obama works within believes in the system to solve the problems of society.

Stuff gets better if we work at it and we stay focused on where we’re going.

obama hope

Teamwork. Dedication. Hope. INFJ.

1 Comment

  • I don’t think he wants what he’s saying to fly by people’s heads. He does Seem intuitive. To me at least.

Leave a Comment