A List of Obama's Competitive Traits, According to the New York Times

In today's New York Times, Obama family biographer Jodi Kantor writes about Obama's perfectionism and intense competitive spirit. While it's comforting to have a commander-in-chief so concerned with success, it's possible Obama takes it a little too far at times. Here are some of the more interesting factoids from Kantor's article.

  • He won't let his kids win: "'When you all have kids, it's important to let them win,' he said with a smile. 'Until they're a year old. Then start winning.'"
  • He may not have the highest regard for Jeremy Lin: "We're the Miami Heat, and (Romney's) Jeremy Lin."
  • He has opinions about how to write well: "'You have to think three or four sentences ahead,' he told one reluctant pupil."
  • And how to be an effective campaign handshaker: "...really look voters in the eye, he has instructed..."
  • He knows more than his staff: "'I think that I'm a better speechwriter than my speechwriters,' Mr. Obama told Patrick Gaspard, his political director, at the start of the 2008 campaign, according to The New Yorker. 'I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And I'll tell you right now that I'm going to think I'm a better political director than my political director.'"
  • He's not sure Romney is the best thinker: The Republican presidential nominee has "poorly thought out" comments.
  • He's good at pool and doodling: He is "'a surprisingly good pool player,' he informed an interviewer - not to mention (though he does) a doodler of unusual skill."
  • He considers himself the most interesting man in the world: "It is very rare that I come to an event where I'm like the fifth or sixth most interesting person."
  • He plays a lot of golf, and is determined to get better: "He has played golf 104 times since becoming president, according to Mark Knoller of CBS News, who monitors his outings, and he asks superior players for tips that have helped lower his scores."
  • He doesn't mess around when playing card games: "'You're not playing, you're just gambling,' he once told Arun Chaudhary, his former videographer."
  • After his embarrassing outing during the 2008 campiagn, he stepped up his bowling game: "The president, it turned out, had been practicing in the White House alley."
  • He thinks he's delivered the best ever reading of "Green Eggs and Ham:" "In 2010, he began by announcing that he would perform 'the best rendition ever' of "Green Eggs and Ham," ripping into his Sam-I-Ams with unusual conviction."
  • Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are still better at finding tax loopholes and running sub-three hour marathons, though.

    [Image via AP]