Barack Obama, 44th and first African President of the United States. A super interesting personality type to dive into, partly because of his eloquent delivery and hand gestures while speaking, but mostly because there’s been a split consensus to what his type really is. Even after his term(s) as President, he is still remains quite relevant and active in politics, culture and social media all around.
There was a time when Barack Obama was under scrutiny over whether he is in fact a U.S. citizen, conspiracy theories and speculation hovered for quite some time. Whether he was born in Kenya or Indonesia is no longer a subject of debate now, it seems we all agree now Obama was born in Hawaii based on Wikipedia and FactCheck.org.
But that doesn’t matter now, what’s done is done and Obama is now an American if not Worldwide icon. Why am I digging into his past you ask? Well, history tells a story and it definitely helps in assessing one’s personality type. There is much we can gather still though – Obama was actively involved in lecturing, organizing communities which would pave the way for becoming Illinois State Senator before he was elected as President.
Now for the split in consensus from the personality typing community – ENTP vs. ENFJ. Sounds like quite a stretch right? On one hand, we have the ENTP who is lead by dominant Extraverted Intuition and then we have the ENFJ, who is led by by Extraverted Feeling. When were at a toss up like this, we resort to the supporting functions that follow the dominating function for each function stack.
Both ENTP and ENTJ can be flexible, adaptive even intellectually quick witted. I’ve read comments on several forums discounting Ti in ENFJ, Ti (Introverted Thinking) being the inferior function for ENFJ. For ENTP, its inferior function is Introverted Sensing, Si. I disagree with this Ti weakness in ENFJ and we shouldn’t take the inferior function so literally. I think you know where I’m leaning toward.
Obama is an ENFJ, not an ENTP. Yeah, ENFJ – Fe, Ni, Se, Ti. And not an ENTP – Ne, Ti, Fe, Si. I had to lay each function stack down for reference, after all were dissecting a pretty heavy personality type here in Barack Obama.
At first hearing Obama for the first time, I immediately thought he was an ENTP, but these are scheduled speeches not impromptu’s. ENFJ’s routinely mold their speeches as they see fit (Ni) when allowed sufficient time. When ENFJ’s are caught off guard however, they actually know how to have with it. (child Se).
It is dominant Extraverted Feeling (Fe) that we see, not Extraverted Intuition (Ne), when Obama is delivering his speeches. Not the ability to navigate possibilities at real time (ENTP), but the ability to cater to the masses for that moment (Se).
I’ve also read on various personality typing communities that Obama is a behind the scenes ENTP but in public, and ENFJ. I can see this argument, both function stacks contain Ti, Introverted Thinking. Depending on where it sits does matter, but in some rare cases – Ti can mask itself through it’s dominant function. In this case for the ENFJ, it’s Extraverted Feeling followed by Ni, Introverted Intuition narrows things down, gives an aura of closure and confidence. Barack Obama is skilled at delivering and aggregating meaning for the masses while still using Ti to logically construct speech.
Not to shoot down ENTP’s or their inability to maintain (Inferior Si), but ENFJ’s are devoted to their families. They are devoted to community and have a knack for not leaving anyone out, quite fitting for a Democrat.
Extraverted Sensing, now I haven’t forgotten about this one. Se, a child function in Obama’s function stack – it seeks to highlight the here and now. Extraverted sensing creates for itself an eternal prestige, for a lack of a better phrase. This is why Obama does so well in delivering his speeches – he uses his functions in a balanced way.
Barack Obama Famous Quotes
“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”
“The future rewards those who press on. I don’t have time to feel sorry for myself. I don’t have time to complain. I’m going to press on.”
“If you’re walking down the right path and you’re willing to keep walking, eventually you’ll make progress.”