On June 22, 2015 Juli Hirschfeld Davis authored an article in the New York Times under the title “Obama Lowers His Guard in Unusual Displays of Emotion.”
“His eyes well up without warning in private, thinking about his teenage daughters growing up. He choked back tears in public recently while delivering the eulogy for Beau Biden, the son of Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., who died at 46.”
“My takeaway was, ‘Wow — where’s this guy been?’” said Kent Conrad, a former Democratic senator from North Dakota. “I turned to my wife and said, ‘My God, if he’d shown those kinds of feelings, and that kind of connection to others, I think he would have had a different experience as president,’ ” Mr. Conrad said. “If he could let himself show that, he would do much better with the American people, and much better with Congress.”
Days earlier, Mr. Obama had begun a health care speech with an uncommonly intimate greeting for Sister Carol Keehan, the chief executive of the Catholic Health Association of the United States and a political ally.
But even Mr. Obama has admitted that he has been blindsided recently by fits of sadness, many of them prompted by the thought of his daughters growing up. “I start tearing up in the middle of the day and I can’t explain it,” Mr. Obama told attendees at an Easter prayer breakfast in April. “Why am I so sad? They’re leaving me.”
He wiped away tears in February as he bade farewell to Eric H. Holder Jr., a confidant who served for six years as his attorney general. People close to the president say he is often unfairly tagged as apathetic simply because he does not carry on publicly about his feelings.
“This is, in many ways, a private man — he is not somebody who wears his emotions on his sleeve,” Mr. Connolly said of Mr. Obama. “That doesn’t mean he doesn’t have emotions.”
Germans don’t wear their emotions on their sleeves, either.