Or rather, a tired old lie repeated yet again: "Will: Without First-Person Pronouns, Obama 'Would Fall Silent'", Real Clear Politics, 5/6/2012 (reproducing part of a panel discussion on ABC's This Week).
If you struck from Barack Obama’s vocabulary the first-person singular pronoun, he would fall silent, which would be a mercy to us and a service to him, actually.
I call his assertion a lie, rather than using the technical term "bullshit", because it seems that Mr. Will is trying to convince us of something that is patently untrue, rather than just trying to puff himself up without any particular concern for whether what he says is true or false.
This is not an accidental or casual remark — George Will has been beating this particular drum since June of 2009. For a list of earlier posts on this topic, including more counting of first-person pronouns than you could possibly want to read about, see "A meme in hibernation", 3/31/2012. (Hint: In comparable kinds of material, Barack Obama's rate of using first-person-singular pronouns is low compared to the usage rates of other recent presidents.)
Adding one more source to the list, I give below the counts of first-person-singular pronouns from the presidential radio addresses on file at The American Presidency Project at UCSB (technically, everything in the "Oral: Address – Saturday Radio" category):
I recognize that when Mr. WIll says that "if you struck from Barack Obama’s vocabulary the first-person singular pronoun, he would fall silent", he's speaking hyperbolically. But the clear meaning of his hyperbole is that Barack Obama uses first-person singular pronouns excessively often; and in that context, this otherwise-meaningless comparison of rates also acquires a meaning, namely that George Will is careless with the truth.
Update — more from Fred Vultee here. And following up a question in the comments below, I'd like to suggest that you consider this quotation from George Will:
Look, self-absorption is part of the occupational hazard of politics, and it’s also part of the job description of being president. All that said, try to imagine Dwight Eisenhower talking about D-Day saying, ‘I did this. I decided this. I did this and then I did that.’ It’s inconceivable.
And then take a look at these two quotations from Dwight D. Eisenhower (in an interview with Walter Cronkite in a CBS program "D-Day Plus 20 Years", quoted in Loudon Wainwright, "D Day Reminder of the Best Ike", Life Magazine, 6/16/1964):
I thought it was just the best of a bad bargain. I possibly sat silently just reviewing these things, maybe, I'd say 35 or 45 seconds. . . . Actually, I think after 30-45 seconds of ssomething like that, I just got up and said, "Okay, we'll go," and this room was emptied in two seconds."
"Because if it did fail," he told commentator Walter Cronkite cheerfully, "I was going into oblivion anyway, so I might as well take full responsibility."
Let me repeat again the questions that I asked in an earlier post:
There are two interesting questions here, it seems to me. The first one is why George F. Will is so struck by rates of first-person usage, on the part of Barack and Michelle Obama, that are significantly lower than has been typical of recent presidents and first ladies on similar occasions. The second question is how many pundits and talking heads will follow his brainless lead this time around. […]
Now that I think of it, there's another significant question here as well. How in the world did our culture award major-pundit status to someone whose writings are as empirically and spiritually empty as those of George F. Will?
[Hat tip to David Yamanishi.]