What greater pleasure could an emotionally-needy speechwriter know than to be pitied by the most powerful person on earth?
If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than are all men.
To his peers, he's an all-star eccentric who is pitied or clucked over protectively as often as he is envied.
early 13c., from Old French pite, pitet "pity, mercy, compassion, care, tenderness; pitiful state, wretched condition" (11c., Modern French pitié), from Latin pietatem (nominative pietas) "piety, loyalty, duty" (see piety). Replaced Old English mildheortness, literally "mild-heartness," itself a loan-translation of Latin misericordia. English pity and piety were not fully distinguished until 17c. Transferred sense of "grounds or cause for pity" is from late 14c.
"to feel pity for," late 15c., from Old French pitier and from pity (n.). Related: Pitied; pitying.