Trump makes Obama look truly great
In my book, Barack Obama has been a pretty good president, especially considering the obstacles placed in his way by shameless Republicans in Congress and by right-wing kooks in the underbelly of the Internet.
But Obama is downright great when you compare him to his immediate successor, Donald John Trump.
Granted, Trump has not yet taken office, but when he finally takes the oath next week, his lack of popularity will be worse than any other newly elected president in American history. Meanwhile, Obama leaves office on a wave of pretty high poll numbers — higher, it seems, than would be the case if his successor wasn’t so lacking in charm.
Obama is a far better public speaker, as he demonstrated the other night in his Farewell Address in Chicago. Trump’s oratory, on the other hand, has appealed almost exclusively to the darker side of the American spirit. He’s become a darling of bigots and a hero to people who think a blow-hard bully has all the solutions to the nation’s problems.
Yes, Trump succeeded to a certain extent in demonizing Hillary Clinton, but she still got nearly 3 million more votes than he got. Only the Electoral College, a regrettable relic of slavery days, saved The Donald’s candidacy.
But, as I say, the ultimate winner here in terms of his place in history is Barack Obama. To be succeeded by a graceless phony is a stroke of luck of sorts for the 44th president. It sets a bar for Trump that seemingly far exceeds his abilities.
This doesn’t mean that I’m hoping Trump fails as president. I’m not that unpatriotic. I’m old enough to have had lots of practice admitting when I’ve been wrong. It would be fine with me to write someday that Trump has been a good leader. But that would require changes in the man that seem far beyond his ability and character.
Meanwhile, I’ll likely have to settle for the spiteful pleasure I get from the knowledge that Barack Obama, a good president, looks even better in retrospect because he was succeeded by a man who was completely out of his element.