Former President Barack Obama viewed President Donald Trump’s election in November 2016 as a “personal insult” to his legacy, according to updated excerpts from a book by New York Times chief White House correspondent Peter Baker.
The updates in Baker’s book, “Obama: The Call of History,” detail the sometimes schizophrenic response to Trump’s victory as the former president oscillated between philosophical reactions and others emitting pure anger.
Writing that Obama was “shocked” by the results, Baker informs says he took the loss particularly hard.
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“Obama may not have been on the ballot, but it was hard not to see the vote as a ‘personal insult,’ as he had called it on the campaign trail,” Baker writes. “‘This stings,’ [Obama] said. ‘This hurts.'”
.@BarackObama found himself shocked by the election results, thinking before Nov. 8 there was “no way Americans would turn on him” and “[h]is legacy, he felt, was in safe hands.”
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) May 3, 2019
Obama’s reaction also involved insulting Americans who supported Trump, alleging there was “no way” they “would turn on him.”
As Baker presents it, Obama thought the American people “simply could not have decided to replace him [Obama] with a buffoonish showman whose calling cards had been repeated bankruptcies, serial marriages and racist dog whistles.”
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He also agreed with aides that Trump was like a character right out of “Huckleberry Finn” who “peddles in bulls***.”
Personal insult. Trump’s election was of course a rebuke of the failed eight-year experiment that was the Obama administration. The 2016 presidential election itself was widely seen as a referendum on a perceived third term for Obama, as Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton would have continued his policies. Obama should take it as a personal insult.
But did Barack Obama ignore the myriad of personal insults leading up to the 2016 election?
Obama frequently reminded voters that while he wasn’t on the ballot in 2010, 2014, and 2016, his policies were. The American electorate responded by delivering historic losses for the Democrat Party at every level of government.
Those, too, were personal insults.
He blames Hillary. The former president, while alleging that the election results were a personal insult, would not take personal responsibility for what happened, however. He blamed Hillary Clinton for not being able to capitalize on his perceived excellence.
Baker writes that Obama told family members that Hillary Clinton “brought many of her troubles on herself” and ran a “scripted, soulless campaign.”
One has to have a soul, in our opinion, in order to interject it into a campaign — and in that regard, Hillary was and is sorely lacking.
For her part, Hillary Clinton seemed to agree that it was her fault, as previous reports indicate she had to apologize to Obama for losing the election.
“I’m sorry for letting you down,” she said to Obama in an election night phone call.
Maybe she did; maybe she didn’t. A good chunk of Trump supporters voted against the Obama/Clinton platform.
As a Vanity Fair column reported earlier this year, “More and more voices seem to be saying, either obliquely or bluntly, that Obama was a bad president.”
This piece originally appeared in The Political Insider and is used by permission.
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