Barack Obama, according to excerpts from an updated book by New York Times chief White House correspondent Peter Baker, raged against the election of Donald Trump to the presidency, took it as a “personal insult” that Hillary Clinton lost and in the end, struggled to understand why the American people had done what he considered the “unthinkable” — picked a “buffoonish showman” over a “serious and seasoned professional” for the high White House seat.
There’s that famous leftist arrogance coming through once again.
Fact is, nobody — nobody with a capital “N” — has an inherent right to be president. Nobody’s an heir apparent in American politics; this is not a monarchy — the White House is not a throne.
Clinton ran on a campaign of heir apparency. Trump? He hit the nerve of America on immigration and border security. And when Trump won, Obama nearly gagged, Baker wrote, in his “Obama: The Call Of History,” published in 2017 but updated with insights about Election Day 2016.
One excerpt: “[Clinton] was a serious and seasoned professional who had served at the highest levels of government and provided mature leadership. Just as important, she would continue his policies and cement his biggest achievements. His legacy, he felt, was in safe hands,” Baker wrote, The Daily Mail reported.
Another: “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. ‘This stings,’ he said. ‘This hurts,’” Baker wrote.
And in other excerpts, Baker describes how Obama complained Trump “peddles in bull—;” how Obama credited himself for setting the economy “up well for him;” and how Obama blamed Clinton for the loss by saying she ran “a scripted, soulless campaign.”
But what’s lacking from all this explanation and introspection and analysis and circumspection is this: Obama’s self-awareness and admissions of his own failures.
Fact is, voters were tired of Obama’s pen and cell phone approach to governing, his condemnation of all-things-American, his apology tours and “you didn’t build that” remarks and refusals to acknowledge the exceptionalism of the United States versus the other countries of the world.
Voters were tired of being force fed the line that capitalism is a losing game, that the free market is unfair and discriminatory, that racism is inherent in America’s founding, that police are pigs and Black Lives Matter more — that America with all its Judeo-Christian principles and constitutional emphasis on individual rights is no better a country or government than a third world nation run by, say, sharia law.
That there’s no such thing as radical Islamic terrorism.
America chose Trump over Clinton because America saw what Obama offered, experienced what Obama offered, and turned around and said “no more.” Trump’s White House win, much as the left hates to admit it, was a rejection of More Obama.
If those on the left weren’t so blinded by arrogance, perhaps they would see this and learn from their mistakes.
• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter, @ckchumley.
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