You Wanna Watch Obama Read Trump For Filth? Sure You Do.
Barack Obama, at a campaign rally in Miami, Florida, Saturday, carved up Donald Trump like a Halloween pumpkin. The former president has held back from directly confronting the COVID-spreader-in-chief, but the gloves have been off since his Democratic National Convention speech, which reduced Trump to live-tweeting in an oh-so-stable-genius ALL-CAPS: “HE SPIED ON MY CAMPAIGN, AND GOT CAUGHT!" (Obama did no such thing).
Obama has far more chill than Trump, which should surprise no one. Trump bullies and insults while Obama is a master of deadpan.
OBAMA: Now, I've sat in the Oval Office with both of the men who are running for president. They're very different people.
This is already shaping up like a John Mulaney routine. Obama reprises a theme from his DNC speech: He never expected Trump to share his vision or continue his policies, but he hoped Trump would at least take the job seriously. Trump never did, because while he's a serious threat, he's not a serious person.
OBAMA: He hasn't shown any interest in doing the work or helping anybody except himself and his friends or treating the presidency like a reality show to give himself more attention. And as we noted the other day, his TV ratings are down.
We've all had to live with the consequences of Trump's failures, which Obama helpfully laid out for the audience: More than 220,000 Americans dead and 100,000 small businesses closed. Florida alone has lost half a million jobs. Obama twisted the knife when he reminded everyone Trump was visiting the state that day for another one of his COVID-denial rallies.
OBAMA: You think he's hard at work, coming up with a plan to get us out of this mess?
Don't be ridiculous. And it's such an important point. Trump absurdly declared in 2016 that he alone could “fix" America's problems, but he blinked when faced with a global pandemic. White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows admitted to Jake Tapper Sunday that Trump has given up on trying to contain the virus, because it's like “contagious" and shit. Obama was always “Yes, we can," but Trump is entirely “No, we can't."
OBAMA: During the [final presidential] debate, Trump was asked, " What is your plan for the new phase of COVID?" Which is a pretty good question, considering that we just saw the highest number of cases spike up yesterday. So you would think he'd be ready for a response. Instead, he just said it wasn't his fault and he didn't have one. He said, "It's now gone in a bunch of states," just as states are reaching new record highs nationwide. He doesn't have a plan. He doesn't even acknowledge the reality of what's taking place all across the country.
Obama wasn't done dragging President Klan Robe. Before Trump ran away from his "60 Minutes" interview with his tail between his legs, Lesley Stahl asked him what his priorities were for a second term.
OBAMA: Let me say, I've run for president, Miami, so I just want you to know it's a good idea to have an answer to this question.
Not only didn't Trump have an answer for this most basic GED question, he stormed out of the interview. Did he think this made him look tough? Did he believe future generations would sing folk songs about President Run Away?
I never agreed with the expression, “Donald Trump is a poor person's idea of a rich person." It's insulting to every poor person who possesses far more class and decency than Trump. However, I do think Trump is a coward's idea of strong person. Obama hammered that point throughout his speech: "[Trump] likes to act tough and talk tough. He thinks scowling and being mean is tough, and being rude is tough."
But when challenged, Trump runs away. He's run from Nancy Pelosi. He's run from Lesley Stahl. And he's cut and run from a public health crisis that's killing Americans while he fiddles away at his hate rallies.
Obama said if a president can't answer "What would you like to do in your second term?" then we should make damn sure he doesn't get a second term. We have eight more days to finish the job.
But first, do yourself a favor and watch President Barack Obama bring the ruckus.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."