In an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that aired Sunday, President Obama said that while he wouldn’t necessarily call Donald Trump a friend, he was getting along with him in their talks since the election.
“You know, I’ve enjoyed the conversations that we’ve had,” Obama said.
Obama said that he and Trump were “sort of opposite in some ways.” While Obama considered himself a “policy wonk,” Trump didn’t appear to “sweat the details of being president.” But he said they did share one trait: confidence.
“It’s probably a prerequisite for the job, or at least you have to have enough craziness to think that you can do the job,” Obama said.
But Obama managed to take some of his famous backhanded shots at his successor before the interview was through. At one point, he suggested that Trump could be coming into the White House unprepared for the magnitude of the job.
“If you don’t have good people, and you don’t have a good process, and you don’t have, at some level, the basic reverence for this office, and an understanding of the incredible responsibilities and obligations, then I think you can get into trouble,” he said.
Is that what Obama has been demonstrating over the last eight years – a “reverence” for the presidency? If that’s what reverence looks like, then we should be thankful that Trump doesn’t have it.
Or maybe Trump understands that true reverence for the presidency is not about how smoothly you can read off a teleprompter or how many foreign leaders you can apologize to. It’s about making decisions that benefit Americans. It’s about being proud of your country, not ashamed. It’s about respecting the constitutional boundaries of the office. If we measure reverence with these scales, Obama comes up rather short.
The president took another shot at Trump, telling Stephanopoulos that sitting in the Oval Office wasn’t like presiding over a real estate empire.
“You can’t manage it the way you would manage a family business,” Obama said. “You have to have a strong team around you. You have to respect for institutions and the process to make good decisions because you are inherently reliant on other folks.”
First of all, what the hell would Obama know about running a business? Secondly, we could use a president willing to roll up his sleeves and do some work. No, Trump can’t micromanage the federal government, but maybe he’ll actually pay attention to what’s happening in his own administration. Something Obama rarely bothered to do.
Ah well, less than two weeks to go. Let him say whatever he wants.