Book: Barack Obama Saw Trump’s Victory as a 'Personal Insult'
According to a revised edition of the book Obama: The Call of History by New York Times chief White House correspondent Peter Baker, Obama was absolutely furious about Trump’s victory, according to exclusive excerpts published by The Daily Mail.
Barack Obama admitted 'this stings' after the 2016 election result and spent the night watching the movie Dr Strange to try and distract himself, a new book claims.
The former president went from being confident that Hillary Clinton would beat Donald Trump to seeing it as a 'personal insult' that she lost.
I’m glad Obama saw Trump’s victory as a personal insult… because it was. As I explain in my forthcoming book, Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama's Legacy, I was a Trump skeptic for most of the 2016 campaign, but when it was clear Obama’s FBI wasn’t going to hold Hillary Clinton accountable for her criminal actions, I was essentially pushed onto the Trump Train. I wasn’t a Trump fan at the time, but he’s earned my support for his effective dismantling of Barack Obama’s damaging legacy—which is exactly what Obama was afraid of.
Obama arrogantly thought there was 'no way Americans would turn on him' even though Clinton was far from perfect.
Baker writes: 'She 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'.
Given that Obama had no formal role in the election he went to the White House movie theater with his wife Michelle and adviser Valerie Jarrett where they watched Dr Strange, the superhero movie starring Benedict Cumberbatch.
Obama may not have had a formal role in the election, but he campaigned with her, used his Department of Justice to spy on Trump, set him up on bogus Russian collusion allegations, and protected Hillary Clinton from being held accountable for mishandling classified information. Yet, after all that, Donald Trump emerged victoriously.
Baker writes: 'While Clinton had lost, so had he. The country that had twice elected Barack Hussein Obama as its president had now chosen as his successor a man who had questioned the very circumstances of his birth.
'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'.
Obama tried to keep his cool in the weeks afterwards and texted his speechwriter Ben Rhodes: 'There are more stars in the sky than sand on the earth'.
But soon he was unable to contain his rage which escalated after he met Trump in the Oval Office.
Baker writes that despite being cordial in public he afterwards summoned Rhodes who told him that Trump 'peddles in b*******'
But here’s the funniest part:
As the weeks went by Obama went through 'multiple emotional stages', at times being philosophical and other times he 'flashed anger'.
He also showed a rare self-doubt and wondered if 'maybe this is what people want', Baker writes.
Obama told one aide: 'I've got the economy set up well for him. No facts. No consequences. They can just have a cartoon'.
Obama “got the economy set up well” for Trump? Apparently, Obama didn’t lose his sense of humor. Or maybe he was just too oblivious to just how bad his presidency was for the middle class. If he was aware of that, it would have been easy for him to understand why the American people turned on him. He is responsible for Obamacare, which gave us higher premiums, higher deductibles, and less coverage. His economic policies stunted the post-Great Recession recovery, resulting in the worst economic recovery since the Great Depression. Most of the jobs created in the Obama economy were part-time or contract jobs. GDP growth was abysmal. In fact, he’s the only president in history who never had a single year with at least 3% GDP growth. Wages were flat and labor force participation was low. And who can forget those three years when gas prices held at nearly $4 a gallon? Or how about the record-high poverty on his watch? Thanks to Obama, America’s credit rating was downgraded for the first time in history.
It’s also worth noting that Obama’s foreign policy record was similarly dreadful. But, I digress. Unable to acknowledge the faults of his own presidency, Obama instead places the blame for Hillary’s loss on Hillary.
In a stinging passage Baker writes: 'To Obama and his team, however, the real blame lay squarely with Clinton.
'She was the one who could not translate his strong record and healthy economy into a winning message.
'Never mind that Trump essentially ran the same playbook against Clinton that Obama did eight years earlier, portraying her as a corrupt exemplar of the status quo.
'She brought many of her troubles on herself. No one forced her to underestimate the danger in the Midwest states of Wisconsin and Michigan.
'No one forced her to set up a private email server that would come back to haunt her.
'No one forced her to take hundreds of thousands of dollars from Goldman Sachs and other pillars of Wall Street for speeches.
'No one forced her to run a scripted, soulless campaign that tested eighty-five slogans before coming up with 'Stronger Together'.
Hillary certainly deserves the bulk of the blame for her failure to win the presidency, but had Obama been a better president she could have won several states that had voted for Obama twice, like Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. But instead, to use Joe Biden’s words, the middle class was “buried” during the Obama years, and Hillary was seen as being more of the same—in other words, a third Obama term. Obama’s deluding himself if he thinks the middle class thrived because of his policies.
If they had, Hillary would have won.
Matt Margolis is the author of The Scandalous Presidency of Barack Obama and the bestselling The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. His new book, Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama's Legacy, will be published in July 2019. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis