POLITICS ESSAY – Trump and Obama
President Barack Obama will be replaced on Friday by a man who is his opposite in many obvious ways — party affiliation, upbringing and ethnicity. But the differences between the two men on tone and temperament are the most polarizing of all.
It continues a familiar pattern in modern times in which the new president presents a clear contrast to the person he’s succeeding.
In 1992, the Democrat from Hope, Ark., Bill Clinton, replaced the patrician Republican George H.W. Bush. In 2000, born-again George W. Bush succeeded the famously unfaithful Clinton. And in 2008, Barack Obama – who campaigned for “Hope” and “Change,” as well as against the Iraq war – replaced the brash Bush, who started that war.
But the change from Obama to Trump might be the biggest of all, and it will have a far-reaching impact in domestic policy, foreign relations and even ceremonial functions.
It’s No-Drama Obama vs. Drama-All-The-Time Trump.
Obama’s “Dreams from My Father” vs. Trump’s “Art of The Deal.”
The former community organizer vs. the real-estate mogul.
The nation’s first African-American president vs. the man who led the so-called birther campaign against him.
"Yes We Can” vs. “Make America Great Again.”
“It’s safe to say the contrast between Obama and Trump is the most pronounced we’ve seen in modern times,” says NBC News presidential historian Michael Beschloss. “Many presidents are elected as a reproof to the president who preceded them – we’ve never seen one elected who had for years accused his predecessor of having deceived the American people about being born in the United States.”
George C. Edwards III, a political scientist at Texas A&M University, agrees. “The contrast between Trump and Obama is unprecedented.”
Indeed, just consider the contrasts last w...