Nobody is more disgusted and disappointed in the election results than President Barack Obama, whose legacy of progress is poised to be undone overnight by a belligerent con man. And apparently the first meeting between current and future presidents was off to a rocky start – culminating with Obama abruptly breaking with tradition and not giving Trump the satisfaction of a publicity win on this sad day.
According to reporters at the White House, Obama cancelled a planned “photo op” with Trump shortly after meeting him, depriving the president-elect of the chance to appear alongside the current president and gain an air of legitimacy.
The Obamas canceled a photo-op of the current and future first couples outside the south entrance of the White House. In his first visit to the White House after the 2008 election, Mr. Obama and first lady Michelle Obama posed for the cameras alongside President George W. Bush and first lady Laura Bush. The decision not to participate in this tradition illustrates how bitter the campaign was, particularly for Mrs. Obama who delivered some of the most emotional arguments against electing Mr. Trump.
It may also suggest that Obama’s first meeting with Trump went about as badly as expected. The president had hoped to press Trump on the importance of governing the country with a semblance of dignity, as well as making the case that spending his first day in office signing a bunch of executive orders to erase Obama’s legacy out of spite would be a horrific start to his time in office. It appears that Trump was not in the a mood to listen.
Mr. Earnest said Mr. Obama would go through with Mr. Trump the policies he has implemented that he hopes his successor won’t undo. But Mr. Trump is expected to attempt to unravel much of Mr. Obama’s legacy, with plans to reverse his policies on health care, climate change, immigration and government regulations, and to dramatically shift his foreign-policy approach.
The fact that Obama would break this tradition – a symbolic gesture of the peaceful transition of power – implies he is keenly aware that the man about to take over is a walking, talking disaster. A pathological liar and narcissist who has surrounded himself with a team of goons that he can count on to tell him what he wants to here and claw their way up his coattails at every chance. No photo op is going to change this tragedy from unfolding.
Featured image via Alex Wong/Getty Images