Courtesy of the NYT:
Riding in a motorcade in Lima, Peru, shortly after the 2016 election, President Barack Obama was struggling to understand Donald J. Trump’s victory.
“What if we were wrong?” he asked aides riding with him in the armored presidential limousine.
He had read a column asserting that liberals had forgotten how important identity was to people and had promoted an empty cosmopolitan globalism that made many feel left behind. “Maybe we pushed too far,” Mr. Obama said. “Maybe people just want to fall back into their tribe.”
His aides reassured him that he still would have won had he been able to run for another term and that the next generation had more in common with him than with Mr. Trump. Mr. Obama, the first black man elected president, did not seem convinced. “Sometimes I wonder whether I was 10 or 20 years too early,” he said.
In the weeks after Mr. Trump’s election, Mr. Obama went through multiple emotional stages, according to a new book by his longtime adviser Benjamin J. Rhodes. At times, the departing president took the long view, at other points, he flashed anger. He called Mr. Trump a “cartoon” figure who cared more about his crowd sizes than any particular policy. And he expressed rare self-doubt, wondering whether he had misjudged his own influence on American history.
I’m not going to lie, reading this broke my heart a little.
First of all, it is very hard for one political party to hold onto the executive office for three terms in a row, so the Democrats were swimming against the tide of history.
Furthermore, Trump enjoyed unprecedented help from foreign governments who worked tirelessly to help him to victory.
I will likely never have the opportunity to meet Mr. Obama, but if I did I would assure him that he did almost everything right.
He demonstrated incredible competence, unparalleled dignity, and unwavering dedication to his job and the American people.
If anything I would argue that it was the very fact that he was so very good at his job, that embarrassed the Republicans so completely that they were desperate to keep yet another overly competent Democrat out of the White House.
So they went in exactly the other direction.
No, the only thing that Barack Obama should be questioning is whether or not the American people deserved having him in office, not whether or not he let them down.