Obama And Clinton Show The World How Real Presidents Act In Their Responses To Notre Dame Fire


As if any of us needed another reminder of just how unsuited Donald Trump is to hold the presidency, he gave us one on Monday as a fire was ripping through the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.

In response to the devastating blaze, Trump didn’t offer words of sympathy or grief. Instead, he appointed himself fire expert and lectured French first responders.

“Perhaps flying water tankers could be used to put it out,” the president said in a tweet, as if he just discovered that water is used to put out fires. “Must act quickly!”


While the world has become accustomed to Trump’s harebrained responses to major international events, it’s still important to repeatedly point out just how bizarrely inappropriate they are.

It may no longer be surprising that Trump behaves this way on a day-to-day basis, but we should never stop acknowledging just how abnormal and unpresidential it is.

Meanwhile, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton stepped up

Even though the pundit president in the Oval Office left much to be desired in his initial reaction to the tragic blaze in Paris, former President Barack Obama and should-be-President Hillary Clinton stepped up to the plate to fill the leadership vacuum.

In his response, Obama shared a picture of one of his visits to Notre Dame, and said, “[W]e’re thinking of the people of France in your time of grief.”

Striking a similarly presidential tone, Hillary Clinton said her “heart goes out to Paris,” adding that the cathedral is a “symbol of our ability as human beings to unite for a higher purpose—to build breathtaking spaces for worship that no one person could have built on their own.”

What happened in Paris on Monday is devastating not just for the people of France but for the entire world.

While the current U.S. president is unwilling and unable to rise to such occasions and deliver an appropriate message of unity and empathy and grief, it was reassuring that his predecessor and Democratic opponent in 2016 – the woman who won the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes – were able to fill the void.

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