At the 2012 Democratic National Convention, Michelle Obama said, “Being president doesn’t change who you are, it reveals who you are.”
That was true in a good way for her husband, Barack Obama, who held the office of the presidency with dignity for two terms.
With Donald Trump, it’s just the opposite as he has spent three years in the White House demonstrating that he is morally and intellectually unfit to be president. The impeachment process, in particular, has only confirmed the fact that Trump has the discipline of a toddler.
On MSNBC on Monday, former Bush speechwriter David Frum said that what’s happening with Trump’s impeachment is vastly different from what happened when Bill Clinton was going through the wringer late in his second term.
“With extraordinary presidential discipline … [Clinton] partitioned off the impeachment inquiry from everything else the White House was doing, and that’s one of the reasons that [he] survived,” Frum said. “What has clearly happened now … is the inquiry is completely inside Donald Trump’s head, inside his decision cycle. ”
He added, “This is a president who doesn’t work so many hours, who’s not in such good physical condition, so he is not going to be able to execute.”
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) October 29, 2019
I am sitting and talking to you tonight from the very same room in which I spent many, many evenings during the Clinton impeachment, now almost 20 years ago. One of the things that is different between now and then: The Clinton White House had a rule, which was that they were not going to let the impeachment get inside their decision cycle. And with extraordinary presidential discipline – it’s still kind of weird how Bill Clinton did this – they partitioned off the impeachment inquiry from everything else the White House was doing, and that’s one of the reasons that Bill Clinton survived. Bill Clinton was, of course, a much younger man than President Trump and much more energetic. But even had he limited number of hours in the day. What has clearly happened now, and this inquiry is going to drive it, is the inquiry is completely inside Donald Trump’s head, inside his decision cycle. And this is a president who doesn’t work so many hours, who’s not in such good physical condition, so he is not going to be able to execute. He’s not of the temperament to execute and he’s not going to be able to execute the Clinton strategy of holding it off while trying to remind the American people of whatever it is that the American people liked about him.
Trump’s personal instability is making impeachment much worse for him
Donald Trump has two problems as it relates to impeachment, and they are both rooted in his flaws as a human bring.
First, the evidence against him – aka his own criminally corrupt behavior – is damning. Multiple people in his administration – including Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who dropped an explosive testimony on Tuesday – are coming forward to sound the alarm about Trump’s extortion scheme with Ukraine.
Second, as David Frum said, Trump lacks the temperament to set aside the impeachment inquiry and just do his job. Constantly throwing tantrums about the process only reminds the American people that it’s happening.
On the substance, Trump’s impeachment inquiry is far worse than the one Bill Clinton endured during his presidency. His personal instability only pours gasoline on that fire.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.