In the upcoming election campaign, the US president attacks his predecessor on almost every occasion. It’s about ice-cold calculations, but also about old injuries.
American politics in Washington is taking off in the age of Donald Trump so many unexpected twists and turns that the president sometimes seems to lose track.
While Trump spoke to the bosses of large restaurant chains about the corona crisis on Monday in the White House and also chatted that he was on prophylaxis against the virus the middle Hydroxychloroquine take what he later for sharply criticized almost at the same time there was an amazing turnaround elsewhere in Washington.
Trump’s own Secretary of Justice, William Barr, ended a favorite subject of the president. Barr said he did not believe that there was an investigation into the former president in connection with the Russia affair Barack Obama or whose vice Joe Biden will come.
For Trump and his supporters, this is sub-optimal news, carefully worded. They would like to see Obama and Biden on the dock: For weeks they have been spreading a conspiracy theory under the hashtag “Obamagate” Obama and Biden are supposed to be the real mastermind behind the Russia affair.
The accusation: The two democratic politicians had used the last weeks of their tenure in 2016 to build alleged connections between Trump’s campaign team and Russian agents. As a result, Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia then overshadowed the first half of Trump’s term.
Barr’s statements now – at least to some extent – let the air out of the alleged involvement of Obama and Biden. Trump reacted correspondingly tacitly to the latest development: he was “surprised” by Barr’s statements, the President remarked unusually monosyllabic.
Trump is looking for targets
Why Barr, who was otherwise considered to be a loyal servant of his master, was prompted to make such a determination is a source of puzzling questions in Washington. Maybe it is just that he is reluctant to be perceived as a political lap dog and now wants to emancipate himself a little from his boss.
A completely different question is whether Trump and his campaign staff can be permanently impressed by the clarification of the Minister of Justice. Trump and his allies have long since decided to make Obama an important part of their election campaign, no matter what.
In the Senate, Trump friends like MP Lindsey Graham want to start a hearing in June on the role of the Obama administration in the Russian affair. And if they are unsuccessful on this subject, they are fueling other allegations against the former president.
Similar to the election campaign against Hillary Clinton in 2016, Trump and his family are betting on throwing political dirt at the top Democrats and accusing them of corruption. True to the motto: something will get stuck.
So practically everything that the Trump administration failed in the corona crisis is being blamed in one form or another on the previous government of Obama and Biden. The lack of tests for the virus, the lack of protective clothing, the low number of fans at the beginning of the crisis, these problems are – of course – not Trump’s, but Obama’s fault. Trump is happy to announce that the Obama administration has been the most incompetent and corrupt government in the country’s history – an outrageous accusation that gives an idea of what the country is still facing in this election campaign.
Trump also seems to have a downright Obama obsession. He had been working on him for years. Even during Obama’s term in office, Trump was one of the most important spokesmen for the so-called “Birther” campaign. At the time, he was powerfully speculating that Obama was not born in the United States and, consequently, should not be the President of the United States. The campaign was undoubtedly racist; she appealed to the inferior instincts of all those who couldn’t stand the fact that a black man had conquered the White House.
Obama retaliated in his own way by joking – while still president – making fun of Trump at a dinner in front of the nation’s TV cameras. Trump sat in the hall himself and had to endure the Washington elite laughing at him. A humiliation that Trump should not have forgotten until today.
Since then, Trump has tried as President to smash as many of Obama’s major political projects as possible. Obama’s Iran agreement, Obama’s climate protection treaty, Obama’s health care reform, all of them have been canceled or rebuilt by Trump. Trump’s policies often seem like a personal act of revenge on his predecessor.
Both Obama and Joe Biden have recognized the danger that Trump’s attacks pose to their upcoming election campaign mission. Now they are trying to counteract it. This is a difficult balancing act for Obama. Ex-presidents are usually reluctant to criticize their successors. Obama, however, seems more and more willing to break this political taboo.
He has criticized Trump and his government several times in the past few days. Among other things, he called their reaction to the corona crisis in front of followers a “chaotic disaster”.
At a TV address for senior high school classes over the weekend, he spoke of some political leaders thinking “like children” of their own advantage. You could neither give the right answers in the crisis nor ask the right questions. Who Obama meant by that was not difficult to guess.