Can’t believe I’m listening to President Obama’s last press conference and hearing what I’m hearing. He’s telling us his administration floated Russian hacking out to the public months ago but didn’t want to emphasize it and appear partisan. Better, they thought, to keep it below the radar. This cover-your-butt approach is sad at best. He’s blaming the press, which has its merits, but where was his administration when another country was manipulating the U.S. election?
This is a president protecting his legacy, which I was happy to help him do, until now. This is unfortunately what many of us feared. He sold Hillary Clinton down the tubes while he was supposedly busy at turtle speed collecting all the evidence and gathering all the facts.
Had he gotten off the dime, FBI director James Comey would have hesitated to interfere in the election and tilt it in favor of Donald Trump. Had he spoken up in no uncertain terms, fake news would have been tackled earlier. Facebook would have been labeling fake news before the election. To paraphrase: When good men and women do nothing, bad ones take notice and do more bad things.
I expected better. I wanted to see my president stand at the podium and lead by saying emphatically: “This cannot stand.” Instead, he told us about how he talked to farmers (implication that Hillary didn’t talk to enough of them) when he ran for election. He told us how he won when there wasn’t intense Russian hacking in favor of a candidate who intends to destroy so much that has been achieved in terms of climate change, strengthening of social security, increased employment and so on.
Bill Clinton saved Barack Obama when he ran against Mitt Romney. But today when Barack Obama had a chance to stand up for what is right and for those loyal to him, he balked. His body language alone, annoyed at having to explain his actions and downcast, his long answers, his lack of conviction and unwillingness to be unspeakably angry about Russian hacking of a U.S. election speaks louder than any words.
It looks as if he made a deal with Donald Trump along the lines of don’t say really bad things about me today and maybe I won’t destroy all of your legacy. It’s the antithesis of courage.
More important than taking the moral high ground appears to be having a happy presidential transition and laying out the red carpet for a man who is racist, misogynist, narcissistic and hateful. Has President Obama not seen the fool Trump endeavored to make of Mitt Romney? Does President Obama really believe that won’t happen to him? Is that why he today squandered his last press conference?
By remaining so quiet, President Obama, by dodging and weaving today, by looking depressed you have helped Donald Trump win more than the election and now you are helping him turn the U.S. into a shadow of its former greatness. It would have been better to leave for Hawaii without a press conference. At least then we would have remembered you as a leader. I hope — using your word — you return in January as one and make a final difference.