After enjoying weeks of prime time media exposure for his pandering to the Birthers’ crazy conspiracy theories, which did have the effect of rocketing him to the the top tier of GOP presidential candidates (what does that tell ya), Donald Trump got his just desserts Saturday night at the White House Correspondents Dinner.
Leading the televised evisceration was President Obama himself, with Seth Meyers administering the coup de grace during his keynote speech.
Closeups of Trump during’s Meyers‘ routine showed him cold and stony faced— if looks could kill. Being singled out and laughing good-naturedly at one’s own public image at these kind of events is de rigeur, a winning character trait constitutionally alien to Trump‘s super-narcissistic personality. Seth said it all in his opening line:
Donald Trump is saying that he is going to run for President as a Republican, which is surprising, since I assumed he was running as a joke.
Indeed. But it was Obama that had the most powerful lines. And it wasn’t what he said explicitly, but what what he didn’t say that exposed the main difference between himself and the Trumpster, the subtext of which would become stunningly apparent 24 hours later. First, what the president did say:
Donald Trump is here tonight!
Now I know that he’s taken some flack lately, but no one is happier. No one is prouder to put this birth certificate matter to rest than the Donald. And that’s because he can finally get back to focusing on the issues that matter. Like did we fake the moon landing? What really happened in Roswell? And where are Biggie and Tupac?
All kidding aside, obviously we all know about your credentials and breadth of experience. For example — no seriously — just recently in an episode of Celebrity Apprentice, the men’s cooking team did not impress the judges from Omaha Steaks. And there was a lot of blame to go around, but you, Mr. Trump, recognized that the real problem was a lack of leadership. And so ultimately you didn’t blame Lil John or Meat Loaf. You fired Gary Busey. And these are the kinds of decisions that would keep me up at night. Well-handled, sir. Well-handled.
What Obama didn’t say, in a perfect deadpan poker face*, was that he had already ordered the deployment of Seal Team Six with instructions to infiltrate Pakistan and kill Usama bin Laden. Something that the previous Rethug president couldn’t accomplish in eight years of half-hearted, if not duplicitous, attempts. (I’ll have more to say on the contrast between Democrat and Rethuglican leadership styles shortly.)
O’s message to Trump: If I can smoke out and dispose of UBL, just think of what I can do to an amateur like you during a presidential election. Or as his predecessor so famously said:
Bring it on.
*UPDATE: Another example of O’s poker face knowing the bin Laden was about to sleep with the fishes.