A longtime aide of President Barack Obama has just completed a memoir that will offer a glimpse into the president’s outlook on the world after the 2016 presidential election. If anyone wonders how the president must have felt when Donald Trump won, Ben Rhodes tells us in The World As It Is.
In Rhodes’ book, he wrote that President Obama was emotionally tossed between optimism and frustration. The New York Times released an excerpt of the book.
Both the Obamas and the Clintons were shocked at the results. Pollster after pollster predicted that Hillary Clinton would win the election. Just one week prior to election day one election model showed Clinton winning with 332 electoral votes to Trump’s 206.
The final results had Trump winning 304 votes to Clinton’s 227. The result left the president perplexed. At one point, Obama compared 45 to a cartoon.
Rhodes wrote that he felt he should have anticipated the Democratic loss:
‘I couldn’t shake the feeling that I should have seen it coming. Because when you distilled it, stripped out the racism and misogyny, we’d run against Hillary eight years ago with the same message Trump had used: She’s part of a corrupt establishment that can’t be trusted to bring change.’
At times, Obama tried to cheer up the staff over the election outcome. Rhodes recalls that the president sent him a message that drew upon his more contemplative, serous nature:
‘There are more stars in the sky than grains of sand on the earth.’
While traveling on a trip to Peru just weeks after Trump won, the president turned to Rhodes and asked:
‘What if we were wrong? Maybe we pushed too far. Maybe people just want to fall back into their tribe.’
At other times, Obama questioned the American people. He said:
‘Maybe this is what people want. I’ve got the economy set up well for him. No facts. No consequences. They can just have a cartoon. We’re about to find out just how resilient our institutions are, at home and around the world.’
Featured Image via Getty Images/Alex Wong.