For a soon-to-be nowhere man, he’s everywhere. Sensing “time’s winged chariot hurrying near,” as the poet had it, President Obama is using every hour left in his presidency to ensure that Donald Trump will not erase it all.
It’s one part vanity project. What president doesn’t want to put a dent in history? One man freed four million slaves. Another created national parks and forests that left every American a rich inheritance of public land. A third crushed the Nazis — from a wheelchair, while dying.
And Obama? He bequeaths the incoming president “the longest economic expansion and monthly job creation in history,” as my colleague Andrew Ross Sorkin noted. Trump, the pumpkin-haired rooster taking credit for the dawn, has already tried to seize a bit of that achievement as his own. Thanks, Obama. But he’s also likely to screw it up, perhaps by a trade war, or a budget-busting tax cut.
Already, Trump has flirted with treason, flouted conflict-of-interest rules, bullied dissidents and blown off the advice of seasoned public servants. He has yet to hold a news conference since winning the election. And did another day just pass without a word of the promise to “reveal things that other people don’t know” about Russian interference with our election? Maybe he’s waiting for more whispers in his ear from the Kremlin.