“He’s doing his best to put lipstick on a pig,” said Neil Sroka, spokesman for the liberal group Democracy for America. “He has a constitutional obligation to ensure there is a swift and easy transfer of power but, when he leaves office, I hope to see him do more to call out the bigoted and hateful elements of Trump’s agenda.”
It is hard to imagine anyone more different from the cerebral, discreet “no drama” Obama, 55, than the blowhard, rabble-rousing 70-year-old Trump, who pushed the notion that the president was actually born in Kenya. During the election campaign they made little secret of their mutual contempt. Obama described Trump as “unfit” and “woefully unprepared”, warning that if he were to win all the progress of the past eight years “goes down the drain”.
Days later he was welcoming the New York billionaire to the Oval Office for a meeting that lasted 90 minutes. How every journalist, historian and comedian in the country yearned to be a fly on that wall. “Can you imagine?” asked the late-night TV host Stephen Colbert. “Just put yourself in that room, that private room, when they were together.
“Can you imagine? Awkward! The first African American president sitting down with a president-elect who was endorsed by the [Ku Klux] Klan, a guy who spent five years – created his political career – demanding Obama prove where he was born, then denying he did it. What did they talk about?”