Former White House photographer Pete Souza posts an old photo of Barack Obama in a grocery store with the caption: “POTUS with a peach as opposed to an impeached POTUS.”
CNN: “Trump has been lambasting Obama for years, even before he ran for the top job. Recently, though he’s been doing it more often. A November analysis from CNN’s Daniel Dale shows Trump has mentioned Obama and the Obama administration by name more frequently in the past 18 months than he had in the first 18 months of his presidency.”
Writes Dale: “Through October, Trump had mentioned Obama by name 537 times during 2019 as a whole — an average of 1.8 times per day.”
“As President Trump’s allies rushed to defend his decision to authorize a drone strike that killed Iran’s top military commander, many have focused less on Qasem Soleimani than another once-prominent actor in Middle East affairs: former president Barack Obama,” the Washington Post reports.
“For Trump, the true measure of the dramatic and risky military operation will become clear over time, as the United States braces for a potential retaliatory strike from Iran that could embroil his administration in the kind of complex and intractable Middle East conflict he had pledged to avoid. But amid the immediate fallout from Soleimani’s death, the president and his defenders rushed to declare that Trump had bested his predecessor in standing up to a malign foreign power.”
“Trump, former aides said, has burned with a desire to erase Obama’s foreign policy legacy and prove himself a superior commander in chief.”
A new Gallup poll finds Barack Obama and Donald Trump are tied this year as the most admired man. It is Obama’s 12th time in the top spot versus the first for Trump.
Michelle Obama is the most admired woman for the second year in a row.
“I’m absolutely confident that for two years if every nation on earth was run by women, you would see a significant improvement across the board on just about everything… living standards and outcomes.”
— Former President Barack Obama, quoted by the BBC, arguing that women are “indisputably” better than men as leaders.
“Our values are the same. We disagree on policy, but we don’t disagree on humanity, we don’t disagree about love and compassion. I think that’s true for all of us — it’s just that we get lost in our fear of what’s different.”
— Michelle Obama, quoted by People magazine, on her friendship with President George W. Bush.
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham claimed that departing former aides to President Obama left notes saying “you will fail” and “you aren’t going to make it” for the incoming staff of Donald Trump, NBC News reports.
Former Obama aides quickly denied Grisham’s claim.
“Pete Buttigieg hailed Barack Obama’s legacy after a journalist acknowledged misquoting the Democratic White House contender as making statement critical of the former president’s time in office,” Politico reports.
Buttigieg said he appreciated “this reporter’s swift and honest correction of a misquote on my views of” Obama’s presidency.
He added: “From health care to DADT repeal to the rescue of the auto industry, my appreciation of the great leadership of Barack Obama comes from a very personal place.”
“The failures of the Obama era help explain how we got Trump. I am running on building a future that is going to have a lot of differences.”
— Pete Buttigieg, quoted by the Los Angeles Times.
Update: The reporter tweets he got the quote wrong as “the result of transcribing a noisy recording at a loud rally.” Buttigieg’s exact words were “failures of the old normal.”
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) requested in a letter to the National Archives that they hand over any emails between former President Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
“This idea of purity and you’re never compromised and you’re politically woke, and all that stuff—you should get over that pretty quickly. The world is messy. There are ambiguities. People who do really good stuff have flaws.”
— Barack Obama, quoted by The Atlantic.
The parents of slain human rights activist Kayla Mueller told the Arizona Republic that their daughter would possibly still be alive had former President Obama been as “decisive” as President Trump in ordering military action to recover her from ISIS before her death in 2015.
Politico: “Interviews with more than 50 top officials in the Obama White House and Treasury Department, members of Warren’s inner circle at the time and Warren herself, reveal a far more combative relationship between her and the administration than she discusses on the campaign trail. Tensions between Warren and Obama were palpable to White House aides, even as she reserved her real fury for Geithner and White House National Economic Council Director Larry Summers, whom she regarded as predisposed toward big banks over families struggling to save their homes.”
“The acrimonious differences between Warren and her allies and members of the Obama team led in part to her decision, with prodding from Obama, to leave the administration to run for the Senate rather than continue pursuing the leadership of the CFPB. But they never fully abated and now represent dueling approaches to Democratic economic policymaking, presenting the possibility that the next Democratic president will have ascended to the height of Democratic Party politics in part by bashing the previous one.”
The Washington Post notes that it was five years ago today that President Barack Obama showed up for a White House news conference dressed in a beige, light-colored suit.
“Rep. Peter King (R-NY) fumed that the suit pointed to a ‘lack of seriousness’ on the president’s part, cable news shows held roundtable discussions, fashion critics and image consultants weighed in, and TV news reporters conducted man-on-the-street interviews to find out what the people of Northeast Ohio thought of the controversial look.”
“Five years later, however, Tan Suit Gate has taken on a different meaning, coming to symbolize the relative dearth of scandals during the Obama administration. On social media, just about every news item about potential conflicts of interests within the Trump administration and the president’s flouting of norms is met with some variant of ‘Remember when Obama wore a tan suit?'”
Steven Rattner: “Time for a reality check on Mr. Trump’s economic accomplishments, using two key measuring sticks: how well the economy is doing, compared with its performance under President Barack Obama’s leadership, and whether it has performed up to Mr. Trump’s promises.”
“The short answer is, the economy’s performance is not much different than it was under Mr. Obama and far short of what Mr. Trump pledged.”
“Democratic presidential front-runner and former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden mounted a fierce defense of Barack Obama’s legacy on Saturday after several of his White House rivals attacked that record in debates this week,” Reuters reports.
Said Biden: “I’m against any Democrat who wants to get rid of Obamacare.”
A source familiar with Barack Obama’s thinking wouldn’t tell CBS News whether the former president watched this week’s Democratic debates, but said Obama believes “his legacy is going to be fine, that there’s a staying power to it and the things under attack by this president are high water marks for the country.”
Former White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett said that Barack Obama would have been impeached in “a nanosecond” if he behaved like President Trump, The Hill reports.
Said Jarrett: “I think that the standards have slipped dramatically and there’s no earthly way President Obama could have gotten away with any of this. Not just the words and the content, but just the policy reversals and what we’re doing to the fabric of our country.”