Nothing tests character like defeat.
President Donald Trump has not had to deal with it much in his brief political career, having smashed through a large field to win the Republican nomination in 2016, followed by a stunning triumph in the general election. Tuesday's midterm elections, which resulted in his Republican Party's loss of the House of Representatives, presented Trump with his first real reversal, and he did not respond well. Whereas his predecessor President Barack Obama acknowledged a "shellacking" in the 2010 midterms, and President George W. Bush admitted a "thumping" in 2006, Trump emphasized - not without reason - his party's pickups in the Senate and its apparent successful defense of the governors' mansions in Ohio, Florida, Georgia and Iowa.
Yet there was nothing in his rambling, angry news conference Wednesday to suggest he had heard the message that millions of voters, many of them formerly supporters of the GOP, tried to send him by electing a Democratic majority to the lower chamber. To the contrary, in petty and personal terms he blamed the GOP loss of the House on incumbents who refused to campaign with him for fear (undoubtedly justified) that his backing would do them more harm than good. Another apparent, predictable, scapegoat: his now fired attorney general, Jeff Sessions, a former apologist whom Trump has long blamed for enabling the special-counsel investigation of Russian election interference.
The president's reading of the election is that "people like me, and people like the job I'm doing."
Commentary on 11/08/2018
Print Headline: Trump lashes out