Obama on Trump: ‘Ultimately he is pragmatic’

President Obama, press conference (11/14), on Trump:

“He successfully mobilized a big chunk of the country to vote for him. … Regardless of what experience or assumptions he brought to the office this office has a way of waking you up. And those aspects of his positions or predispositions that don’t match up with reality he will find shaken up pretty quick because reality has a way of asserting itself. And some of his gifts that obviously allowed him to execute on of the biggest political upsets in history, those are ones that hopefully he will put to good use on behalf of all the American people.”


“I don’t think he is ideological. Ultimately he is pragmatic.”

 UPDATE: Obama speeking in Greece (11/15)

President Barack Obama reviews the Presidential Guard in Athens, Greece, on Nov. 15, 2016
President Barack Obama reviews the Presidential Guard in Athens, Greece, on Nov. 15, 2016
President Obama speaking in Greece: “You’ve seen some of the rhetoric among Republican elected officials and activists and media. Some of it pretty troubling and not necessarily connected to facts, but being used effectively to mobilize people. And obviously, President-elect Trump tapped into that particular strain within the Republican Party and then was able to broaden that enough and get enough votes to win the election. … It starts looking different and disorienting. And there is no doubt that has produced populist movements, both from the left and the right. That sometimes gets wrapped up in issues of ethnic identity or religious identity or cultural identity. And that

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33 thoughts on “Obama on Trump: ‘Ultimately he is pragmatic’”

  1. Sorry about the missing comment box earlier. That plugin needed updating. Seems to be working now.

  2. Update and correction on the Clay county idiots.  Clay County is .2 of 1% black.  Whatever I was looking at yesterday that said there were no blacks in Clay County was wrong.  And this WaPo story fills in a lot of the details.

    After Donald Trump’s election as president, Pamela Ramsey Taylor, who was director of Clay County Development Corp. in Clay, a tiny town outside Charleston, reportedly posted about the move from Michelle Obama to Melania Trump on Facebook, saying: “It will be so refreshing to have a classy, beautiful, dignified First Lady back in the White House. I’m tired of seeing a Ape in heels,” according to NBC affiliate WSAZ.


    The news station reported that the town’s mayor, Beverly Whaling, then replied, “Just made my day Pam.”

    I guess there are idiots everywhere, but I know there are more here than our quota.

  3. After lightning strikes their hamlet, I’m sure others will contribute to make sure that they get a good Christian burial.

  4. lol

    After all this time and I still don’t think Obama gets it.

    How many times does he have to lose his lunch money before he does.





     Reassuring the world about a successor he said couldn’t possibly win.

    Set down old man that is not your job, that is the president elects job.  Your job is to move and write your memoirs.


  6. Pogo,

    Idiots are everywhere. No quota need apply.

    Michelle Obama is Class defined; a beautiful, strong woman with a big heart. She & Dr Biden will forever be remembered for the A+ job they did with military families. People who get this get it. I am proud for her service in representing our country.


    Dear President Elect,

    Please banish appoint Carl Paladino as Ambassador to Outer Assholia. We in WNY would be grateful. We have always viewed him as a danger to our community & just about everything else, besides being an embarrassment to life in general. Thank You.

  7. But Flatus, the Mayor said her “you made my day” response wasn’t meant to be racist.  Besides, Lightning will have a tough time finding the place. Apparently the Economic Development Authority of Clay County sees no reason to rely upon the black community (such as it is) to develop Clay County economically.

  8. pogo, maybe running up the sos rudy flag is just a way to make bolton not seem like such a horrible choice.

    these folks are pretty pro at the shell game, now you see it now you don’t….which pea is under the nutshell.

    and which nut is the pea brain -ier

  9. Presidents Carter, Clinton, and Obama all spent more time and energy kicking the left wing of their party than kicking republicans.

    While the media johns may see the President’s pimping for trump as statesmanship, I see it as an obscenity.

  10. xr, I think they saw the markets here and around the world tanking and it scared them into the saying  “calm down everybody. yes, it was an iceberg but here’s the band soothing your nerves with ‘nearer my god to thee’… no need to run to the life boats. won’t do any good. every thing is broken. no safety nets so just lean back and enjoy the music”

    there now, don’t you feel better?

  11. Three Myths About Clinton’s Defeat in Election 2016 Debunked
    By  Lambert Strether, Naked Capitalism, November 14, 2016

    This post is not an explainer about why and how Clinton lost (and Trump won). I think we’re going to be sorting that out for a while. Rather, it’s a simple debunking of common talking points by Clinton loyalists and Democrat Establishment operatives; the sort of talking point you might hear on Twitter, entirely shorn of caveats and context. For each of the three talking points, I’ll present an especially egregious version of the myth, followed by rebuttals.

    Realize that Trump’s margin of victory was incredibly small. From the Washington Post:
    How Trump won the presidency with razor-thin margins in swing states

    Of the more than 120 million votes cast in the 2016 election, 107,000 votes in three states [Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania] effectively decided the election.

    Of course, America’s first-past-the-post system and the Electoral College amplify small margins into decisive results. And it was the job of the Clinton campaign to find those 107,000 votes and win them; the Clinton operation turned out to be weaker than anyone would have imagined when it counted. However, because Trump has what might be called an institutional mandate — both the executive and legislative branches and soon, perhaps, the judicial — the narrowness of his margin means he doesn’t have a popular mandate. Trump has captured the state, but by no means civil society; therefore, the opposition that seeks to delegitimize him is in a stronger position than it may realize. Hence the necessity for reflection; seeking truth from facts, as the saying goes. Because the following talking points prevent a (vulgar) identity politics-dominated Democrat Party from owning its loss, debunking them is then important beyond winning your Twitter wars. I’m trying to spike the Blame Cannons!

    Talking Point: Clinton was Defeated by Racism

    Talking Point: Clinton was Defeated by Sexism

    Trump Won Because Voters Are Ignorant, Literally

  12. If I have to pick between bellicose bolton, slave of the saudi amir, and camera hog Julie Annie, the martini-soaked narcissist, I’ll pick Groucho Marx.

    Thank you for your attention to this matter.

  13. cbs san Francisco:

    Nearly one week after Donald Trump was elected president over Hillary Clinton, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-California) introduced legislation to abolish the Electoral College and have presidential elections decided on the popular vote.


    As of Tuesday morning, CBS News reports that Clinton had a popular vote lead over Trump by a margin of 61.3 million to 60.5 million. Trump had 289 electoral votes over Clinton’s 232, with Michigan remaining too close to call.

    Trump was able to win the presidency after winning contests in several battleground states previously won by Democrats in 2012 and 2008, including Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

    Clinton’s popular vote lead is expected to grow, particularly resulting from votes in California, where she won the state by double digits. According to the California Secretary of State’s office, 4.3 million votes remain uncounted (.pdf) as of Monday.

  14. I have to agree with Purple, with a caveat. The caveat is that trump and the republicans did play race and gender cards to motivate their racist, sexist base. This base ripper base did not get trump or ripper senators and congressjerks elected.

    The Dem candidates lost because their party and campaigns failed them by failing to make sales to middle income and poor Americans.

    Unless al baghdadi gets nukes, Iran nukes Israel, or no Korea nukes anyone, I think we’ll all survive this. Just kiss Florida, central Long Island, Cape Cod, and Louisiana goodbye.

  15. I’d go for a compromise with Boxer :

    Presently there is one elector per congressional district plus one for each senator, a total of 538. As the ‘senatorial electors’ are redundant and superfluous, eliminate them, leaving the Electoral College with 438 electors. The individual state legislatures would continue to arrange how the states electors would be picked, by district or at large. The presidential campaign victor would need 220 votes.

    Further compromise, but only if absolutely necessary : allow only one elector to represent both senators.The individual state legislatures would continue to arrange how the states electors would be picked, by district or at large. This will leave 488 electors, with a total of 245 votes necessary to win the presidency.

  16. Obama on Trump: ‘Ultimately he is pragmatic’

    Purple, im convinced that when all of the writers twist themselves into a pretzel trying to explain why clinton lost……..all of it will point to one thing……..the clintons lost it themselves!!!

    She ran scared again…..she should have stayed on the side lines….and ordered a full court pres…..all dem on the same page each and every day……..they should have used all of the despicable…damning….daily…..divulged….discharged…..donlad…..admissions……..there was so much to use….instead they they took the high road…said a few high minded things about womens rights, etc, etc…..they should have trotted out those women each and everyday…..had locker room talk commercials…..under age girls getting gropped by someone wearing a donald wig….and a whole lot more…..how is it possible that dukakis lost it due to him riding in a tank….kerry wind surffing…..and gore lost it cos he invented the internet……….they made look the fools, and when Dr Dean raised his voice…they made him look like a freakin nut job…….Trump was the real thing…….and they blew it……im supper pissed now b/c of what Obama said yesterday

    He is not an african american……..i dont know of any that would be such a punk as he…..what a crock of shit…..he i  not black, nor white……he is all Money Green…….and could care less…..all he made me do….is to want to hit the television in the face………the ds are whimps and deserve it all……..how in the world did the dnc…the clinton machine did not know that they needed to be on alert for voter depression…..how in  the world did they not know that the rs would throw in a last minute dirty trick…..did they not get enough red flags about the emails…..they just tried to explain it away….they should have gone after those that told those lies……..proved them wrong….tarred and feathered them in public…….the rs  won b/c they made her look like what she is………..a privileged intellectual……….My last advise for the dnc……stop talking down to the middle class….they dont like it…….and throw a punch where it hurts the most once in a while…finance reform will take care of all of that……an hones hard working person could run for office….the dnc and the rnc would be out of business……..as i wrote that….calmed down……..no sense in making  my self sick over the two party system that is sure to disappoint us all……later

  17. xr and purp, yes a lot of dem candidates lost but some of them won. those won the majority vote in their constituency. doesn’t the blame for losing rest solely upon those individual candidates not being able to garner from that constituency more votes than their particular opponent?  the guy/gal who lost just didn’t motivate the neighbors enough to get up and vote or at least to not vote for the other guy/gal.

    Hillary won the constituency, the nation as a whole.  she racked up more votes than all her opponents.  she can be proud of that.

    most of the people did not vote for her opponent, way over a majority didn’t when it’s all counted. not only did the opponents lose in my eyes, the country lost too… but not her.



    btw, perhaps women are just too impatient about this presidency thingy.  it took 118 years from the time black males got the right to vote to getting there.  that means we’ll just have to wait until 2035 for our turn.


  18. Pat,

    All politics is local. Clinton had to win states, and states are divided into congressional districts. The parties and the campaign orgs have to work congressional district by congressional district, block by block, house by house. They have to do this because candidates don’t have the time. The candidates’ time is taken up by flying (many congresscritters are driven around all day instead of flying), speaking to big crowds with tv cameras, calling rich people to beg for big contributions, and settling staff squabbles. If we take the money out of the system, candidates will have 50% more time to do the rest.

    It’s like selling beer. The national advert on tv makes you want to buy Old Misthaufenblum, but it’s the guy in the store that guides you to the right shelf and then rings up the sale. Without both ads that hit the mark AND neighbors to energize and get out the vote, the fascists win.

    Clinton’s campaign did not present her as the solution for the gripes and anxieties of white working class males in WI, MI, OH, PA, and NC. Plumbers, brick layers, carpenters, auto workers, welders, miners, painters, concrete spreaders, transit workers, and machinists wanted some recognition and legitimization of their resentment of the ruling class. They got zilch.

  19. I find it interesting to live without news, the caveat is I receive the print of the WashPo, Annapolis Capitol Gazette and the Baltimore Sun.  Those are also online along with the NY Times and LA Times, which round out my world of entertainment.  I have ordered more books from reading the book sections lately.  Except I occasionally hear weird and unusual bloater fhart noises.  Names such as Palin, and an equally stinky loser, Bolton, two who should have been lost to the bin of forty questions about Losers a decade ago.

    I do get news briefings in my emails, but those are more for deleting than reading.  Most of the world news I get is about how to make the world work.  And, for some reason I have a feeling that the prezident elect has no clue about any of that.  A low intelligence quotient, non-reader (may have dyslexia or something like that (I HOPE)), thin skinned, bully, with inferiority complex and too stupid to walk and chew gum at the same time, is supposed to work through modern, and very complex, treaties.

    Oh I enjoy the part that he and Putin did a little tête-à-tête.  The bloater probably thought it as real nice.  Putin thought what an easy way to destroy America.


  20. Instead we got all the paranoia of Nixon with none of the experience and less than half the brains while carrying all the baggage and then some of Bill Clinton & JFK.


    Solar and XR -> Right On!
    Logic, reason and common sense will always lose when in conflict with a person’s ideology.

  22. I proposed the above and then Rachel Maddow does a whole show on Kushner and transition.  How do I check to see if I’m being bugged. 🙂


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