President Obama spent the better part of a year trying to convince the nation that Donald Trump was not fit to hold the Oval Office. Now, determined to smooth the transfer of power, the president has launched a persuasion campaign aimed at an audience of one: the president-elect himself.
At his first postelection news conference Monday, Obama appeared to be trying to publicly educate his successor, via television news, a medium that Trump was especially attuned to during the campaign.
Obama offered admiration, instruction and even outright flattery, praising the manner in which Trump tapped into voters’ anxiety and enthusiasm for change to score a historic political upset.
“He is obviously a gregarious person,” Obama said.
Where he once said Trump lacked the temperament to serve as commander in chief, Obama focused on qualities that he said would serve Trump well as president.