The mainstream media should be used to President Trump’s proclivities toward name-calling at this point. He’s been giving catchy, and often politically damaging, nicknames to rivals for as long as he’s been on the political scene. Nevertheless, journalists seemed to lose their minds over Trump’s new pet name for insane sociopath Kim Jong-Un, "Rocket Man," which he solidified during his first United Nations speech on Tuesday. Are these nicknames childish? Sure. Unpresidential? Yep. Hilarious? Absolutely. So in honor of Trump’s newest addition, I thought it only fitting that we stroll down memory lane and rank his top five nicknames for political enemies.
5th Place: Crooked Hillary
Trump dropped this bigly winner of a nickname at a rally in Watertown, New York, during the 2016 presidential race. It stuck like glue, and for good reason. Hillary is the epitome of corrupt elitism and has found herself mired in scandal for the past 20-plus years. It’s simple, it’s memorable, and it defines her character. The only reason “Crooked Hillary” doesn’t score higher here is because it’s one of Trump’s more obvious jabs.
4th Place: Sleepy Eyes
Pure genius. Trump rolled out this name for Meet The Press host Chuck Todd all the way back in 2011, but it’s one of his best. The President was able to take a very subtle physical characteristic (Chuck’s sleepy looking eyes) and made it the only thing I can think about when I see him on TV. Please, Chuck, drink some coffee, or get some sleep. NBC needs you on your A-game.
3rd Place: Lyin’ Ted
I’m a fan of Ted Cruz, but I have to admit, the man has a shifty face and talks like a Southern Baptist preacher. When it comes to policy, he usually does the right things, but in terms of him personally? Well … if I didn’t know any better I’d half expect to find him slinging used Ford Pintos on a car lot somewhere down in the Lone Star State. Trump's "Lyin' Ted" nickname confirmed for many what some had already speculated: Cruz may not be trustworthy. And just like that, a presidential campaign was over.
2nd Place: Little Marco
Poor Marco Rubio. Trump originally dug in on the Florida Senator with the name "Robot Rubio," but it didn’t catch on the way Trump hoped, and he quickly moved on to "Little Marco." Rubio is not a particularly tall man at 5’9. He’s not terribly short either, but on a debate stage with Jeb Bush at 6’3, Trump at 6’2, Ben Carson and Chris Christie both at 5’11, and even Ted Cruz listed at 5’10, he suddenly looked on the shorter side of average. Add to that his youthful appearance, and you’ve got a nickname that stuck, and made him seem small and inadequate. The American people don’t want small and inadequate in the West Wing. After the nickname caught on, Little Marco was done in the race.
1st Place: Low-Energy Jeb
Last but certainly not least, we have "Low-Energy Jeb." Truly brilliant. It’s the perfect name for Jeb Bush that you never knew he needed. The real beauty of Trump’s nicknames is that he finds weaknesses in opponents that aren’t initially obvious to the casual observer and then he brutally exploits them. Before Trump bestowed this appellation upon him, many Americans hadn’t viewed Bush as specifically lacking in energy reserves. Once that label was applied though, it took off. Worse yet, Jeb clearly let the jab get under his skin, bringing it up during the second Republican presidential debate and insisting that he was actually very high energy.
While there are a host of other names the President has thrown around — Dumb As A Rock Mika, Psycho Joe, Crazy Bernie, Pocahontas, The Failing New York Times, The Amazon Washington Post, Cryin’ Chuck etc. — these five, and now “Rocket Man,” are his most impressive and memorable. Best yet, in terms of nicknames at least, we’re only ten months into Trump’s presidency; I can only imagine what will come out of the man’s mouth next.