In an interview with New York Magazine about his presidential legacy published Monday, Barack Obama said the rise of Donald Trump could be traced directly to John McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate in 2008. The increasingly extreme conservative base, the same one so charged up by Palin and Trump, he suggested, was the reason he was unable to accomplish all of his lofty progressive goals.
“I see a straight line from the announcement of Sarah Palin as the vice-presidential nominee to what we see today in Donald Trump, the emergence of the Freedom Caucus, the tea party, and the shift in the center of gravity for the Republican Party,” Obama told the magazine.
“I see a straight line from the announcement of Sarah Palin as the vice-presidential nominee to what we see today in Donald Trump…”
President Barack Obama
To finally break the Palin/Trump “fever,” the president said, would require great “self-reflection” by the GOP—something he didn’t seem overly optimistic would ever happen.
“Whether that changes, I think, will depend in part on the outcome of this election, but it’s also going to depend on the degree of self-reflection inside the Republican Party,” he said, pretending that he actually wanted the GOP to be more palatable. “There have been at least a couple of other times that I’ve said confidently that the fever is going to have to break, but it just seems to get worse.”
Obama a good chunk of the interview detailing the ways the “feverish” Republican Party was to blame for his political failures, portraying them as unwilling to work with him because of their increasingly partisan positions that continually frustrated his supposed attempts to reach across the aisle. The president even bemoaned the unwillingness of Republicans to be caught in a photo op with him.
Another sure sign of this Palin-inspired “fever,” said the president, was Rush Limbaugh and “various Republicans factions” actually “cheering” when Obama’s (Democrat-run, gang violence-plagued) hometown failed to get the bid to host the Olympics. All this animosity, he suggested, was evidence of an increasingly extreme Republican Party driven by the conservative base whose ethos “Sarah Palin had captured during the election.”