When Trump won the presidential elections, Ben Rhodes, one of President Obama’s closest advisors, could not believe what was happening before his eyes. He sat in shock away from the hustle gazing into emptiness. According to a video online, he said he needed few minutes of silence to process what happened and then he mumbled: “I can’t even put it in words.”
Rhodes was not the only one in a state of shock and denial. Even his president went through a psychological trauma that lasted for weeks, as Rhodes himself mentioned in his book The World as It Is that will be published in few days. In fact, President Trump’s victory came as a shock to the Democrats who did not doubt for a minute that Hillary will have a sweeping victory that’s humiliating to her Republican opponent. They even prepared fireworks to celebrate the historical victory. However, after Obama woke up from the shock, he told his aides in his armored car: “What if we were wrong? Maybe we pushed too far. Maybe people just want to fall back into their tribe.” He means the political, religious, ethnic tribe and other sub-affiliations.
Obama also felt disappointed and insulted that the Americans replaced him with someone he described as a clown who had questioned his place of birth. It meant he was not loved and worshipped like he expected or like those who surrounded him had convinced him he was as they always told him that it will not be difficult for him to win if he runs for a third term.
Even after Trump won, Obama compared him to a cartoon figure who cared about his crowd sizes, and he was irritated that someone like Trump was succeeding him. This anger and contempt was accompanied by a sense of spiritual contemplation that follows horrible events. To his opponents, Trump’s victory seemed like a doomsday and day of indignation that have befallen on them from the heavens. However, Obama decided to get out of this desperation and raise the morale of his psychologically broken team as he wrote to Rhodes once: “There are more stars in the sky than grains of sand on the earth.”
Merkel ‘all alone?’
Obama is a chapter from history that ended with all its flaws and good deeds, but knowing such stories and secret accounts is important to find out how such leaders - who have the keys to history and to changing the world - think.Mamdouh AlMuhaini