Quite a Performance
Gilbert N. Kahn is a professor of Political Science at Kean University.
Substance aside and with another day still to go, President Trump’s performance on stage with the America’s major allies was utterly embarrassing. He probably did not care, thought he was great, and was depicted as such only by the “fake news” media.
Without commenting on any of the substantive insults and insensitivities, the visuals from Brussels were quite remarkable. What kind of leader is so concerned that he might not get to his place in the front row for a photograph that he vigorously and demonstratively pushed aside the Prime Minister of Montenegro to insure that he got to his place.
How many photographs and insulting images were there of the world leaders watching him speak at the dedication of the new NATO headquarters and 9/11 memorial? How many handshakes did Trump have with France’s new President Emmanuel Macron. It almost seemed like Trump was trying to win an arm-wrestling contest with a trim and fit 39 year old!
The coincidental visuals of Angela Merkel sitting with Obama in Berlin and then, a few hours later, her getting insulted personally, as well as the German people was beyond belief. Having now experienced this rude behavior twice—here and previously in Washington—Merkel must be wondering what Trump may have in store for her in July when she hosts the G20 meeting in Hamburg. She also will be presiding over the first public meeting between Trump and Putin; something which should well add theatre to the meeting’s festivities and amusements.
When he returns to the States Trump has Memorial Day commemorations coming up for which he could well want to take a pass. He could dispatch out the Vice-President, claim he was exhausted, and think nothing of the fact that he may well still find time to play eighteen holes; something that he will suggest he needed to do in order to relax. Sure it was an arduous trip and he is 70 years old; but he is the President and this is the job.
In addition, there is a report that Trump let it be known that he wants more free time and less work. This President is not fit or willing to do the job. He probably has not worked so hard since he worked for his father in construction.
In all likelihood, although it has not been reported—yet—Trump probably did not enjoy the food and missed his bed. The childishness of the President is scary. His conduct was like that of a petulant child or as Foreign Policy observed this morning Trump that Trump stomped his feet.
Congress may be on recess next week when Trump returns, but in light of recent activities, getting back to D.C. will not exactly be a walk in the park.