By Craig Hardegree | 

Listening to Trump…like watching acid bubble out of a battery and leave a corrosive film on everything it touches. And then President Obama spoke…like a waterfall — peaceful and soothing in presentation, but mighty in depth and strength.

Last night Trump told his crowd in Scranton that he’s winning in Ohio and Iowa, as if a tide is turning. I gave him both of those states in my prediction 12 days ago — he’ll win both and still lose in the most spectacular flame-out since the South lost the war. And for the same reason…

…goodness and decency will always prevail.

Trump also complained about President Obama doing so much campaigning for Hillary. Said President Obama ought to be back at the White House bringing back jobs and taking care of this and that.

Trump — completely lacking in the most rudimentary understanding of how our constitutionally-established government works — had no idea that congress must first pass legislation before it is presented to President Obama for signature.

And consistent with his established practice of blaming on the nearest woman or black male, all the ills of a society run for more than 200 years by white males, Trump failed to criticize the white-male-led congress for not being in session to pass a jobs bill for President Obama to sign or a war resolution giving President Obama the direction and authorization to fight ISIS with the better-than-the-generals plan which is mysteriously known only to conservative white males; Trump failed to criticize the white-male-led congress which is on Day 38 of a 44-day vacation that the white-male leaders of congress — who are supporting Trump — gave themselves from October 1 through November 13 for the purpose of campaigning for themselves and Trump; Trump failed to criticize the white-male-led congress for their recently-completed 52-day vacation that stretched from July 15 to September 5; Trump failed to criticize the white-male-led congress for shirking their duties for 206 days in 2016.

But back to Trump hilariously complaining about President Obama campaigning for Hillary.

I mean, wasn’t President Obama supposed to be so toxic right now that no one would want him anywhere near a candidate? After all, they met on the night of his first inauguration and purposed in their hearts to turn him into such a failure that he couldn’t possibly get reelected in 2012. And they spent every single day after that, opposing him on everything he did — even things they had previously proposed and supported. And they daily denigrated and belittled him and spoke all manner of evil against him falsely.


Only presidents who serve two full terms are ever in a position to campaign for their successor — the final in-office campaign for one-term presidents is the bid they lose to serve a second term.

Nixon was elected to a second term in 1972 but resigned before completing it. Ford finished out Nixon’s term and lost his bid for a new term. Carter and H. W. Bush served one term each.

In the past 44 years, only four presidents have had the opportunity to work to elect their replacement: Reagan in 1988; Clinton in 2000; Bush in 2008; President Obama in 2016.


In the Fall of 2008, Bush had such a dismal approval rating — he left office with a final approval rating of 22% compared to President Obama’s current approval rating of 56%  that John McCain scheduled Bush’s speech at the 2008 convention for the very first night to get it over and done with in the hope that people would forget about Bush by the time McCain gave his acceptance speech on Thursday night.

And then McCain cancelled the first night of the convention.

On account of Hurricane Gustav.

In the Gulf of Mexico…

…1,200 miles away from the St. Paul convention center.


When the 2000 election cranked up during the Summer of 1999, Gore didn’t want to sully his reputation — he hadn’t cheated on Tipper yet — by standing too close to Bill Clinton who was fresh off having the House of Representatives pass two articles of impeachment against him only six months earlier in December 1998. So Gore severely limited any campaigning that Clinton could have done for him.


Senior Bush’s 1988 Republican National Convention was held in the Superdome, 17 years before it would become an iconic symbol of the disastrous presidency of his son.

Reagan gave a speech that week.

About the miracles he had wrought; the water upon which he had walked; the wine he had made from water. Toward the end, he briefly mentioned Bush and told him to, “go out and win one for the Gipper.” He then closed with how he had healed the sick and raised the dead and cause the blind to see again.

He gave a second speech at the Mesquite Rodeo in Dallas three days before the election where he again talked mostly about himself.

No rousing endorsement in either speech of his vice-president for eight years.

Reagan made a few other stops to campaign generically for all Republican candidates. But these were the only two the Reagan library felt would qualify as examples of Reagan “Campaigning for George H.W. Bush.”


So, yes, this full-blown full-throated without-reservation multiple-stops-in-one-day campaigning by President Obama for his successor is unprecedented in the history of our country.

But it’s not because the others wouldn’t have loved to have the fiercely urgent campaigning of a sitting president who today is more popular on the eve of the 2016 election, than Reagan was on the eve of the 1988 election.

It’s not that the others wouldn’t have loved to have the most successful economic president in history putting in a good word for them right before people went to the polls.

It’s not that the others wouldn’t have loved to have their closing argument made by a president who had taken a broken country that lay in ruins in 2008 and returned it to unprecedented greatness in 2016.

It’s just than none of them had the opportunity.

Because there’s only one President Obama.

And there’s only one Hillary.

And this is the first time in modern history that a candidate and her predecessor were so fond of each other and so convinced of each other’s honor and integrity and abilities, that neither hesitated to link the legacy of one to the presidency of the other.

The most beautiful and effective closing argument ever given by a sitting president in support of his successor:

“I still believe in hope and I am as optimistic as ever, because of you, the American people. I have visited schools, factories, and seen the letters you have written me and the tears you have shed over a lost loved one. I have seen your goodness, strength, and your heart. You gave me a chance…a skinny guy with a funny name. And for these past eight years, I saw how hard you worked and the values you teach your children and how you treat strangers in need. I have seen men and women in uniform and military families who served and sacrificed and the wounded warriors who never quit.

You bet on me. I was always grateful for that.

But I always had the better odds.

Because I always got to bet on you…America.

And I am betting that moms and dads will not vote for somebody who denigrates their daughters.

I am betting that most Americans will not vote for somebody who says that people with disabilities are inferior.

I am betting that, tomorrow, true conservatives will not cast their vote for somebody with no regard for the Constitution.

I am betting that young people turn out to vote, because your future is at stake.

I am betting that men across this country will have no problem voting for the more qualified candidate, who happens to be a woman.

I am betting that African-Americans will vote in big numbers. This journey was never about the color of the president, but about the content of his character.

I am betting that America will reject a politics of resentment and choose a politics that says that we are stronger together.

I am betting that, tomorrow, you will reject fear and choose hope.

I am betting that the wisdom, decency, and generosity of the American people will win the day.

And that is a bet that I have never lost.

Philadelphia, in this place where the founding fathers forged the documents of freedom and gave us the tools, if you share my faith, I ask you to vote. If you want a president who shares faith in America and has faith in America and will shatter the glass ceiling, being a president for each and every one of us, I am asking you to work as hard as you can this day to elect this fighter, this stateswoman, our next president of the United States of America…Hillary Clinton!” ~ President Barack Obama, November 7, 2016, Independence Hall, Philadelphia.


Like This Post

Follow Craig Hardegree on Facebook

Recommend HeartAgree Blog

Copyright Notice: Essays on this site are completely original content and are the copyrighted work of Craig Hardegree. Sharing via social media buttons or links to intact essays is encouraged and appreciated but essays may not be otherwise disseminated or republished in whole or in part and may not be disassembled or rewritten without the express written permission of Craig Hardegree.