The only thing I feel certain of is how we got here. There are many reasons we’re at this moment, but the essential political one is this: Mr. Obama lowered the bar. He was a literal unknown, an obscure former state legislator who hadn’t completed his single term as U.S. senator, but he was charismatic, canny, compelling. He came from nowhere and won it all twice. All previously prevailing standards, all usual expectations, were thrown out the window.Steve Benen suggests that this might be the ultimate "Thanks, Obama" meme. But, as I often do, I get a kick out of his way of using understatement as a kind of delicious irony.
Anyone can run for president now, and in the future anyone will.
Noonan complains, “Anyone can run for president now.” Well, yes, and anyone could run for president before. President Obama has had an enormous impact on the nation’s direction, but eligibility standards for the White House remain unaffected.I just have to add that, for this writer, Barack Obama as presidential candidate was the quintessential anti-Trump. The opposite of "the Donald's" pattern of labeling anyone who disagrees with him a "looser" or "stupid," was this:
And when it comes to Trump's message based on fear mongering about what it is that makes America great, that Obama guy inspired us with something pretty different.
If Republicans had ever bothered to learn something from the power of messages like that, we'd be in a very different place today.