A couple of weeks ago I came across a Huffington Post study on ... wait for it ... Trump fatigue. Turns out this is hardly a new study — it was published in October — but then my readership of the Huffington Post is about as regular as my readership of Plumbing Perspective.
At any rate, just the words “Trump fatigue” gave me pause, so I read on. The HuffPost, as it likes to call itself, surveyed both media coverage and reader interest in POTUS and determined that both had declined during the course of 2017. Perhaps not surprising, given the quantity of coverage of the first few months of his presidency.
Thinking about my interest level, I have to say it has dropped somewhat. But it’s a day-to-day thing, because any day can bring a new and fascinating comment from the leader of the free world.
Why, just today (Thursday) he declared this on Twitter: “We do have a Trade Deficit with Canada, as we do with almost all countries (some of them massive).”
OK, not that fascinating, but it’s more interesting when you learn that the U.S. has a $12 billion trade surplus with Canada. And that got me to thinking about some of his other statements, written and spoken. Here’s just a smattering, in no particular order:
u “I will build a great wall — and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me — and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words.” — Jan. 28, 2017, interview with Piers Morgan.
u “But I’m very happy with Anthony. I think Anthony is going to do amazing.” — July 25, 2017, Wall Street Journal interview. Anthony Scaramucci was forced out six days after this interview.
u “I hate to tell you, Puerto Rico, but you’ve thrown our budget a little out of whack because we spent a lot of money on Puerto Rico, and that’s fine. We saved a lot of lives.” — Oct. 3, 2017, speech in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria.
u “Mike Pompeo, Director of the CIA, will become our new Secretary of State. He will do a fantastic job! Thank you to Rex Tillerson for his service!” — March 13, 2018, Trump tweet. Tillerson learned he had been fired when he read the tweet.
u “We have signed more legislation than anybody. We broke the record of Harry Truman.” — Dec. 27, 2017. Trump in comments in West Palm Beach, Florida fire. According to non-partisan Politifact, he actually ranked last among post-World War II presidents in their first year.
u “And a lot of steel mills are now opening up because of what I did.” March 10, 2018. Trump statement in a speech in Pennsylvania after he signed a steel tariff measure on March 8. (The Philadelphia Enquirer dryly noted, “... that’s, um, fast work.”)
u “The people of South Carolina are embarrassed by Nikki Haley!” March 1, 2016, tweet by Trump. Haley is now the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, appointed by Trump.
And then there are the nicknames and/or colorful descriptions he has of other notable people, including:
u “Cryin’ Chuck” (U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.), “Crazy Megyn” (Megyn Kelly, then Fox News anchor), “Little Bob Corker” (U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn.), “Lyin’ Ted” (U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas), “Bad (or sick) Guy” (then-President Barack Obama), “one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood” (Meryl Streep), “truly one of the dumbest of the talking heads” (Rich Lowry, editor of the National Review), “reminds me of a spoiled brat without a properly functioning brain” (U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky.), “Pocahontas” (U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.), “a clown with zero credibility” (Karl Rove, former White House Deputy chief of staff), “doing a lousy job in taking care of our Vets” (U.S. Sen. and former Vietnam War POW John McCain, R-Ariz.), “one of the dumbest and worst candidates in the history of Republican politics” (former Massachusetts governor and presidential candidate Mitt Romney), “looks more like a gym rat than a U.S. Senator” (U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb.), “does zilch,” “doesn’t know how to win” (House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., and “once a choker, always a choker!” (U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.).
Geez, with material like that, along with a variety of other topics — Russia, DACA and Stormy Daniels, to name a few — it’s hard to get Trump fatigue. But while I’m not in need of a nap, I do kind of feel the need to take a shower.
Bob Hunter is associate editor of the Mail Tribune. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.