Barack Obama wasn’t always so opposed to Donald Trump.
In fact, decades before the real estate mogul became one of Obama’s harshest critics and before Obama made Trump a target during the contentious 2016 presidential campaign, a young Barack Obama even looked up to Trump.
That was revealed through a soon-to-be-released biography of Barack Obama called Rising Star. The book revealed that during his days at Harvard Law School, Barack Obama started to write a manuscript about American politics that named Donald Trump as an idol.
In the book — which Obama would eventually discard before going on to write a series of best-sellers including Dreams from my Father — Barack Obama wrote that he aspired to be as successful as Donald Trump one day.
“The depth of this commitment may be summarily dismissed as the unfounded optimism of the average American — I may not be Donald Trump now, but just you wait; if I don’t make it, my children will,” Obama wrote (via a book review from the Washington Post).
Within a few decades, it would be Donald Trump tearing down Barack Obama, Fox News noted, and the two have had a contentious relationship since then.
“After Trump launched a fruitless campaign questioning whether Obama was born in the U.S., Obama, as president, viciously needled Trump during a White House Correspondents Dinner speech in 2011 – with Trump looking on stoically.
“Obama in October derided Trump as ‘insecure enough that he pumps himself up by putting others down – not a character trait that I would advise in the Oval Office.’ The ex-president has also criticized his successor via a spokesperson since leaving office.”
Since taking office, Donald Trump has taken some significant steps to erase Barack Obama’s accomplishments and take on his legacy. Trump has signed a series of executive orders taking apart Obama regulations, and this week, the House passed a new health care bill that would repeal Obamacare.
Barack Obama isn’t the only one whose legacy has come under fire from the Donald Trump administration. Trump has also taken aim at First Lady Michelle Obama’s initiatives in the White House, including her signature program promoting education for girls across the world.
As CNN reported, Donald Trump brought an abrupt end to the program.
“The ‘Let Girls Learn’ program, which she and President Barack Obama started in 2015 to facilitate educational opportunities for adolescent girls in developing countries, will cease operation immediately, according to an internal document obtained by CNN.
“While aspects of the initiative’s programming will continue, employees have been told to stop using the ‘Let Girls Learn’ name and were told that, as a program unto itself, ‘Let Girls Learn’ was ending.”
The White House said that the program remains in effect, but did not respond to questions about the memo obtained by CNN. At the same time, Trump’s Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue also hinted that Michelle Obama’s signature program to make school lunches more nutritious, saying there would be a rule change “providing regulatory flexibility for the National School Lunch Program.”
— The Hill (@thehill) May 5, 2017
Obama has also emerged as one of the more vocal critics of Donald Trump, though not always directly. Obama has urged Americans to stand up against perceived injustices and to demand accountability from their government, which has fueled much of the anti-Trump protests.
This has also fed into rumors of a larger campaign against Trump’s presidency, one that could eventually lead to his impeachment.
Members of Congress 'holding secret conversations about removing Donald Trump from office' https://t.co/wLkcHq9roB
— Andrea Chalupa (@AndreaChalupa) May 5, 2017
While Barack Obama may no longer idolize Donald Trump, the passage from Obama’s never-published book has a large measure of truth. Both Obama and Trump have now achieved the greatest accomplishment in American politics — being elected president.
[Featured Image by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]