On May 11, 2011, President Barack Obama appeared in a rare late night broadcast to announce the United States had conducted a military operation that killed Osama bin Laden. It was one of those moments in life where you remember the details of where you watched it. I recall my husband and I were in a hotel room in Ft. Collins, Colorado, glued to every word of President Obama’s 9-minute statement. There was a sense of national, collective relief. It was one of the defining moments of President Obama’s two terms.
Roughly eight and a half years later, Donald Trump stood behind a presidential podium to announce another successful military operation, this time killing Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the United State’s most wanted terrorist. In stark contrast to Obama’s speech, in which he repeatedly thanked U.S. troops for their “professionalism, patriotism, and unparalleled courage”, Donald Trump delivered his message in lengthy, rambling 46 minutes, in which he released sensitive details of the operation that has military officials cringing and he spent a good deal of time largely congratulating himself, using terms and descriptions that were un-Presidential, to say the least.
To show just how different the two announcements were, Jimmy Kimmel’s team mashed up a video comparing the two. What Donald Trump said is nothing short of startling, especially in comparison to such a measured, presidential-sounding announcement. LISTEN:
— Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel) October 29, 2019
As military historian Max Boot noted in The Washington Post, “Trump’s news conference should have been his shining hour. Instead, it showed yet again why he is utterly unfit to be commander in chief.” One might even say he “choked like a dog.”
The incompetence is even more stark in contrast to President Obama. We must return to decency in 2020.