The views expressed in these commentaries are solely those of the authors’. View more opinion on CNN.Obama’s small but deeply important point
As a conservative commentator, I spent years — at least eight of them — railing against both the policies and prose of President Barack Obama. It was my job, and there was plenty of material — some fair, some unfair, in retrospect.
But in contrast to the first term of President Donald Trump, it’s clear looking back that Obama felt the weight of being president, had reverence for the office, respect for the mantle that voters gave him and worked tirelessly to fight for his agenda.
At the Democratic National Convention tonight, he made that contrast crystal clear, saying he hoped Trump “might show some interest in taking the job seriously.” He hoped he’d appreciate the office and responsibilities that came with it. “He never did,” Obama said. Trump clearly had “no interest in putting in the work.”
It was a small point — Obama rightly went on to promote his former Vice President Joe Biden. But it was an important one, and one that only he could make. The job of president is hard to begin with. It’s impossible when the person in the White House has no real interest in doing it, no respect for it, no belief in it.
Some will criticize it as a cheap shot. I disagree — I think it was fair, effective and persuasive. We need a president who wants the job, not just for the power but for the responsibility that comes with it.