Donald Trump, while addressing a rally in Greensboro, North Carolina, openly wondered why President Barack #Obama is angrier at him than at the terrorist who shot up a Gay nightclub in Orlando. The media snorted that Trump is implying that the president has sympathy with the terrorists. The accusation is untrue. The president likely hates ISIS, if for nothing else for the political headaches that the Islamic State is causing him. But he really hates and fears #Donald Trump as an existential threat to his legacy. The feeling of ire is not personal. The president would feel the same way toward Ted Cruz, or even Jeb Bush if one of them the presumptive nominee.
One problem the president faces is that he lacks the skill sets and the mentality to be a war president. Obama lacks whatever it was that Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, or even George W. Bush had to wage an active war against an enemy of the United States. He does have the qualities needed to wage political war against a domestic enemy. After all, he did win two elections, one against John McCain the other against Mitt Romney. Those skills did not translate to the 2010 and the 2014 midterms when his party was given a thumping.
However, the president’s tendency to attempt to divert attention from the ISIS terrorist threat to taking shots at his political enemies and massaging unrelated agendas like gun control is likely to hurt his party in the 2016 election. Trump has a lot of failings, to be sure, but not among them is any unwillingness to destroy the terrorist army that has inspired mass killings in San Bernardino and Orlando, among other places. Most Americans find the gun control diversion to be annoying, if not outright threatening to their civil liberties. They are absolutely terrified at the idea that, at any moment, some crazed Jihadi will show up in a public space and create death and mayhem.
Republicans always tend to win when the issue is which candidate is stronger on matters or war and peace. Obama may be about to throw an election against the demonstrably weakest candidate that the Republicans could nominate. The fact that Hillary Clinton is the weakest candidate that the Democrats could choose does not help matters. #Terrorism