Like or dislike Barack Obama, his keynote address at the 2004 Democratic convention caused a lot of people to think of him as a potential president. Now we have a Donald Trump speech that’s supposedly disqualifying as far as Trump’s bid for the presidency is concerned. According to the headline in Vox, Trump’s Saturday remarks introducing his VP pick, Mike Pence, “showed why” Trump “shouldn’t be president.” The article that followed, by Vox editor-in-chief Ezra Klein, asserted that Trump’s speech “was weird [and] shocking. Forget the political mainstream. What happened today sat outside the mainstream for normal human behavior.”
Klein described the presentation as “farce,” relating that “Trump emerged without Pence [and] proceeded to talk about himself for 28 minutes. There is no other way to say this than to say it: it was the single most bizarre, impulsive, narcissistic performance I have ever seen from a major politician.” Eventually, Trump “recited Pence’s accomplishment[s] like he was reading his Wikipedia page for the first time…The final humiliation was yet to come: Trump introduced Pence and then immediately, unusually, walked off the stage, leaving Pence alone at the podium.”
To Klein, the performance demonstrated that Trump, while “funny and magnetic,” is a narcissistic entertainer, not someone who ought to be POTUS (bolding added):
Selecting and introducing a vice president is a heavy duty in American politics; it is the most power one person will ever have to potentially choose the leader of the free world. But Trump couldn’t see past himself to match the moment…
Insofar as the presidential campaign is one of America’s favorite reality television series, Donald Trump is an outstanding participant. But this was also a scary speech to watch, and insofar as the presidential campaign is a test to see who has the character, the discipline, and the seriousness to be President of the United States, Trump is failing it.