Donald Trump has a special fondness for peddling insults, and we’ve grown accustomed to hearing him use similar words and phrases to target his many perceived rivals. But as the New York Times noted, the president went after Stacey Abrams yesterday with phrasing he doesn’t often use.
President Trump disparaged Stacey Abrams, the Democratic nominee for governor of Georgia, in ambiguous and unusually personal terms on Thursday, warning that “her past” left her “not qualified to be the governor.”
Mr. Trump did not elaborate and offered no evidence for his assertion, which seemed to be a potential preview of the political message he will deliver on Sunday, two days ahead of the election, at a Georgia rally for Brian Kemp, Ms. Abrams’s Republican rival.
But the decision of the president, who has been criticized for inflammatory language, to invoke Ms. Abrams’s background so broadly was a distinct escalation in his attacks on her bid to become the first black woman to be elected governor in the United States.
The comments came on the heels of a recent tweet in which Trump described the Georgia Democrat as “totally unqualified.”
According to the comprehensive Trump Twitter Archive, Trump has called exactly one person – literally, just one – “unqualified” since becoming president, and it’s Stacey Abrams.
There is a certain irony to the attack. After all Donald Trump, up until quite recently, was a television personality, who’d never served a day in public office, who spent much of his life benefiting from illegal handouts from his father, and who failed repeatedly as a hapless businessman.
Perhaps he’s the wrong guy to start offering evaluations about who is and isn’t “qualified” for high-ranking elected office.
But it’s also a curious line of criticism because it’s wrong.
Abrams has 11 years of experience as a state lawmaker, and she’s held a legislative leadership post for roughly half that time. She’s also a Yale-educated attorney who’s had success in the public and private sectors.
Sure, she’s never been the host of a reality-TV program, but by any sane measure, Abrams has the necessary qualifications to be governor.
And yet, there’s Trump, making the opposite case for reasons he hasn’t explained. I wonder what it is about Stacey Abrams that’s led him to use language he doesn’t generally apply to anyone else?