Trump’s responses are the latest example of how he is radically altering the idea of what it means to be “presidential.” During the 2016 campaign, Trump’s attacks on John McCain’s war hero status, his savaging of a Gold Star family, his wild exaggerations about his wealth and his seeming disinterest in the truth were all taken, at one point or another, as signs that he simply wasn’t “presidential” enough to actually win anything. That while voters liked his unorthodox style they would eventually tire of him as they looked for the sort of statesman who had traditionally held the nation’s top political job.
It didn’t happen. And Trump has never stopped. His quintet of tweets on London are not only something that no previous American president would ever have said, they’re also are statements that it’s hard to imagine any other leader in any other democracy around the world saying.
They are more the statements of a conservative talk radio show host than they are of what we have come to think of as a president — bombastic, over the top and out of context. They are, by traditional standards, anti-presidential.
Which, come to think of it, is a good way to describe Trump. He is sort of an anti-president — at least in terms of how we have always defined those terms. Trump’s attitude and approach in office is closer to Jerry Springer than to Gerald Ford. He’s more Limbaugh than Lincoln.
What we know: Trump isn’t going to stop Trumping. The only question now is whether voters want an anti-president as their president.