Obama is charming, charismatic, humorous, well educated, and engaging. He seems to be a solid family man with little hint of scandal. Like any solid leader he has an ego and can be a little arrogant at times. He has a great smile.
Donald Trump is boorish, inarticulate, ignorant in much of the realm he occupies, bullying in his tactics, and his charisma is more akin to a demagogue. He has had multiple marriages, and little loyalty. He is more often pictured with a scowl than a smile.
Yet I find myself agreeing with little of Obama’s policy, and with much, though not all, of Trumps. Both presidents did what they said they would do.
Obama was rated higher than his party. Trump is rated lower than his. The economy under Trump is doing much better than under Obama, and much of it can be tied to his actions and policies.
We have never seen two sets of economic policies so different so close together. It is like the perfect economic experiment. It is also rare to see the contrast between the character and style of two leaders contrast so much with the effectiveness of their policies.
Voters vote their pocket books until they don’t. They may not draw a line from the policy to their economic outcome. Each party will blame the other and avoid accountability if they can. Charisma can veil policy failures to a point. Repulsiveness can also obscure success.
Voters may pay little attention to policy and relay much more on their emotional connection to the candidate and their party. It is more like a team spirit than rational analysis.
This divergence of character and policy causes anxiety. It is the epitome of being incongruous. Trump’s character makes many who support his policies shy about openly supporting him. It may also be throwing the polling off its axis.
The success that the Democrats will have in the midterms, will depend on the face that is associated with their run. The Democrats will be running every candidate against Donald Trump; the Republicans will be running every one of their candidates against Nancy Pelosi. It may be hard for some to imaging which is more toxic, but Trump is more likely to have economic and policy successes filling his sails. Pelosi is most remembered for the devastating losses she brought her party. She lacks both charisma and policy success.