Donald Trump and Barack Obama don’t have a great deal in common, but they share this trait: both love to talk about themselves when campaigning for others (and not just then).
Obama was in Nevada on Monday, campaigning for Democratic candidates including Rep. Jacky Rosen who is trying to unseat Sen. Dean Heller in a race Democrats probably need to win if they are to gain control of the Senate. According to the Daily Caller, Obama referred to himself 92 times during his speech.
Trump was in Texas the same night campaigning for Sen. Ted Cruz, among others. I don’t have a count on the number of times Trump referred to himself, but it likely exceeded 92 (to be fair, Trump’s speech was considerably longer than Obama’s, I believe).
The president bragged so much that I changed the channel. It’s not that I’m “tired of winning.” I’m just tired of hearing Trump talk about winning.
There are distinctions to be made between the two speeches, though. For one thing, Trump’s presidency is an issue in this year’s election. Indeed, it’s the key issue. Democrats are running less on their policy ideas (which many of which they would rather not discuss for fear of turning off swing voters) than on their opposition to Trump.
I’m not criticizing Democrats for this. Republicans did the same thing with Obama in 2010 and 2014. I’m just saying that because Trump and his presidency are the core issue in this election, it makes sense for Trump, when campaigning, to discuss these things.
By contrast, Obama and his presidency are not much at issue this year. Yet the narcissist can’t refrain from visiting these topics.
The other distinction is the extent to which the two men talked about the candidates they were in town to support. The Daily Caller reports that Obama mentioned congressional candidates Susie Lee and Steven Horsford once each, gubernatorial candidate Steve Sisolak once, Lieutenant Governor candidate Kate Marshall twice, and Rosen four times.
I don’t have the count for Trump in Texas, but he spent loads of time praising a host of Texas Republicans. This included not just those involved in tight races, but also Rep. Louis Gohmert who apparently will win going away (Trump joked that he wasn’t asking people to vote for Gohmert because he’s so far ahead). It also included Sen. John Cornyn, who isn’t even running this year.
Thus, Trump wasn’t just pitching himself and his presidency. The rally was, in part, a giant advertisement for the Texas GOP.
Nevada Democrats seem, by comparison, to have been a footnote to Obama’s oration.