Usually if the president paints himself into a corner, he’ll flail in spectacular fashion — tweeting excessively, say, or purging most of the executive suite of a Cabinet-level department. On Monday, as Donald Trump faced another great crisis of his presidency, he was, as usual, posting. But unlike the hostile online tone he has taken throughout the nascent impeachment push, Trump linked to something a little more contemplative: an animated video of some of his lighter and prouder moments, set to his Liberty University commencement speech from 2017.
The first scene shows Trump, in July 2017, placing a Marine’s hat back on his head after a helicopter gust had knocked it off. The next snippet is from Trump’s extremely cursed appearance as an SNL host in November 2015, when he danced to a parody of “Hotline Bling,” followed by his September 2016 appearance on The Tonight Show when Jimmy Fallon ruffled his hair.
About halfway through, it gets political, as the video includes Trump’s inauguration, and what appears to be a conversation with Chuck Schumer in which Schumer is painted as a clown. (Satire’s early death has been exaggerated.) The video closes with a shot of a MAGA rally, and the incident at CPAC in March when Trump hugged the American flag. In faux stop-motion, it almost looks like a touching moment, rather than the real-time shattering of a world leader’s mind.
The video — which looks like a pharmaceutical rep’s reimagining of the animated parts of A-ha’s “Take on Me” — was made by the user Power Tie, which at least explains why the president’s oversize red formalwear appears so prominently. Assuming the clip has Trump’s approval, it’s a telling 45 seconds to highlight: Some of the TV president’s most joyous moments have occurred when he is performing the role of politician but doesn’t have to do anything.