The picture in the White House

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In case you missed it, this painting was hanging behind Donald Trump during his White House interview with Lesley Stahl.

It is preposterous.

That’s not a word I use lightly. But it’s appropriate. It’s the sort of image you see in a central Missouri home. It’s the sort of image you see in the mall gallery. It’s the sort of image anyone with the slightest bit of artistic taste mocks. It’s the sort of image that oozes … bullshit.

I won’t speak for Richard Nixon. But the Bush family abhors Donald Trump. Ronald Reagan—the man who took on Russia with unambiguous ferocity—would abhor Donald Trump. Teddy Roosevelt and Abe Lincoln and Ike wouldn’t even know what to make of Donald Trump.

And then there’s Gerald Ford.

Gerald Ford isn’t America’s greatest president, but he’s probably my all-time favorite. The man just oozed integrity, decency, kindness, respect. Hell, this remains a cherished example of how leaders should behave. I can only imagine Ford in the room, looking at Trump not with respect or warmth, but pure bewilderment. He wouldn’t stomach the bullying. He wouldn’t comprehend the need for mass approval. He wouldn’t tolerate the belittling of opponents.

The image you see would never happen.

Because it couldn’t.