I don't agree with this reaction to President Biden's speech:
This. Need a path to make this a win for Rs so they will help tout the vaccines and encourage people to get vaccines https://t.co/M7ct6a5ubc
— Brendan Nyhan (@BrendanNyhan) March 12, 2021
What's the point? Trump doesn't do magnanimity himself, and he doesn't respond to magnanimity in a normal human way. If you want to know how Trump would react, you shouldn't try to imagine how it would go if it involved two psychologically healthy presidents who've been at odds: "Hey, I've been pretty tough on you, but you did a really good job with this." "Thanks, and you're doing a hell of a job now."
That's not Trump. Trump doesn't want to put aside differences. He wants to win. He doesn't like meeting in the middle. Flattery he likes. He wants to be told he deserves sole credit for good things. A couple of days ago, he demanded as much:
I've seen the stories arguing that Biden is building on good work from the Trump administration on vaccines. I think Trump's administration did a better job on vaccine development and distribution than on managing the pandemic, by several orders of magnitude. But Trump did an average job on vaccine develpment, as opposed to the abysmal job he did on every other aspect of this crisis. Any other president would have spent money and developed a team to speed vaccine research and try to get vaccines to the public as quickly as possible once they were declared safe and effective. And scientists and governments around the world wanted a vaccine at record speed. But Trump wants to be told that his unique genius is the only reason we're getting our shots already.
He'd have never been willing to share credit for the rollout with Biden, just as he wasn't willing to join other U.S. presidents in promoting the vaccine:
When President Donald Trump received his Covid-19 vaccine at the White House in January, it was not recorded by official photographers or videographers, according to a person familiar with the matter, who said it wasn't clear there was any photographic documentation of the moment.
That alone would have made it difficult for Trump to be included in the public service announcement of all living former presidents and their wives receiving vaccine shots....
It was a conversation on that January day between former Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama that formed the basis of the vaccination campaign, which debuted Thursday. Because Trump made the decision to not join his predecessors in that historic moment, a person close to the project said, he wasn't asked to be involved in the public service announcement.
Trump expressed little interest in joining his predecessors to promote the vaccine, and the team that organized the PSA did not view it as likely that the 45th president would participate, leaving little opening for his inclusion.
"He has made no signals of wanting to be included in these types of moments," an aide to a former president told CNN.
And what's preventing Trump from promoting the vaccines on his own? What's preventing him from barnstorming the country and telling people who admire him that "his" vaccines are great and everyone should get one? What's preventing Republican politicians or the right-wing media from taking that approach? I'd be fine with that -- whatever makes people want to get their shots is okay with me.
But it's not happening. Trump is psychologically incapable of sharing credit. Republicans and the right-wing press seem reluctant to do it because it might run up the hated Joe Biden's vaccination numbers.
Biden shouldn't give Trump 100% of the credit -- and Trump wouldn't cooperate if he got any less. So Biden might as well give him none.
Republished with permission from No More Mister Nice Blog.