Merkel told Obama she felt compelled to run again to counter Trump: book
German Chancellor Angela Merkel reportedly told former President Obama after the 2016 presidential election that she felt obligated to run for a fourth term in office to counter then-President-elect Trump.
That interaction between Obama and Merkel is recounted in a forthcoming book – “The World as It Is” – by former deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes. The New York Times reported on excerpts from the book.
Merkel had a single tear in her eye as she bid farewell to Obama for the final time, Rhodes recounted.
“She’s all alone,” Obama remarked, according to the passage reported on by the Times.
In the book, Rhodes also describes Obama’s interactions with other world leaders after Trump’s 2016 presidential victory. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe apologized for meeting with Trump after the election, and Obama implored Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to be a vocal defender of liberal values, the book says, according to the Times.
Obama and Merkel had a particularly close relationship. Trump, on the other hand, had spoken critically of the German leader on the campaign trail, taking particular aim at her handling of Europe’s refugee crisis.
As a candidate and since taking office, Trump has touted his “America First” approach to foreign policy, and has routinely criticized the international trade agreements and traditional U.S. alliances that have characterized the liberal world order for much of the past century.
In his book, Rhodes recalls how Obama questioned whether he had been wrong about the success of globalization after Trump’s election.
“Maybe we pushed too far,” Obama said, according to Rhodes. “Maybe people just want to fall back into their tribe.”