The statements issued late Saturday night from President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump following the Senate’s vote for acquittal in Trump’s impeachment trial point to a continued and very vocal clash between the 45th and 46th presidents.
In a statement from the White House, Biden declared that “[w]hile the final vote did not lead to a conviction, the substance of the charge is not in dispute.”
Clearly suggesting a theme for Democrats in the future, the president also underscored that “[e]ven those opposed to the conviction, like Senate Minority Leader [Mitch] McConnell, believe Donald Trump was guilty of a ‘disgraceful dereliction of duty’ and ‘practically and morally responsible for provoking’ the violence unleashed on the Capitol [January 6].”
Trump countered with a not-so-subtle hint that he was headed for the speaking circuit and eventually the campaign trail to trumpet his record in office and continue his campaign against Biden.
“Our historic, patriotic, and beautiful movement to Make America Great Again has only just begun,” read a statement from Trump’s office in Palm Beach, Florida, “In the months ahead, I look forward to continuing our incredible journey together to achieve American greatness for all people.”
In recent years, former presidents have kept quiet about their successors in the years after leaving the White House.
If there is any comparison in American history to what appears to be a pending clash between president and former president, it is that of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Herbert Hoover following Hoover’s defeat at FDR’s hands in 1932.
“Even as [Hoover] prepared to leave office, he was setting himself up as the leader of the resistance and the opposition,” wrote historian Eric Rauchway in “Winter War,” his critically-acclaimed book on the 1932-33 presidential transition.
Historian Kim Phillips-Fein of New York University might easily have been forecasting Trump in his post-White House incarnation when she wrote in the “Atlantic” of former President Hoover: “[He] embedded himself in the circles of the resistance, talking to businessmen who seemed ‘terrorized just as surely as the people in Moscow.’ He continued to be active in conservative circles…and helping to lead the right-wing factions within the Republican Party.”
As Roosevelt biographer Conrad Black said of Hoover and FDR, “Their mutual dislike was probably almost as great as that between Biden and Trump.”
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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