For one brief evening in American politics, Donald Trump was forced off center stage. In fact, during the first night of the first round of Democratic debates on Wednesday, the president was rarely mentioned, as the moderators and candidates instead undertook a refreshingly rigorous debate on policy.
“BORING!” Trump erupted via tweet just 30 minutes into the night, perhaps realizing that he had been pushed aside. By that time, the Democratic presidential hopefuls had already discussed income inequality, health care, and reproductive rights. None of those issues made an appearance on the president’s timeline. As the debate came to a close, Trump tweeted a video imagining himself as president far beyond two terms—one that, while troubling, did nothing to engage on the issues facing the country that his potential rivals had been grappling with.
The next morning, after the most substantive Democratic debate in years, the president chose to further respond with a bizarrely edited meme video mocking a sound glitch that briefly interrupted the event, a technical difficulty for which the candidates surely weren’t responsible. Seconds into the clip, footage of Trump’s entrance at the 2016 Republican National Convention is shown, all to the tune of “Crazy Train.”
For Trump, the video placed him back as the headliner.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 27, 2019
It’s unclear if Trump, who is now in Japan attending the G-20 summit, will be tuning in for the second night of debates where Joe Biden, the candidate he is said to fear the most, will take the stage. If he does, expect more memes.