C’mon, they’re a natural pairing. One’s a hip-hop icon, the other’s Kanye West.
Katie Pavlich notes that if Obama were missing intel briefings and had just postponed a press conference to address his business conflicts of interest but had found time in the midst of all that to sneak in a photo op with Kanye West, the right would have been unhappy. Correct, but that’s been true of virtually every controversial thing Trump has said and done since at least the McCain POW “joke” in summer 2015, which Republicans would have deemed disqualifying if it had come from O in 2008. If we’re going to play the “What if Obama had done it?” game with Trump, we’ll never stop playing it. There’ll be new material literally every day. Besides, part of the appeal of Trump to the right, I thought, was the promise he holds for beating the left at its own game. Democrats relished Obama’s cultural celebrity eight years ago, they justified his executive power grabs because they trusted him to do good, and they practiced identity politics aggressively throughout his term. Well, now the GOP has a guy like that too. Progress.
And whatever you think of Kanye, it’s smart retail politics by Trump. The rap on Republicans is that they’re perennially out of touch with everyone under the age 65; Trump in particular is attacked in the media every day as a racist because of his alt-right fan base. A photo op with Kim’s better half puts a small puncture in those narrative balloons for any voters who haven’t already written Trump off. And hey: It’s always smart for a president to make nice with potential challengers for his office. (Or potential replacements for Mike Pence as VP?)
Exit question: Is Trump more pro-Kanye than Obama is? Remember this?