hat will Donald Trump leave behind? Last year, Ivanka Trump tweeted an image of her father at Mount Rushmore, posing with an unusually natural smile, as if ready to be carved in stone next to George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt. It was no accident; according to the local governor of South Dakota, President Trump had actually inquired about the possibility of joining his peers on the national memorial. Mr Trump dismissed such reports as “fake news”, a phrase he made his own, with no trace of irony.
Yet the Mount Rushmore story was a telling, rather typical example of what immediately comes to mind when reflecting on the past four years – the crazy stuff. Sometimes it was the vanity. There was that impressive construction of tangerine hair, like a dish of spun sugar balanced precariously on the presidential pate. Or the plausible claim made by one of his many former advisers that he seriously considered taking the oath of office with a copy of The Art of the Deal, rather than the usual bible. Or the incessant, childish, spiteful, angry, unreal tweets, including the still-unsolved “covfefe” riddle.
Other moments were simply bizarre – such as when he thought out loud about using disinfectants and sunlight internally to treat Covid patients – and must, at last, have broken the patience of even the most conservative Republicans.