The Wonderful World of Trump Worsts

May 27, 2020 · 553 comments
CallahanStudio (Los Angeles)
Thanks, Gail Collins. Things are never so tragic in close up that you can't find something laughable in the long view.
Jacquie (Iowa)
Barr, Trump and McConnell. Trump is the perfect mob boss and the other two fall in line.
beaujames (Portland Oregon)
Collins, as usual, goes superficial instead of substantive. Think of Oscars--who's the best by category instead of overall best. How can you compare an actor to a screenwriter to a cinematographer to a director. Worst political party ever: GOP since 1968. Worst president ever: too easy. Worst senator ever: Moscow Mitch Worst Secretary of State ever: Mike Pompeo Worst Veep ever: Aaron Burr Worst Attorney General ever: William Barr Worst Speaker of the House ever: tie between Newt Gingrich and Paul Ryan
Isabella (Here And There)
Republicans in 2020 all deserve the "worst for America" attribute at the rate they are disassembling our democracy and our country.
Vesuviano (Altadena, California)
I wouldn't even consider Trump as "the worst", because he's always been this way. It would be like getting angry at a dog for being a dog. As i am a public school teacher, I hold no brief for Betsy DeVos, but honestly think she is simply too stupid to be held as "corrupt", or "the worst". To be the worst requires a certain amount of knowledge about what you are doing. I'll nominate someone whose name was, remarkably I think, not mentioned in this column: Attorney General William Barr, Trump's answer to the prayer for his own Roy Cohn. The man who in record time outdid John Mitchell, Edwin Meese, and Eric Holder for corruption. William Barr, who has done more to damage the Department of Justice in such a short time than I would have thought possible. Under Barr, the statue of Lady Justice is not simply blindfolded, but has a bag over her head. So there is my choice: William Barr, with Mitch McConnell a close second, with Devin Nunes third.
William I (Massachusetts)
Trump is the worst president in American History. Worse than Millard Fillmore (1850-1853), Franklin Pierce (1853-1857), James Buchanan (1857-1861), Andrew Johnson (1865-1869), Warren Harding (1921-1923), Herbert Hoover (1929-1933), Richard Nixon (1969-1974), and George W. Bush (2001-2009). Yes, I know the dates from memory. I have been teaching American History for over 20 years. I have covered and read about every president for many years. It's a close call between Trump and A. Johnson, but now I think Trump is the worst of them all.
Cynical (Knoxville, TN)
Let's work to evict him from the White House on Jan 20, 2021. It'll feel far better than simply calling him names.
tparker (Albuquerque)
Trump (as always) is the worst of the worst. Then Pompeo, followed by Azar, followed by Cruella DeVos.
Silvana (Cincinnati)
Yeah I go with the most superficial explanation too, Gail. Of course he can't wear a mask! What? Deprive us of that intelligent, beautiful, and strongly superior demeanor we all love?
John McDermott (Grand Island, Ne)
Gail, you forgot Bill Barr who is Trump's fixer and just announced yet another investigation into the investigators. It never ends with this bunch.
Steve Kennedy (Deer Park, Texas)
I see Mr. McConnell as the major threat to our country. Mr. Trump is a disgrace, but he now mainly sits in his bedroom pouting and rage tweeting. Mr. McConnell is actively conniving to undermine our system of checks and balances, a much more destructive activity.
Cara (Halfmoon Bay)
the worst: forever impeached djt. He does not deserve to be called president.
rose6 (Marietta GA)
Just saw the documentry "Where is my Roy Cohn ". Cohn was one of the most corrupt and very dangerous lawyers of the McCarthy era and went on to be a mentor to Donald Trump when Trump was a young real estate developer in NYC and Cohn was an attorney for Mofia families running afoul in nearly every aspect of government overisght! As the film suggested Trump learned much of his antisocial behavior from Roy Cohn and there are many similaries in both of their personalities. They were are both pathological liers!
Andy (Westborough, MA)
This column could have been an editorial in the Onion. Really, you cannot make this stuff up. I feel like I have been living in a parallel Onion universe for the last 4 years.
Joe Ryan (Bloomington IN)
How about Mike Turzai, Speaker of the Pennsylvania House?
The about the 100 million citizens who stayed home and did NOT vote ? How about the more than 50 % of women who voted for Pres Trump ? How about the majority of Black and Latino citizens who did NOT vote ? That level of ignorance,compacency and apathy is whyTrump will get reelected..... We have met the enemy and it is US...once again....
Tim Peddicord (Ventura, California)
I honestly wonder if there is anything that Trump can say that will finally cause the GOP leadership and members to say enough! So far, it looks highly unlikely. There has been no accountability for anything he has said or done. He proves on a daily basis that he can do anything he wants. Perhaps if he said, "I have declared myself king of the United States for life", that might cause them some slight concern. Menwhile for all those so-called moral people of the GOP, is this the kind of example you wnat set for your kids? Is this the way you were brought up?
76 (Montara CA)
"... edging out some tough competition." "Edging out"... can one really say that ANY (and I mean ANY) American president has behaved so recklessly domestically and internationally, and with such ignorance and respect for the Office? That comparison is like viewing the waste of Hiroshima and saying, "This MAY be the most powerful bomb every dropped."
Bill Bloggins (Long Beach, CA)
How about One and Done Don? He can add his imminent failure to the long list that includes failing in selling liquor, gambling, football and steaks ... to Americans.
g. harlan (midwest)
Worst Politician? That's easy: Senator Robert Portman of Ohio (and those of you in red and purple states, with "seemingly" moderate, sane Republican Senators should feel free to substitute his or her name here). Why? Because he's the type of person who enables Trump and in so doing he legitimizes Trump. People like Portman congratulate themselves for working behind the scenes to keep Trump from really going off the rails. Well, I think it's now safe to say they've failed miserably at the one thing they pretended they were there to do. If there weren't any Rob Portmans, there wouldn't be any Trump.
JSK (Crozet)
Here is a blurb from a 2005 NYTs essay discussing Reinhold Niebhur: "The last lines of "The Irony of American History," written in 1952, resound more than a half-century later. "If we should perish, the ruthlessness of the foe would be only the secondary cause of the disaster. The primary cause would be that the strength of a giant nation was directed by eyes too blind to see all the hazards of the struggle; and the blindness would be induced not by some accident of nature or history but by hatred and vainglory."
Am (Sacramento)
its all fun/jokes, until 100,000 of our neighbors/parents/grandparents/siblings/friends died. BAD/Malicious/Enabling behavior/poor management caused this!! it didn't have to be THIS WAY! SAD!
Judith Stern (Phila)
Gosh, it's hard to vote for a #1 in this instance. Ultimately, I would vote for Mitch McConnell, who is probably the most cynical, the most manipulative and most corrupt politician of recent times. I have always thought he was despicable, but after reading Jane Mayer's impressive article in a recent New Yorker, I am sure of it. However, I'm sure that if Ms. Mayer set her sights on any one of the people you mention, I might be conflicted.
Jules Freedman (Cincinnati)
The problem with this administration is how to describe it. We've had some democracy. Now we have a plutocracy (government by the wealthy) an oligarchy (a government of the few), a kleptocracy (a government by the corrupt), and a kakistocracy (a government by the worst), all rolled into one. This takes some doing for sure.
cw (Texas)
Trump needs to lose the election and go back to reality TV. That’s really his only basis of reality. His supporters can watch him there all they want and the rest of us can turn him off. Freedom from harassment. Freedom from watching harassment. Sorry, I not a fan of horror shows.
David Martin (Paris, France)
The Fed inflated stock share prices. The printed trillions to do this. Now, a rich guy can sell 5 shares of Apple, at $322 each. That will feed a family of 4 for a month. Poor people can can wait on the poverty food line.
Gazeeb Betempte (San Francisco)
A measure of Trump’s derangement is his own estimation of himself as the best and most beloved President America has ever had. One guy that’s sitting back and enjoying this Trump sideshow of self-adoration may well be George W. Bush, President #43. Who until Trump came on the scene was largely rated, after Richard Nixon, the worst President in the modern era. Then came Donald Trump serving to make George W. look not only dignified and Presidential but as someone having the intellect of an Einstein. A reality George W. Bush may never have imagined in his most fanciful dreams.
Faustism (Kinderhook NY)
Blaming Trump and the Republicans for the Covid-19 virus and all the mistruths you have been told is a fairly weak argument for a Biden presidency. The mistruths published in this newspaper and the MSM would match each distortion you present. Good luck with that in November.
ACM (Miami)
Ben Carson, Jared Kushner, Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, Steve Bannon, Larry Kudlow, Peter Navarro, Steve Mnuchin, Kelleyanne Conway, Rudi Giuliani... Why do I know all these names?
Alan R Brock (Richmond VA)
'' 'You know, a poll just came out that I am the most popular person in the history of the Republican Party...I beat our Honest Abe.' '' OF course you are, Donald. You were also crowned ''Man of the Year'' in Michigan. You are so special. Yes, you are. Mirror mirror on the wall.....
R. Williams (Athens, GA)
"Tweety" certainly doesn't have the same umph as the more to-the-point "twit."
Sam Th (London)
Let's not forget Barr. But, seriously, another column about how awfully bad the lout in the White House is?
Michael Kubara (Alberta)
"President Tweety." Problem is Tweety Bird was smarter. How about "President Twirp?" Or "Quack Quacking Donald."
cyrano (nyc/nc)
Conman in Chief as a Trump nickname for Biden to use? or a zippier version: Don the Con. Then there's Trumpty Dumpty. etc.
stephen (ny)
I guess you missed that desantis turned out not to be the idiot he was painted to be. Florida handled the crisis well, much better than here in NY. Sometime a republican can get something right.
Birdygirl (CA)
Gail, you forgot Andrew Johnson in your worst president line-up. Now, that's a guy, racist to the bone, who really flubbed things up during Reconstruction, of which we are still feeling the effects today. But, getting back to the present, it really is hard to beat the Tweeter-in-Chief for awfulness, unless you count Bill Barr as part of this lumpen lot. He isn't far behind.
Kathy (Chicago)
How about "Lyin' Don"?
David (Australia)
President Tweety? I humbly suggest Joe pivot to using Captain Clorox for a bit more cut through- on drains, intestines and the moral high ground.
A Knapp (Stony Brook, NY)
President Twit works better for me than President Tweety.
WuB. (Janesville WI)
I used to laugh out loud at Gail's columns. Is it me (probably) or has Gail been brought down with everything that is going on and is unhappy like most of us?
Howard Leznoff (Markham, Ontario)
gail, i thought you were saving him for last, but he escapes mention: theocrat, crude propagandist and tin-pot enabler: bill barr.
Stew R (Springfield, MA)
I don't believe in attacking a person's motives. In addition, ad hominem attacks and excessive snark are childish. Apparently, Ms. Collins disagrees. Is this the best the NYT can do with its op-ed page?
Samuel (RI)
Biden's the worst.
annied3 (baltimore)
Each member of "Tweety's" retinue eminently qualifies to receive "the worst." What makes this award more damning is that so many of these and other of his enablers are self-described "Christians." Not only do they abuse their positions of power for their own self aggrandizement, but they suggest that "God" is on their side as they go about their work, making a hell on earth.
ElleJ (Ct.)
Not to ever quibble with you, Gail, but I think Tom Friedman’s amazing column yesterday on Pompeo duly crowned him as the worst of the worst, but you’ve always been funny and kind with your razor edge humor. trump has bulldozed his way to the devil’s dungeons in hell to show the American people how small, petty, cruel and inhumane he just “is.” What’s wrong when forty percent of the country, give or take the polls, applaud his actions? How is that possibly possible? Incompetence and his disgusting actions during this pandemic, notwithstanding, he has killed the hearts and souls of this country, helped along mightily with his evil accomplices. 100,000 dead and counting...
rudy (Los Angeles, CA)
Cap (OHIO)
I'm going to throw in Joe Biden as a dark-horse candidate for this award. He scares the hell out of me. My father was a politically active Republican. A former Army officer, he hated commies and somehow survived watching the 60's antiwar protests without having a stroke. Today he would be a staunch supporter of Republicans for the Rule of Law. He was honest and ethical, almost to a fault. He would despise Trump. So much so he would be first in line to vote for Biden - and maybe even a couple of other Democrats as well. So why do I choose Biden? My father once told me it was an insult if all you can say about someone is that "He is a nice man." The first thing that comes to mind about Biden: "He is a nice man." I like Joe Biden. It would be great to have him as an uncle. It would be great to have him over for Thanksgiving. But I fear, maybe not this Thanksgiving. Biden walks softly. Well, okay. But, at the very least, he needs to have a some General Pattons and a few disaffected Republicans in his ranks. Unless Biden begins to step up to the challenge, we (the whole country) may well loose in November. If so, he and the far-too-often dithering Democratic party should not be forgiven. Trump is not bound by ethics or conscience. He is the incumbent President. Very long odds for a "nice man" to win against. Think about it, Joe Biden. Get out of the basement. In this case winning is the only thing!
Paco varela (Switzerland)
The old saw about "one bad apple..." doesn't come close to capturing the avarice, stupidity and nastiness of this administration. The entire barrel is rotten to the core. Time to throw them all out in the compost heap.
Sam Marcus (New York)
trump will absolutely/definitely go down in history as the worst and most dangerous, racist, incompetent, arrogant, petulant, narcissistic, resentful, despicable, deceitful, insecure, ignorant/stupid, dictatorial president in the entire history of our great country. i have absolutely no doubt. when the history books are written he, his family, cabinet, republican congress AND supporters, justifiable, will not be treated kindly. And presidential historians who write these books will earn the Nobel Prize in literature (not the noble prize in journalism - as defined by trump.) Oy, veh! be well and safe - everyone - regardless of your views.
Cathykent78 (Oregon)
I don’t understand how Trump who misstates all the time who skews words and meaning who never believes anything would tout his recently poll numbers, what a boob!
Anna (Sweden)
My vote goes to Mitch McConnell (McConman?), who is ultimately in charge of the US. Trump is just the GOP's useful idiot, who draws all the attention while McConnell furtively shoves his party's agenda down Ameria's throat. As for presidential nicknames, I'm suggesting (for Trump): President Itnorant ("I Take NO Responsibility At No Time"). Sums up his presidency succinctly, methinks.
Clackker (Houston)
Tweety Trump - that works. Go for it, Joltin' Joe!
Mark (NM)
president* "Tweet -ill-Dumb "
SR (Bronx, NY)
The winner, sadly, really is "yes", i.e. all of them. Just as the loser ouroborally distracts from his own vile crazy acts with even more vile crazy acts such that it's impossible to truly tell the atrocities from the distractions (hint: also "yes"), so each member of the vile GOP, his "cabinet", and his family outplays each other at Be The Most Cruelly, Crazily, Bigotedly, Economically-Destructive-ly Awful. Whoever wins, we lose.
Norbert Voelkel (Denver)
Gail, you are looking and trying too hard. The Commander in Chief---the person in the White House--is the eye of the hurricane. Look no further. Rotten to the core. Irresponsible, narcissistic to the core. How can the GOP continue to support his faints, his deflections, his lies, his sick fantasies. That is the real question.How can America tolerate Donald jay Trump??
Lake. woebegoner (MN)
Who's the worst political person, you ask, Gail? Remember that scene about "fair" in "Snow White?" Well, your question has nothing to do with beauty, as politics, politicians and those who write political column are as ugly as one can get. Before you cast the first stone, look in the mirror.
Bill (Vancouver)
How about a group, every single GOP senators. Pathetic pawns!
Biron (San Francisco)
Does the NYTimes pay people to write these opinion pieces that require little more an entertainment factor rather than any real insight in the day's news? If they do, where can I submit mine?
JA (Tallahassee)
George W Bush must thank his god every day that he no longer holds the title of Worst President Ever.
Tom (Floirda Man)
When is the contest for the worst human in this administration?
Dennis (Plymouth, MI)
With her very first words from the podium, you knew Kayleigh (“I will never lie to you”) McEnany had just commited her very first lie. I'm not saying she's in anyway "the worst", but she does have to get a trophy for her participation and an honorable mention for the uber speed of her head-long dash to the bottom.
KJ (Tennessee)
Not Tweety. Let's call him MOTHER. And for the sake of decorum, leave out the last name.
David (Charlotte, NC)
It's time to refer constantly to this president as "Sleazy Donald".
michael (sarasota)
Great column, Gail. A pity that you-know-who will not read it.
MCF (California)
If we get rid of Trump we get rid of Kushner, Ivanka, Devos, Pompeo, know-absolutely-nothing Ratcliffe in charge of intelligence when we recently experienced our worst terrorist attack since 9/11... (see Tom Friedman) Make America safe, smart and strong Again! Get rid of Trump and his pack of wealthy incompetent dumdums!
Brown (Southeast)
Better (more honest) award would be greatest traitor to the US. Senate leadership, hand's down.
Steve N (New York)
Gail, the mental picture you conjured up of Franklin Pierce playing golf has made my day. Thanks.
Opinionista (NYC)
“I tawt I taw a puddy tat!” Who said that? Was it Trump? T’was Tweety when he saw a cat, one with an orange rump. A bit confusing. Who is who? The world is upside down. Trump is the cat named Tweety now and Tweety is now a clown!
Sha (Redwood City)
If the nickname you give Trump must be the name of a beloved children's character, the most apt one is Pinocchio! Otherwise Biden can call him by what he is truly one of the greatest in the history: A conman A charlatan A fraud
Silvana (Cincinnati)
I call him President Pandemonium because he's all d/evil.
Blank (Venice)
No contest, itch McConnell.
Lee N (Chapel Hill, NC)
Every day Fearless Leader does something that makes you, at the least, shake your head, and at worst, mourn our national demise. And yet, Fearless Leader’s unwillingness to wear a mask, because it will “make me look stupid”, is fascinating to me. Here is a man that is pushing 350lb., has arguably the worst hairdo on the planet, wears ties that hang almost to his knees, and wears a $3 golf hat on his pumpkin-sized and colored head almost non-stop, and he is worried he might look stupid if he wears a mask? It would be the only thing about him that DID NOT suggest “stupid”.
Richard Katz (Tucson)
Yes, it's too easy to point to Donald Trump as the worst person in the U.S. (who is not already incarcerated) and there is plenty of evidence to support the accusation. But I am just as troubled by the tens of millions of Trump base supporters, an amalgam of racists, xenophobes and imbeciles who have, in a sense, created Trump. Seeing and appreciating the emotional tenor of a Trump rally is totally reminiscent of a Hitler rally; this is truly the "worst" of America.
Fred (Up North)
Tweeter (Trump) and the Monkey Man (Pence) get my vote for the worst duo of the eon.
Stephen Kurtz (Windsor, Ontario)
A fish rots from the head. I think that should be sufficient for this administration of ne'er-do-wells, incompetents, religious nuts, fools, etc.
Patrick Donovan (Keaau HI)
Where's Ben Carson?
Cogs (Auburn, NY)
Gail, Joe Biden's "President Tweety" doesn't have much punch but YOUR "President Pandemic" does. I believe I see "President Pandemic" bumper stickers in our future.
Sirach (wilson nc)
I suggest Trumpy the Dumpy. Or just dumpy Trump.
JJ Corleone (North Carolina)
What about Sleeping Wilbur Ross?
FrankK (Boston, MA)
Much as I hate to say anything exculpatory about the Conspiracy Theorist In Chief, I have to say that his stupidity strikes me as more than just a vote-getting pose. I think it goes straight to the bone. And it sort of partly excuses his acting like an idiot. McConnell, on the other hand, seems merely evil.
Been There (U.S. Courts)
"President Pandemic" certainly is accurate and memorable. However, "President Pinocchio" seems more detailed: A puppet of a foreign master, Fake hair, A nose grown long from lying, Painted skin, A wooden heart, No guts, No genitals.
Paul (Bellerose Terrace)
If we can’t call Trump “tweety,” can we refer to him as the “Commander-in-Bleach?”
Bradford McCormick (New York)
If only DJT and his fellow travellers were cels in a Zap comix! (Did we taxpayers pay for the whole brood to fly down to Cape Kennedy on Air Farce One yesterday for a frustrated PR op?) If he wasn't real, sometimes he really is funny tweeting from beneath his cute little orange cupcake topper (is it real or is it a toupee?). I think "Rocket Man", "kung flu" [no that apparently came from an aide], and even "shifty Schiff" (I really liked Schiff's performance in the Impeachment misproceedings!) really are cute too. Has he thought of "Vindictive Vindman" yet? Maybe DJT, like "tailgunner Joe" really is a war hero -- maybe the real reason he got a draft deferment wa for scrapnel in his foot? And on and on.... America is apparently the laughing stock of the world while a sometime comedian in Ukraine seems to be a genuine statesman and a true leader of his people. The sorrow and the pity. At least it's not night and fog here yet.
LGBrown (Fleet wood, NC)
djt's motto: Be Worst!
Phyll (Pittsfield)
Mitch McConnell gets my vote. Without McConnell running interference for him, Trump would be nothing but an ignorant, loud-mouthed boor.
Bill (Philadelphia)
Careful there Gail. You don't want to get a nasty tweet from the Tweeter-in-Chief.
larkspur (dubuque)
Trump had over 60 million votes. Abe Lincoln had less than 2. Trump polls higher than Lincoln. Both presided over a great civil war. Lincoln had over 750,000 deaths. Trump only 100,000. Lincoln had his Emancipation. Trump his repeal. Now, who's better at making America?
Greg Shenaut (California)
I think I prefer “Boss Tweety” as a nickname for Trump.
Michael Judge (Washington, DC)
I vote for a three-headed Troll: Jim Jordan, Devin Nunes, Matt Gaetz. They perfectly combine to embody Trumpism’s phony rage, grandstanding, ignorance and stupidity.
Jeff Barge (New York)
Here's a survey published in Barron's that said that Pres. Trump is just as bad as Florida Beach goers.
larry bennett (Cooperstown, NY)
Hard to pick a winner when all you have are losers to choose from.
Roberta Laking (Toronto)
I don't know, "President Tweety" has a certain ring to it. Catchy, you might say.
Flaminia (Los Angeles)
I think President Tweety fits pretty well. His pinched narrow pouty little mouth looks like the cartoon mouth of Tweety Bird. Add that to his Twitter inanities and you've got your double entendre handle. I don't know why people inflate him so much with all their hyperventilating. He's just a pathetic little puffer fish. The people I worry about are the voters that can't see this obvious fact.
Peter Elsworth (Rhode Island)
Tweety? How about Don the Con.
Kimiko (Orlando, FL)
Gail, have you seen a Sylvester and Tweety cartoon recently? Don't be fooled because Tweety looks cute: he's actually a mean little bird.
ABaron (USVI)
Everything Tweety accuses others of having done always turns out to be something he has done himself. I'm afraid this suggests someone closer to home maybe has a corpse moldering in his own closet.
Peter Ryan (Vancouver BC)
I’m sticking with President Pot Roast.
Annette Jacobs (River Edge, NJ)
As always Ms Collins is right on target, carefully documented and a great voice for the country
mather (Atlanta GA)
But there is on bright spot to Trump's presidency. The curators of James Buchanan's presidential library and coffee shop are very happy. Why? Because their Jimmy is no longer the consensus choice among historians for Worst President Ever. Now at worst he's just a very distant second. So congratulations guys, and hurrah for Jimmy!
John LeBaron (MA)
"Worst Political Person of the Summer?" Are you kidding? How about worst political person of the current century? With the debatable exceptions of Jair Bolsonaro or Kim Jong-un, nobody yet comes close. The last Century gave us such heavyweights of dictatorial carnage as Stalin, Hitler and Mussolini. Only the shredded ligaments of the US Constitution so far save us from a similar dire fate. Although we may still retain the reins of democracy, if we let them go we might never regain our grip again.
Bonnie (Petaluma, California)
Bill Barr.
Other means (East Hampton, CT)
What about "The Butcher of Mar-a-Lago"?
kathleen cairns (San Luis Obispo Ca)
I think President "Tweety" is pretty darn good. It is accurate, and surely designed to get under his very thin skin. Go Joe!
stu freeman (brooklyn)
No mention of Bill Barr, Trump's chief enabler as he reduces the role of America's Attorney General to that of Don Trumpo's personal consigliere. We've got an embarrassment of wretches here (most especially Moscow Mitch) but a prime place on the podium needs to be reserved for the latter-day Roy Cohn that our feckless leader has finally found.
Person (Wisconsin)
I've been assulted with the vision of a man that was killed in perhaps premiditated Murder. Murder one, that's what I'd charge him with. He had his knee on the neck of the suspect for seven minutes and had knowledge that he was dead at that point. He killed him intentionally. This happend about 3.4 miles from where I grew up. Yea, racial tentions were high. Yea I have my tales to tell, but this is off the charts! Murder One! Murder in the first degree. I'm sure he's guilty of it. I'm probably going to barf tonight.
R Allen (Columbus, Ohio)
This is one race where I believe Trump wins even the popular vote. He's the captain of this ship of fools. He behaves the way he wants his minions to behave, and they try. This ship of fools must be sunk NOVEMBER 2020. VOTE DEMOCRATIC, FULL TICKET.
Barbara (D.C.)
There are only three things trump never neglects: watching TV, maintaining his tan and insipidly tweeting. He's not only worst president ever, he's like a poster boy for American rot.
Tom Harrison (Newton, MA)
What about Billy Barr? He's in charge of the DJT, right, the Department of Justice for Trump.
morton (midwest)
There is an embarrassment - indeed, a veritable mortification - of ...not riches, really; let's just say, possibilities. Anyway, it is remarkable that Gail could get through this whole column without one mention of William Barr.
amp (NC)
Gail please stop being "so negative about our president" and saying that he doesn't understand science. You forgot he had an uncle who taught at MIT, plus we all know he is a 'very stable genius'. My brother the physicist bows down to his exceptional expertise. (Just kidding Paul.) When it comes to the mask business and the not wearing of one, I vote for 3--it's not attractive and covers too much of his orange face when it's not red with rage. Actually way back when wearing masks became popular he said so. Think Melania was bullied into not wearing a mask? At least Ivanka and her children wear masks, but of course her genius husband, the one who brought peace to the Middle East and solved this virus problem, you know Jared, doesn't wear one just like his hero--our president.
Thomas Zaslavsky (Binghamton, N.Y.)
Even Andrew Johnson, the crypto-Confederate successor to Lincoln, did not dismantle the federal government. Though it's true he tried to prevent dismantling the white supremacist governments in the supposedly defeated South. One wonders, now and then, what Lincoln would have done if he had survived. Would he have banned CSA Gen. Nathan Forrest from government when the latter set up the KKK?
Joshua Schwartz (Ramat-Gan, Israel)
"Franklin Pierce failed to head off the Civil War, but he definitely would have looked better on a golf course." He appears to have been strikingly handsome. As few pay any attention to him, I suggest taking a few seconds to open the White House link to see his portrait:
Glen (Narrowsburg, NY)
No matter what Trump says or does, on any topic, Biden should just shake his head and say, "Dude... 100,000 Americans dead on your watch. What is wrong with you?" And then stop talking.
Oreamnos (NC)
two worst: 9/11 failure to heed warnings Afghan and Iraq wars, we haven't one either Katrina, failure to react Covid 19, failure to prepare and react. Score: W 3, T 1, W winner, I mean loser.
JH (New Haven, CT)
Well, it won't be long before we have TrumpVilles. Of course, unemployment will be the common factor among TrumpVille residents, as it was in Hoover's time. If you thought he flailed bigly over the pandemic, just wait until the eviction notices start to rocket. Can you say MAGA?
Kevin W (Des Moines, IA)
Has there been a positive thought for a Republican here???
1954Stratocaster (Salt Lake City)
I would plagiarize the DSM-5 and have Sleepy Joe claim that Trump suffers from Narcissistic Presidential Disorder.
David (New Jersey)
You have to ask? If it were not for the twisted overlord, Trump, there would be no Pompeo, Barr, DeVos, McEnany and the other stars of this clown show.
richie flay (longboat key, florida)
Thinking Barr should get an honorable mention along with Miller, Sekulow, and Trump's animated puppet Navarro.
Wanda (Kentucky)
Your headline makes me wish I were capable of drawing cartoons: I can just see Tweety with an orange head and jumping up and down, the bubble filled with all those Trumpisms about the imaginary threats he sees out his window.
Troy (Virginia Beach)
Trump likes to use people’s first names in nicknames. It takes away any formality or hint at respect. What Trump is most afraid of is looking or acting stupid, of being wrong. “Dimwit Donnie” would be the ultimate insult to Trump. It would drive right to the core of what he fears everyone will find out about him. That he’s really not too bright, and his image as a intelligent human being is completely fake.
Mark R. (Bergen Co., NJ)
"Hunger Games" reference. Just call Trump 'President Snow.'
Consistent with the substance of your column, Ms. Collins, let's always remember that old adage-,,,,,, .....Birds of a feather flock together....On the contrary, I think we should call him Tweety!
Jack (USA)
Mark Zuckerberg
Sajwert (NH)
Gail, the list should be in this order. Bad Worse Worst People like KellyAnne Conway and those at her level are Bad. Pompeo and Azar and Jared and the like are worse. And at the top of the list is McConnell and the man he is both afraid of and placates, Trump. And the worst is at the top of the heap. A man so vile in behavior and so crass and dishonest and without a sliver of common decency stands Trump.
pixilated (New York, NY)
So many contenders, so little time before if there is justice in the world they might be 86'd. I'm very happy to see Betsy DeVos up there in the top ten list; she is for the most part a stealth destroyer of the social contract, topping off destroying the Detroit public school system with ambitions to do the same to the nation. It's way past time for her to get on one of her stinkpot yachts and go back to private sector crackpottery. But I'd like to add another candidate for worst, Bill Barr, who drove in his toxic tank of neofascist, dirty tricks just in time to bludgeon his old friend and far superior public servant and patriot, Bob Mueller, and queer an important investigation involving national security to spare a thoroughly compromised and vindictive, congenital liar with hideous taste in personnel from embarrassment. Since, he has spent his time eviscerating the Justice Department to suit his batty, imperial aims, waged war on professionals within and without for the purpose of further protecting his psychotic boss and openly mocked the value of the separation of church and state. For all of the above reasons and because his influence has been as deleterious and consequential as fellow "worst" Pompeo, nonetheless the worst president in US history, please consider elevating him to a rung near the top of the list.
Tom (Florida)
My favorite was Scott Pruitt at the EPA (super secret phone booth in office, bullet proof car, bullet proof furniture, etc.) but alas he's gone. But how could you overlook Stephen -- Bar the Door, Katie --Miller? White Nationalist, Immigration Troll, and perhaps the least photogenic man on the planet.
Chuck Lacy (Vermont)
My nickname for Donald Trump is "himself".
ibivi (Toronto)
Easy. Trump. Everyone he hires. All of his toadies, cronies, the Republican Party, flacks, hacks, appointees...
Phyliss Dalmatian (Wichita, Kansas)
“ I had a little Bird, It’s name was Enza, I opened the Window, And In-Flu-Enza “. -popular Children’s Song, during the “Spanish Flu” Pandemic. In your face, Tweety and Big Bird.
sapere aude (Maryland)
A most depressing column today, Gail.
JEB (Hanover , NH)
Biden should go with Ol’ Bonespur. Kinda has a nice historical ring to it.....And, you shouldn’t be so critical of Trump’s golfing,... like Michelle Obama, he’s just trying to encourage exercise. Didn’t you see the astounding number of reps he did getting in and out of that golf cart?
shimr (Spring Valley, NY)
No doubt our columnists are much better at communicating than our Democratic candidate. Think of the name Gal Collins chose for the genius who belongs in the stable---President Pandemic. Much better than President Tweety. If we had a normal president in office, he would have reacted earlier, prepared fully, and saved thousands of lives. Much blood on the hands of President Pandemic and his enablers.
David Parsons (San Francisco)
The worst, of course is Donald J Trump. He prjects every crime upon his thousands of opponents and nations. His projections define him, and make him a creature of repulsiosn.
Anne-Marie (San Diego)
I have always dismissed conspiracy theories but I am beginning to wonder about one, i.e., that the president is really a robot sent by hostile aliens to destroy the USA. Is there any other way to account for his inhuman malevolence and cruelty, evident in everything he does and says? 100.000 people dead and he doesn't let up.
Brown (Southeast)
Can we put Fox News on the ballot?
Miss Monkey (NYC)
Vanity, for sure. When I wake up in the morning, I think maybe 'it's' finally gone. Too much 'coverage' on 'it' or not enough on 'it.' You're so vain You probably think this song is about you You're so vain (you're so vain) I'll bet you think this song is about you Don't you? Don't you? Oh, ... And that you would never leave
Fred Stone (Manalapan, NJ)
We all recall that Mitt Romney traveled with his dog tied to the top of his car, but what other great hero of American history ever wore a bird's nest on his head?
catdancer (Rochester NY)
Don't forget Bill Barr. He has dishonored the position of Attorney General and become Trump's most obsequious lapdog.
mj (somewhere in the middle)
Nixon was a brilliant president compared to what has come since in the Republican Party. A dementia addled actor whose wife ran the country with the help of an astrologer, an entitled rich boy who thought supermarket scanners were the bomb and used our favorite AG Barr to get out of any repercussions for Iran-Contra, his feckless son and the Reality Tee Vee stupe who isn't bright enough to tie his own shoes. Great line up there the next candidate should be a piece of toast that resembles Elvis.
BSR (Bronx, NY)
Years ago,my definition of a true narcissist: Someone who wants the world paved in leather so he doesn’t have to walk around wearing showers. My present day definition of a true narcissist: Someone who wants everyone around him to wear a mask so he doesn’t have to wear one.
Lost in Space (Champaign, IL)
Since Tweety came up, I vote for Tucker and Hannity, the Hekyll and Jekyll, twin ministers of State News.
Guess who (Kentucky)
Trump by far!
Willy P (Puget Sound, WA)
“The other day she [Kayleigh McEnany] volunteered that Trump was possibly ‘the best president this country will ever have.’” She [Kaylies McMany] meant ‘the last president we’ll ever have’ but was just too honest to say. Looking forward to the trump clan dynasty’s iron-fisted Rule where if you’re not ‘with us’ you’re. just. gone. Adios.
Miss Ley (New York)
A childhood friend used to laugh when reciting Tweety's “I tawt I taw a puddy tat.”, which is sweeter than being known as 'The Lost President', whose first memorable tweet for this voter was telling Miss Universe that she was fat. Folks, We're in Trouble! Vote this coming November, and do not drink any bleach.
Cliff (North Carolina)
You surely didn’t leave out the insipid enabler Mike Pence. This holier than thou person is the worst of the worst.
Kent Kraus (Alabama)
Let me guess: the socialist who wants to kill the golden goose? Maduro?, or Kim? or Newsome,? Surprise! It's the elected President of the United States.
bill b (new york)
A President gets the help he deserves Clinton Rossiter Welcome to the kakistocracy. Eachworse than the next. Trump sets the tone.
Ted (NY)
It’s an unfair question. You have to start by defining “worst”. Thanks to “Citizens United” mega “donor” / manipulators, the bar is so much lower or higher, depending where you place the “X” axis or “Y” axis, as governors are doing with the Corona virus stats to obfuscate the truth.
Milton Lewis (Hamilton Ontario)
In evaluating Trump’s performance as president certain things are indisputable. Trump ranks number one in lies told.No president has ever been as abusive of the free press as Trump.Trump is the all time leader in abusive insults of perceived political adversaries.Trump certainly leads in stupid public comments. Finally Trump is the master at media manipulation.Over all one can easily make out the case that Trump is the worst president of all time. And I did not include his massive mishandling of the virus file. Yet Trump believes he is worthy of another term. It is called self delusion.
Robert L. (RI)
william barr ; trumps fixer; worse then the worst ... trump and his team are corrupt, criminal, unconstitutional, and incompetent but barr illegally acts as trumps personal lawyer to protect him - its a disgrace - Americans deserve so much better !
Gracie (Australia)
McConnell. As viciously Sociopathic as Trump, but does it differently.
Bill Brasky (USA)
to paraphrase James Carville: "it's the 40 million deplorable voters stupid"
Ellen Valle (Finland)
Gail, how could you have left out Billy Barr!
Bruce MacDonald (Vancouver, BC)
How on earth did you miss Lindsey Graham?
Hugh CC (Budapest)
Trump doesn't wear a mask for the same reason he didn't wear protective glasses to look at the full eclipse of the sun. He wants to look tougher than you. And that's the absurdity of it. Trump is the President of the United States, arguably the most powerful person on the planet, yet he still feels the need to prove how tough he is with pathetic gestures of machismo. Which is why, to the even remedially observant, he's just a weak loser.
Ted Faraone (New York, NY & Westerly, RI)
If I had to choose between Tweety Bird and Donald Trump for president I'd vote for Tweety Bird.
Hal's Friend (Canada)
Gail, , not everybody is as old as you and me , BT ( before Twitter ) and President Tweety will not be a reminder of the canary you write about
Person (Wisconsin)
China has to be put back. We have to kill their ships in the middle ground between Hong Kong and Mainland China. Sink them. Singnals, of which Trump is incapable, are important. Sink them. It is a defence of democracy. Sink them and back it up with full militaruy force that follows.
Doug McNeill (Chesapeake, VA)
Lest we forget, there's always James Buchanan, perhaps our first gay president, who, while he did not play golf, teed up our nation for the costly and internecine Civil War which followed him. Our President Tweety can paper the country with epithets 280 characters at a time whether they be keys on a keyboard or as actual members of this execrable administration.
Prunella (North Florida)
I believe a televised awards ceremony extravaganza is required, using the Academy Awards model: songs, dance numbers, sugar shots of be-sequined Democrat women and handsome tuxedoed men, all stunningly masked and social distanced. Gail, of course, shall host. The marionette trophies will be called “The Worsts” of orange pallor with tiny hands and a stiff brassy combover. Details not all ironed out, however. Should the Worsts be brandishing a golf club? Pants up or pants down? Smirking? Teeny tiny? And should there be an ancillary award, sorta a booby prize, called the Turtle?
toomuchrhetoric (Muncie, IN)
Trumpsters still do not care. Their dear leader cannot say or do anything that will change their adoration.
John Paul Esposito (Brooklyn, NY)
Hey! Remember when the Clintons were accused or murder?...of murdering one of their partners in some land deal in Arkansas? That wasn't the donald but it was the republican party. Remember when they smeared presidential Democratic candidate, John Kerry by trying to deny his Vietnam War record? False accusations are right out of the Republican handbook. Trump is just the jester, the front man for the "vast right-wing conspiracy that Hillary "outed" in the 1980's. She was right then and it still holds true. This group of fascists have been trying to seize control of the American government for decades by the use of slander, fear, and blatant lies. Keep reminding the country of these facts NYT! "As the old protest song goes, "Whose side are you on boy?"
jazz one (wi)
Gail, again with the impossible choices! How can there be just one? Yeah, Kayleigh deserves consideration, though so new & fresh, she's ranking right up there. Such a pliable mouthpiece for 'Tweety.' Certainly she's eyeing up KellyAnn's job. (Look out Kellyann, you know t-Rump's record for going younger ...) All the others? You bet. But ... What about Bill Barr? And omg, let's never, ever forget about -- or take our attention off -- of Stephen Miller and whatever nefarious assault on democracy he's currently / always carrying out behind the scenes. And Ric Grenell. Apparently his stock is VERY high with 45. Which, of course, is a terrible thing and he will be very able / enabled to do terrible things. Heaven help us ... survive the pandemic so we might at least get to the polls (forget mail-in; we'll be lucky if there's still a functioning U.S. Postal Service by November, as of course, 45 is working furiously to get that dismantled too) ... and in November -- Vote. Him. OUT.
Fed up (CO)
Gail, you forgot Bill Barr. How could you? He would beat everybody in your list, except perhaps for Tweety.
Person (Wisconsin)
The Hong Kong garbage channel isn't working. What should we do? As the champion of democracy? Defend it mitarily. Put ships in the way. Send our troops in the way to defend democracy. Risk a war. That's what we should do.
William LeGro (Oregon)
And the award for Worst Political Person of the Summer goes to...(opening envelope while audience waits with baited breath) ...the 62,985,106 people who voted for President (unmentionable) and the tens of millions with sub-par IQs who are gonna vote for him again no matter how awful he is because hey, he's *their* kind of awful! Yay! I knew America had its share of pretty awful people - I just never knew there were so many of them, and never knew just how truly, indescribably awful they are. Just when you thought they couldn't get any more awful, the coronavirus has brought out the worst in them and their hero. In fact, the hatevirus they have, and are gleefully spreading throughout the country, makes coronavirus look like the sniffles.
wryawry (the foothills of the headlands)
Never ceases to amaze that the focus isn’t on the basic and simple fact that the drump is nothing more than a contemptible faux-keen gnash shoal.
The Poet McTeagle (California)
I am surprised AG and Trump Personal Attorney William Barr was omitted from this list of deplorables, but perhaps he deserves a column all to himself.
David (California)
Besides Tweety himself my vote goes to Barr - the ultimate toady.
ASPruyn (California - Somewhere left of center)
I think that Trump deserves the B.L.I.M.P. Award. The Biggest Lỉar In Modern Politics Award. He makes Nixon’s “I am not a crook” line almost reasonable. I sure would love to see some organization try to present Trump with a Blimp Award.
dansaperstein (Saginaw, MI)
By all objective standards, the winner should be Trump. But, if for some reason Biden fails to maintain a lead in the high single digits by the end of the summer, it would have to be him. Only an extraordinarily weak and gaffe-prone candidate could lose to President Pandemic. Time will tell.
James (Grand Rapids, MI)
You forgot W. And Reagan. There would BE no Trump without Reagan.
Lynne (Ct)
Dear President Trump: My 91-year-old father refuses to wear a mask now when he goes grocery shopping. Thanks a lot.
JL22 (Georgia)
How about "PoTweetus"? And thank you for bringing up DeVos. She usually gets a free pass because too many in the U.S. aren't the least bit concerned about education - which is probably the very reason we're in the mess we're in.
Chauncey Gardner (The Great Flyover)
When Trump descended to appear among the masses in 2015, he had no public record. The failures were his own personal baggage. Now, there is a public record. Boy, is there ever. The election could be held today. Them and us know who we’ll vote for and there’s nothing left to say that could possibly change our minds. As to the, “gee, I don’t know”, group. Don’t bother. There’s nothing either candidate can say that would make the slightest bit of difference. It’s Biden and Chewbacca or whomever!
Crowdancer (South Of six mile road)
Just a thank-you to Gail for recognizing the consistency, continuity, persistence and focus Secretary DeVos has brought to her disastrous tenure as head of the Department of Education. It isn't just a question of how godawful you are. As I see it, it's more how much real damage you can do, how badly you can degrade and demean the office you hold and the public trust that goes with it over a significant period of time. And Our Miss Betsy definitely holds the undisputed lead over every other Trump cabinet level appointee. She's been a catastrophe from the beginning and has done nothing but up her game since her first day in office. Our public schools are now both resource- and grizzly bear-free. Well, actually our public schools are all closed because of this admins swift action in the face of the pandemic, but that's neither here nor there in larger scheme of things. In the larger scheme of things, the destruction of public education is the goal and always has been, and no one has put in more effective work to this end than Secretary DeVos. My vote goes to her (if we're voting this year).
Skye6206 (Montana)
I feel bad for the contenders. No matter how much raw talent is out there, with Trump they are destined to never be the best of the worst. It is like all those guys who tried to compete with Michael Jordan. The Utah Jazz should have won a ring or two, but with MJ, how can you compete? We will look back on this period as "peak" horrible politicians. They have existed previously but never with this collective luster. What a line-up! McConnell, Graham, Barr, Pence, and Pompeo. All Hall of Famers. And that is just the starters. The bench is deep and wide. Still I don't think any of them can beat Trump for general oblivious incompetence. But it is still early in the season.
just a sophomore (nj)
It's my conjecture that 100 years from now there will be a fierce and heated debate among historians RE who was the second worst president America ever had.
faivel1 (NY)
Oh, well we know how ugly all these people are, no news here. 2020 is Coming! I find myself listening to Gov. Cuomo with much appreciation and high regard. His focus on systemic inequality and how it devours our country morals and wipes out all achievements made in previous decades, is just what we need to hear again and again! We need to rebuild this country with respect and humanity for all!!!
Occupy Government (Oakland)
I think it's his hair. Donald doesn't want to loop a mask over his ears and get it caught up in his lacquered locks. And he certainly doesn't want to tie a string behind his head, deflating his pompadour. Besides, he probably needs help putting the thing on. And he needs a mirror to take it off. I'm sticking with vanity. That's why he doesn't wear a mask.
David (Michigan)
FWIW, I think of Mr. Trump as "The Lizard of Waaahs" since he believes, apparently, that everybody is picking on him, every criticism is unfair, and every event was arranged by malicious "others" solely to make him look bad.
Eric Caine (Modesto)
Donald Trump's most toxic attribute is his almost super-natural power to bring out the worst in people. He's made ignorance, hate, licentiousness, crime, and nepotism acceptable by setting examples for every vice. Gaslighting, narcissism, materialism and intolerance have become White House norms even while the President of the United States seems determined to set new records for mendacity in a race where he's the only contestant.
FilmMD (New York)
For a few days, we should mourn the 100,000 dead and allow ourselves to cry. Until then, laughter feels wrong.
Jane (Sierra foothills)
"Now this is the election that’s going to have you awash in rage and terror for the next five months. " Ms. Collins has, yet again, hit the nail squarely on the head.
Wilbray Thiffault (Ottawa. Canada)
No mention about the fact that Secretary De Voss has done nothing to protect the kids against the greatest threat that she identified at her senate hearing to get her job: the grisly bear.
The entire administration is composed of scoundrels with the worst corruption and incompetence imaginable. But Trump is the worst since he is their leader and appointed this egregious group of dishonorable men. Of course the voters who gave him his narrow electoral college victory, the Republican Party that abets and supports him, and all his loyal supporters that follow him without any reservation and compunction are equally culpable. In a sense they are also the worst since they have no respect for our democracy, the Constitution, the welfare of all our citizens, and decency, honor, and above all the truth.
John (PA)
My guess is that a face mask would somehow interfere with Trump's elaborate combover, or whatever is going on on his head. A mixture of baldness, hair dying and surely a few extensions. That's why he can't go outside without a hat if its windy or raining. There is no question that based on Trump's odd mix of arrogance, incompetence, dishonesty and complete lack of empathy make him not just the worst president in history but the worst thing that has ever happened to America.
You are right. He is a disaster within a calamity. A nightmare in the collective derangement of a nation!
Anne-Marie Hislop (Chicago)
Don't forget Mike Pence, though it is easy to do. He's certainly the best toady ever. Like the others, I so often wonder what he did with his decency (for surely he had some before 2016) and how he reconciles his 'deep Christian values' with supporting this man 100%...
Jonathan Katz (St. Louis)
There are many bad things about Trump, but not the pandemic. That's Xi's fault. Franklin Pierce was not a Republican.
Ty Lopez (California)
On Devos, "you should thank God every day that this woman doesn't know how to get things done." Everything about this sentence fits perfectly!
Betsy Blosser (San Mateo, CA)
Gail, you're on your game today. Thanks for the laughs!
Michael Tiscornia (Houston)
I would consider Trump as a cross between Andrew Johnson (impeached and ardent racist), Warren G. Harding (corruption) and James Buchanan (failure to address catastrophe with the might of the federal government).
M Richard (East Hampton, NY)
What about "Twittler"? Much closer to the mark than "Tweetly," which implies fecklessness.
Rea Tarr (Malone, NY)
There's no point in naming anyone the Worst, because whoever he or she is will be gone by next week -- I no longer even try to remember names. Speaking of which, I've been referring to the Donald as Presidemic Trump. He deserves no less.
Roland Berger (Magog, Québec, Canada)
“Will President Trump Stand With Hong Kong?” Yes, and with China.
Eddie (anywhere)
William Barr?
Thomas (New York)
As for Pompeo, let's not forget that, while his Leader is bashing China in several ways (for creating the virus, sending university students associated with their army to gather intelligence here, seizing control of Hong Cong, etc.) when Pompeo sent government employees to pick up takeout food, it was reportedly *Chinese* takeout. Clumsy!
Enlynn Rock (Virginia)
Is there a decent person in trump’s administration?
Janice (Walla Walla WA)
We must quit laughing at them and rise up. "Cynical realism is the intelligent man's best excuse for doing nothing in an intolerable situation."-Aldous Huxley
Stephen (New Haven)
It's embarrassing that you would publish comments about Ron DeSantis and how "terrible" he has been, when in fact he has done much better than 90% of other governors. There is no evidence of wide spread disease propagation from beach goers. This is exactly why the democrats will lose handily in the next election. You are living in your own universe.
pl!nk (plonk)
Never thought I'd be reading up on Franklin Pierce to understand current events
Fred (Chapel Hill, NC)
I don't know which poll found Trump to be the most popular Republican in history, but I'm guessing that it was taken in the West Wing from a sample of about five.
billofwrites (Los Angeles)
Trump is a Hoover. He totally sucks. (w/apologies to a very fine vacuum cleaner.)
aldntn (Nashville TN)
I never imagined such a sorry cast of characters; but all of them in government at the same time? Beyond imagination.
Michelle (PA)
My vote is for Mitch McConnell, Trump's chief enabler. His damage started much earlier than the Trump Administration, and we will be feeling it for years. Early in Obama's first term, he said that his chief priority was to make Obama a one term president. Shouldn't his chief priority always be to serve the country and its people, or at least his own constituents? As Senate Majority Leader, he could easily lead a Republican revolt against Trump.
Mike (Rural New York)
@Michelle 100% spot on. The single most damaging person to the collaborative functioning of the US government.
Stephen Merritt (Gainesville)
There's a run of presidents there in the years before the Civil War who all managed to be very undistinguished, so that the only reason we don't forget them is that apparently it's still a thing to memorize the names of all of the presidents (in other words, as long as the United States lasts and has school children, Donald Trump won't be forgotten). Still, James Buchanan is the one who ought to stand out. Ms. Collins really knows that. We all make slips.
Nirmal Patel (Ahmedabad)
Gail is right, don't call him Tweety. And she is right, Trump calls Biden "Sleepy Joe". Semantics matter. So do sound bytes. Remember positioning ? And I think the point she is trying to make is someone needs to define the disaster that Trump's term has been, and what the election means for America in this period of calamity.
Katalina (Austin, TX)
There have to be reasons why the angry and the others who support Trump continue to do so. It isn't just ignorance, class, or other classifications, rather a gathering of all the misanthropes and deep anti-government types rho have always disliked federalism, from Alexander Hamilton (not the musical) to Reagan, Grover Norquist et al who dislike the idea of a strong federal government TRYING to run a vast empire of 50 states and how many nationalities, languages, and ideas. It has always been a battle to keep the nation together against sometimes great odds like now. Trump's bellicosity and refusal to lead as in this pandemic reflect the worst of us, the anti-country and anti-our ideals. What good is our scientific knowledge when it is mocked, not followed, and it is not just fools in the land, it is the man in the White House.
Katalina (Austin, TX)
@Katalina gosh I just re-read this and I meant to endorse Hamilton to the fullest, not vilify him. This almost sound the opposite...he similarly to George Washington who wanted to build canals and other things a government should/would do, along with Hamilton with whom he was close, believed particularly after the Articles of Confederation didn't work, insisted that the USA had to have a strong federal system.
Steve Bolger (New York City)
Nothing is more partisan than adulation of a deeply troubled individual as a necessity to be heard at all.
Lauren (NC)
I just finished 'Grant ' on the History Channel. I still can't hold in my mind that Donald Trump holds the same office as US Grant. Lincoln, both Roosevelts, Washington, many great men. And the worst part is I can't even square it when I think of the bad ones. Nixon? At least he pretended to care. I honestly hope I never do forget how wholly unnatural this all really is.
Steve Bolger (New York City)
@Lauren: This is what the notion that the US is "under God" has wrought. I cannot imagine why people project their own needs for adulation onto all-powerful hypothetical deities.
Mark R. (Bergen Co., NJ)
@Lauren Donald Trump is the best president ever! But only as long as you don't count the first 44.
JePense (Atlanta)
@Lauren - your "care" is not inline with the "care" of most other people. BTW, Grant's administration was notoriously corrupt.
Clayton (New York)
Easily Mitch McConnell - biggest threat to American democracy since the British burned down the White House in 1812. He's been ripping this country apart since i was a baby. For me personally as a New Yorker, Elaine Chao wins as the biggest Trump loser as head of USDOT. She ruined the Gateway project to add a tunnel under the Hudson, is putting a wrench in congestion pricing that will help save the subway, has made it impossible to effectively connect public transit to New York's airports, and actively promotes the increase of polluting cars. And no surprise - she's married to Mitch McConnell! It all goes back to him.
Dave Oedel (Macon, Georgia)
If Ms. Collins is reduced to suggesting that Pompeo is the worst secretary of state in history because he had someone walk his dog, that's pretty thin gruel. As for Franklin Pierce not avoiding the Civil War, well, neither did Abraham Lincoln. That looks to have been an impossible task for both of them after Chief Justice Taney's Dred Scott decision in 1857. Taney invited the Civil War far more than did Pierce and Lincoln.
Fred W. Hill (Jacksonville, FL)
@Dave Oedel I'd say it was the elitist Southern slavocracy that started the U.S. Civil War and all in order to protect and expand slavery. Lincoln did his Constitutional duty in responding appropriately to their treasonous actions - treason both against the nation and against humanity.
Roger (NY)
We have an embarrassment of choices for the Worst Worsts. What to do? With the new daily truths of the moment coming from multiple sources in this administration, the time has come to find the best (worst?) Baghdad Bob, in DC and beyond. This could be the best consolation in these fraught time of so many avoidable tragedies. Over 100,000 of them...
-AU (Ann Arbor)
I laughed a lot reading this piece, and then I felt incredibly sad.
WPCoghlan (Hereford,AZ)
Gail, Your premise rules out the critter in the Oval Office. If you are looking for an actual "person", it is out of the running. There is zero evidence of its actual humanity. No empathy, curiosity, humor, kindness, self deprecation (lord no), insight, intellectual rigor or warmth. It may well be the worst something, just not the worst person.
Philip (Pacific Northwest)
I would like to challenge everyone to another contest: Name one single positive trait of Donald Trump! (I don't expect many replies...)
peter (ny)
"Malibu Kayleigh" hasn't been in the job long enough to be a real challenge to the pro's, perennial contestants Betsey ("Never Met a Public School I Liked") DeVos, Mikey ("He hates everything!") Pompeo, the Dim Reaper, Mitchie, but of course there's always "A Criminal Acts Best Friend" Irangate's own, Billy Barr! Again, a year with so many deserving convicts, uhh..... , contestants.
Jack Sonville (Florida)
How do we define "Worst Political Person"? If the term is used in reference to competence in their jobs, DeVos and Pompeo should be at the top of the list, with the irrelevant, babbling Ben Carson close behind. And of course, don't forget Omarosa (whatever her job was). If the term is used to mean sheer lack of ethics, you've got a lot to choose from, although many of them are already gone from the scene (remember Tom Price and Scott Pruitt?). Pompeo has to be up there for his recent demand to Trump that the State Department watchdog be fired after he investigated Pompeo and his wife. Or how about the lackey press secretaries who lie for Trump or repeat his patently false nonsense (Spicer, Sanders and McEnany)? If Worst Political Person means guys who used to have a reputation for credibility but allowed themselves to be used by Trump like a disposable political baby wipe: Again, many to choose from, but the list includes Tillerson, Mattis, Priebus, McMaster, Kelly, Nielsen, Bolton, Cohn and on and on. But the winner (or loser) would clearly be Jeff Sessions, Trump's first prominent endorser who was hectored out of his AG job and insulted mercilessly by Trump. And if the term means competent in pushing a misguided or even evil agenda, top of the list is the racist Stephen Miller, followed by the stealthy but evil EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. And finally, if the term means pure sycophancy, while there are so many choices there can be only one winner: Mike Pence.
JFM (Hartford)
Biden shouldn't play the insult game. You can't out-insult a jerk. He should just shake his head and ask us if we really want 4 more years of petty schoolyard taunts and pejorative nicknames when we really need proper healthcare and infrastructure repair. It's time to change change the channel.
NY expat (CA)
I agree - Biden shouldn't go there. I, however, am not a responsible public figure, and have been playing the insult game for the last few years. My personal favorite has been DumbDonny, but now Tweety Twump is a contender.
Peter (CT)
Why so negative? Trump is terrible, but don’t you love how he reminded us of the hostage scene in Blazing Saddles with his recent threats against Twitter? DeVos doesn’t know how to get anything done, isn’t she more to be pitied than censured? Pompeo is like an alcoholic father - when he’s just the right amount of sober, he’s the best dad ever. Anyway, I’m voting for McConnell.
Donna in Chicago (Chicago IL.)
So many corrupt, craven politicians, so little time... but if I must narrow the field, Mitch McConnell takes the tarnished crown. His quiet machinations to load the courts with far right, unqualified judges and his unbridled subservience to his mad king and the uber wealthy make me weep — and angry. AMY McGRATH 2020
Blackmamba (Il)
Jefferson Davis is the only American ' President' worse than Donald Trump in inflicting death on the American people and damaging their Constitutional Republic But Jefferson Davis wasn't selected 'President' by the Czar of Russia, the Emperor of China nor the Sultan of Turkey.
Tournachonadar (Illiana)
To those familiar with occult imagery and arcana, Trump in this accompanying photo is aspecting the demon Baphomet, making promises to foolish mortals in exchange for eternal dominion over their souls.
Marvin Mantyk (Michigan)
I propose that for those who do not suffer from Trump Derangement Syndrome a suitable exercise would be who do you think will get the award for the Worst NYT Columnist of the Summer? Unlike this article/columnist it should be bipartisan, based on factual examples and rational reasoning. This will be an exacting contest as there are so many good choices.
Headsup (No VA)
@Marvin Mantyk Problem is a majority of population suffer from incurable TDS - so sorry Trump has got to go.
Charlie (Bronx)
With regard to Biden calling Trump "President Tweety", I'd highly recommend that he change it to "President Pinocchio".
Roko (Boston)
@Charlie This is good, as is President Pandemic. But, why limit ourselves? We can wear them as a wardrobe depending on the situation and our mood.
jahnay (NY)
@Roko - dr. donald death. He's not a doctor but he plays one on TV.
j.fulkerson7 (Amsterdam The Netherlands)
@Charlie Just have to add, the only moniker I will use from now on is "Raving lunatic." Everyone I've used it with understands.
MJ2G (Canada)
Dear People Who Think Trump Is A Great Manager: Look at his picks for Press Secretary — Spicey (biggest crowd ever); Sarah (Smokey) Sanders ((who needs press conferences?); Stephanie Grisham (Steph, we hardly knew ye); and now Kayleigh Mc-Inane-y. With help like that, it’s no wonder Trump is a bubbling cauldron of vindictiveness.
EMiller (Kingston, NY)
Gail, I think you should have a contest where we have to name the person who is not the worst member of the current administration. That would be a much easier task.
pauliev (Soviet Canuckistan)
It is sad that there are so many worthy candidates for the worst title.
Richard Pels (NYC)
"President Tweety" isn't terrible. If Trump wrote "The Art of Bullying", he would point out that one of the requirements of a belligerent nickname is that it belittle the subject. "Tweety" may conjure up a cute yellow birdie, but the visual image of his orange counterpart with a nest of hair manically tapping on a phone with its little wings is something I find comforting.
db (across the pond)
Yes, everyone on the list is terrible, one worse than the other. However, the worst of the bunch are the people who put these miscreants into office and the sycophants who keep them there (and may reelect him/them). That Trump is the definition of self-centered and self-absorbed is a real problem for America and the world. If some of the leadership decided to cancel their Faustian bargain, we’d be better off. Alas, I don’t see it happening until Election Day and then maybe.
Observer (Mid-Atlantic)
I didn’t see Wilbur Ross mentioned so I googled “is Wilbur Ross still alive?” Amazingly, it’s a commonly searched phrase! For those who have forgotten, he is the Secretary of Commerce, where he is overseeing Pandemic recovery efforts. So, I nominate Wilbur (yes, he’s still alive) Ross.
otr (TX)
@Observer. Ross is also responsible for the 2020 Census, the basic and ultimate source of data on the people and economy of the country for the next ten years. Results also redraw political boundaries, usually in favor of the State Political party in government at the time when the results become available. This election has many long term consequences.
PaulB67 (South Of North Carolina)
@Observer: also presumed missing is Ben Carson. Anyone remember him?
JM (San Francisco)
@Observer hahahahahaa! Wilbur is still alive? No way.
Jeff (Sydney)
It's not funny. It's just not funny anymore.
jrinsc (South Carolina)
Let me add Senator Lindsey Graham to a potential list of Worst Political Person of the Summer. His utter hypocrisy, his rank and vile opportunism, his betrayal of former political friends and allies, his snarl and holier-than-thou smirk that conceals his real interests (his own reelection chances and proximity to power), make Senator Graham a strong contender among a rogue's gallery of appallingly immoral and amoral politicians and Trumpian sycophants. As for President Trump himself, that's easy: he is, without question, the worst human being I have ever encountered in my lifetime.
Bill (USA)
And I used to think Trump wasn’t a winner!
Lawrence Zajac (Brooklyn)
Strange that Barr wasn't mentioned. Is that because the person filling the office of Attorney general is not supposed to be a political appointment as this one obviously is? But if Gail Collins is thinking of the worst at the one who does the most damage to the office, Barr should definitely not be overlooked. I also find Collins's mention of Joe Biden as another case of media false equivalence. Referring to our golden-haired boy and alluding to Tweetie Pie (large head, small hands) is fitting. Gail had to stretch to include a Dem. C'mon Gail, don't turn into a Maureen Dowd!
David Gifford (Rehoboth Beach, Delaware)
I vote for the entire Trump/Republican Party. They pretty much all are terrible politicians these days, though many of their supporters are just as bad. Just sad really.
Alan Jones (Chicago, Illinois)
What in Trump's resume would tell us that his presidency would be a success? Although, as a manager, I understood that resumes were tricky to read, but Trump's resume, his business failures, his relationship failures, his legal failures, his debt failures...the list of bad behavior, bad business practices, and just being a bad person were all public knowledge. Everything is Trump's public resume screams incompetence and moral depravity.
132madison (Buffalo Grove, IL)
Franklin Pierce appreciates the shout-out that even he is rolling in his grave.
Paul-A (St. Lawrence, NY)
McConnell wins, hands down. (Too bad we can't also vote for Newt Gingrich.)
Mike (Rural New York)
@Paul-A Yes! NG was my second choice.
James Griffin (Santa Barbara)
"When we get to Labor Day, who do you think will get the award for Worst Political Person of the Summer?" Sadly may I suggest "us". Every flimflam, greedy, "at the trough" pigitcian mentioned in Ms. Collins essay was voted in by "us" 46 percent of "Us" backs the most despicable president ever elected. Our "us" exceptional profile is one of racism, all encompassing consumerism, denial of scientific fact, and xenophobia all rolled up into a overweight American patriot. Vote to be the best political person of the Autumn.
CJ (Florida)
I've been around since the Eisenhower days so I think I have experienced life under quite few Presidents. Aside from that I think I have enough life experience to know the difference between what's right and wrong. Correct me if I am wrong but as I see it we have a President that is a compulsive liar. Not someone who tells a fib here and there but someone who creates an entire alter reality. Again correct me if I am wrong but the FEW people I have come upon in my life that are this far out of the park are usually considered mentally unstable. Behavior like his is usually immediate grounds for dismissal from any company. People like this should be medicated and in intense therapy. Yet he is the President who thinks he is the worlds dictator. Good news is we can kick him out in a few months. So PLEASE PLEASE vote. We can not afford 4 more years of his insanity.
torourke (Washington,DC)
There is a simple nickname for Trump that captures it all. "Worst President." We should all call him that all the time.
Bart (Amsterdam)
Not enough talk of Mitch McConnell, again. The number one enabler of this presidency keeps quiet but fully deserves the title of most awful politician because he is the only one with the power to silence the orange horror clown but decides to keep his mouth shut when Trump has opened his. My runner up would be Lindsey Graham, “the man who showed us it is perfectly possible to live without a spine” (courtesy to John Oliver).
John (Baldwin, NY)
Sorry, Gail, it's no contest. Donald Trump by a landslide. Yes, Mitch, DeVos & Pompeo are all runners up, but think about all the others Trump is responsible for. There is Steve Bannon, Mike Flynn, Paul Manafort, Mick Mulvaney, Tom Price, Rick Perry, Scott Pruitt, Ryan Zinke, Linda McMahon (he wrestled with that choice), Omarosa, Pam Bondi, Rob Porter, John Bolton, and last, but not least, |Jared Kushner. As far those he is responsible for getting rid of, James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Fiona Hill, Alexander Vindman, (and his twin !), Rick Bright, John Kelly, Sally Yates, Aaron Zelinsky, Preet Bharara, Marie Yovanovitch, William Taylor, Walter Shaub, and recently, Steve Linick. And that is only a partial list. No, Gail, Trump, like Secretariat at the Belmont in 1973, pulling away easily.
Person (Wisconsin)
The current divide, it's not that hard to parse. Two nonsensical sides go aginast each other with nonsensical arguments. Some guy shows up with an agenda, we decide that's it for us, and we go to War. What world does this make sense? And in what world don't people realize this is a result of the two party system? It must be insane, because as a sane person I don't know what the you're all conflicted about!
M. Natália Clemente Vieira (South Dartmouth, MA)
Gail another great column but you’ve listed so many of the crazy and inept politicians that it is difficult to say who will win the prize for “Worst Political Person of the Summer?” Although the stable genius and DeVos are at the top of my list. As far as the mask thing though, did you happen to read your colleague’s, Maureen Dowd, most recent column? I think she said it best about the masks when she ended with “But Trump without a mask is more of a masked person than Biden with a mask.”
Rob (Vernon, B.C.)
Look, Donald Trump is a revolting human being. There are decades of evidence to back that up. His epic failure to handle the pandemic is just one of dozens of examples of his total inability to effectively lead the country. But my God people, America faces a bigger problem than a bumbling, incurious, vain, vindictive, narcissist in the White House. A consistent 43% of the voting population approves of president Trump. Even now, with Trump's disastrous mishandling of the coronavirus threat costing tens of thousands of American lives, his base remains loyal. When will the rest of the country accept that to his base, Trump's serial assaults on truth, decency and fairness are features, not bugs? They love him BECAUSE of his revolting words and actions, not in spite of them. If America is going to emerge from Trump's tenure with any of its former virtues intact, Trump supporters must be forced to reclaim some shame. If not, the triumph of the left side of the Bell Curve will leave the country broken and ripe for conquest, from within and without.
JT - John Tucker (Ridgway, CO)
Barr. Already a four letter word.
Bart (Oradell, NJ)
As much as I despise our current President, Gail Collins' very one sided commentary does not help, and, is just another example of the nasty and partisan culture we are now in. Both Nancy Pelosi and Mitch McConnell need to retire- they been there too long (along with half of the members of Congress btw.) Our legislative branch of government has, for the most part, proven itself impotent. When they are able, in rare instances, to come together to pass legislation, they pat themselves on the back and give a great round of applause. Really??? That's what they should be doing- it's called their JOB. Finally, with all due respect of Joe Biden- the man is old enough to be my Dad (I'm 58 btw.) We certainly need a young running mate with him who can bring a fresh look and fresh ideas to the Oval Office. Biden is a good man-but fresh and new- not so much!! I would, quite frankly, like to see a lot more people in this country declare themselves "Independent" and be willing to vote third party. The two party system is only a little better than a one-party dictatorship. I had enough of the carnival ride: loud rallys, petty squabbling and stupid "tweets", insulting remarks, ignorant and borderline racist comments. No wonder the US is a joke these days around the world !!!
Tabula Rasa (Monterey Bay)
If the trump cast of bad actors were ranked in a movie, we’d assign a Rotten Tomato score. Many would line up to pelt them with rotten tomatoes. Some would launch a number 10 can of peeled tomatoes. That would have an impact. The rotten tomato all star surely is Kellyann Conway. This chattering magpie turned harpy surely deserves the pedestal. The art on non denial denials is surely a Ron Ziegler doublespeak award. That memorable line from airplane comes to mind “Surely you jest? Stop calling me Shirley and I could never be more serious.”
Ellen French (San Francisco)
I'm sticking with 'Grandpa Tweetrant' as the wonkette recently penned...handsome joe against grandpa t-rant...gonna be a doozy of an election...I'm kind of happy we've all bunkered down and will be rested up for it.
David Fairbanks (Reno Nevada)
The core tragedy of Mr. Trump is a profound indifference to consequence, except maybe with Sen. McConnell who could destroy him. Mr. Trump had a real chance at greatness and he threw it away. In the end bad behavior and a pattern of crudeness and a habit of outright lies may end his presidency. He will likely be intentionally forgotten for a generation only to be brought back as material for stage plays and comedies.
Person (Wisconsin)
I've got it. You should be concerned. What I have is a complete, total profile of the US conscience. We could have a race to the top in either ethics or technology. We choose neither. We chose annihilation
Ron W (Amsterdam)
I think it's high time trump gets a nickname that sticks to him. For some reason, even people who despise him consider him some kind of alpha male - whereas he has all the masculinity and toughness of a 10 year old. How about whiny little victim Donald?
Terracewalk (South of the Arlington)
So many choices, so little time...
Rogie21 (NJ)
A few dishonorable mentions: resigned HHS Secretary Tom Price ($400K in travel bills for charter flights, understating value of stock he owned); resigned Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke (15 investigations including real estate involving a company that Interior regulates, taking a security detail on a vacation to Turkey at taxpayer cost); and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross (twice swore that he’d divested stock that he still owned). #enrichtheswamp
Mark Keller (Portland, Oregon)
Though Mike Pompeo, William Barr, Stephen Miller and President Trump himself are arguably the worst persons in history that hold their positions (beating out incompetents and criminals), Mitch McConnell will be the Summer's worst political person - by a mile. Proof? It was Mitch McConnell who kept Trump in office during the impeachment trial, it was Mitch McConnell who blew up Congressional governing norms - to attempt to block President Obama for 8 years and it was Mitch McConnell who shamelessly hijacked the Supreme Court. Next question?
Joan In California (California)
Usually Franklin Pierce gets the worst in president category (AKA Oscar the Grouch) award, but I do believe our current man in the White House tops him. He does love being Numero one-O. He gets my vote. Why should anybody know what category of vote this was. I’ll never tell if you don’t, Gail!
JJ (florida)
Mr. and Mrs. Politician. They are the worst of the worst. Oh well, that's politics.
Jim Dennis (Houston, Texas)
I have a lot of respect for Thomas Friedman's pick of Pompeo, but just being stupid and inept just doesn't cut it with this group of failures. Nice try, Betty DeVos, but you just aren't important enough. And being wrong about just about every major economic event doesn't qualify either, since those events most likely couldn't have been stopped anyway. So, Peter Navarro, you're off the hook. Strangely, McConnell has been quiet lately, which makes me wonder if he's not planning some type of coup or something. What I really think is going on is that he's actually worried about his Senate race, so he's acting as if he might have actually, at one time, read the Constitution and, also at one time, cared at least a little bit about it. That should be enough to get him re-elected in a State with a collective IQ hovering at about 85. In this instance, I think William Barr is in a class by himself. He is the ultimate sycophant and is perfectly willing to throw America, its Constitution and its entire value system under the bus to protect Donald Trump. He lied about the Mueller report, ran cover for Trump with respect to Ukraine, and is now weaponizing the State Department to attack any and all Trump enemies. No one is safe and the law will become unidirectional under Barr and Trump. He really has a good shot at destroying our entire legal system and government, should Trump get re-elected. Yup, William Barr is the worst of the worst. Not counting you-know-who, of course.
C.L.S. (MA)
Yep. Trump is the worst. My prediction: November 3, 2020 will be commemorated (informally but with great glee and verve) as a new annual National Barbecue Day, meaning the day that Trump's blank was definitively fried. What a blob to have inflicted on America's (as in the United States) history!
There's no contest. Worst President in history, worst cabinet in history. Worst of the worst. Historians will be dining out for decades on royalties from books about the disasters of this administration.
Nikki (Islandia)
Can it be an international competition? Jair Bolsonaro is doing a bang-up job while Brazil racks up 1,000 coronavirus deaths a day.
Pull back the curtain! (Denver, CO)
Pull back the POTUS curtain and you see a puny little man — petty, venal, corrupt and incompetent, a fake president like the Wizard of Oz. At a time when we needed management and skill, he gave us denial, bombast and hot air, causing tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths. These are not just numbers. They were fathers and mothers, grandparents, teenagers, doctors, nurses and bus drivers. He seems to have no understanding, no compassion and no heart. The others you mention are minor league in comparison. Let's hope Americans fire him in November so the courts may put him where he belongs.
Bruce (Spokane WA)
Oh man. Remember back when the hands-down winner of this contest would have been Sarah Palin? Boy, those were the days.
Person (Wisconsin)
It has to start with Letterman, and go on...Petty...I can't go on.
LE (Lincolnshire UK)
Really ?? Too hard to nail this down to one -I like the comment about it taking a team. But you can bet they are ALL in the GOP ..Special mentions of Trump McConnell DeVos Barr... Pence Pompeo etc.. for being more evil than competent though....
A. Moursund (Kensington, MD)
"Who's the worst political person?" Does this question even need to be asked? Yes, Trump has an impressive collection of toadies and enablers, but all they're competing for is the Imitation Silver Leaf medal.
joe new england (new england)
I think the similarity of Trump to Idi Amin is a good one. True, Amin killed a lot of people, but Trump has too! Perhaps Amin's motivation was a little different, but DEAD IS DEAD, whether by malice aforethought or sheer ineptirude. The similarities include outsized ego, lying, grandiosity, and psychpathology, to name a few..
Jack (USA)
Hey, I thought I’d never ever vote for Trump, but, never say “never.” If there’s voting for this award, I DO vote Trump! Phew. I didn’t want Trump, didn’t vote Biden. But I’m feeling good about this one. I think Trump will win it- nice to have my candidate win finally. (Praying to have that feeling in earnest in November!)
sunnyshel (Great Neck NY)
Bad as these people are, and they are awful, even worse are the people who voted for him or third party in '16. The absolute worst will be those who stand by him in '20. For these absolutes there will never be absolution. Robert Ismay has a better chance at heaven than Trumpanzees.
Kathy Lollock (Santa Rosa, CA)
Truly, it is getting harder and harder to choose who is the worst Cabinet member. I would still rank Barr, first, Pompeo, second. However, Cruella DeVil, aka Betsy DeVos, has not yet failed in dissing our children in need in behalf of parents who send their beloved ones to private and/or religious schools while they take full advantage of Ryan's Republican Tax Law. But as amorally egregious as the Tarnished Triumvirate - Trump, Pompeo, and Barr - is, we can not overlook the wizard behind the curtain, Mitch McConnell. This guy is awful. Just imagine if we had a decent Senate and majority leader, i.e,, a Democratic one. Trump and his court jesters would have been reined in and declared moot if not sent packing to the nearest white-collar prison. For me, it is all about the cunning, devious, and equally amoral Mitch. We speak of ousting Trump in November. Well, add Mr. McConnell to that short list, too. If they go, so do all those other nasties.
Person (Wisconsin)
I don't know. I love you so much, Gail, I'm about so share all. My mother brought me to a park and let me slide down a crazy steel slide. It was in Minnehaha Park. I was only about 3 or 4 years old, my brother had gone to school. What's the point? It's that we should think back to those kind of times whenever and wherever possible. Just remember... It helps us cope.
Kevin P. (Denver, CO)
I won't try to pick out the current "worst." But I've been wondering about good old Dr. Ben Carson. Where has he been? I saw him one time hanging in the background during one of the president's daily news conferences. Other than that, I haven't heard about him since he thought a question about REO's was about Oreo cookies. Since then, not a peep from the guy. I suppose the president is steering clear of him because he actually does have a medical degree. Better to get your advice from guys like Rudy Guliani.
Arthur (UWS)
President Pandemic does have a certain ring to it, but it is ambiguous, as POTUS claims to have conquered the virus, many times. I like Grifter-in-Chief. Betty de Vos may actually learn how to do something, which is rather frightening. With God's help, her days in government are numbered but the VP, a creationist and climate change denier, has the potential of doing great harm should he rise to higher office.
LT (Chicago)
Given how much time Trump spends undercutting HIS adminstration's own guidance and policies while attacking the competency of people HE appointed, I think he's making an ironclad case that the worst political person in the adminstration must be Donald Trump. After all, it's the President who is driving Trump crazy with all those ridiculous guidelines and lousy hires. No wonder he's always so angry, spending his nights rage tweeting and his days whining and scowling. No matter how hard he tries, he can't escape ... himself.
Sam (NY)
Who is to blame? 45 Million or so voters who elected this guy.
Dan (NJ)
For once, Trump isn't lying. His base - the ones he polls for popularity numbers - do like him more than Abe Lincoln. Nevermind that everybody else finds him a loathsome slug. Within the Republican party, the most notorious liar the world has seen is as popular as a guy whose nickname was "Honest Abe".
Susan in NH (NH)
The political cartoon this morning in our local paper showed a drawing of Trump at the end of his golf swing from the unflattering back view superimposed on the list of Covid victims that had been front page in the Times yesterday. Trump golfs while Americans die! As to McEnany she would never make it as a hand model. The photo where she held up a copy of Trump's payment to charity of his latest government pay showed her with fingernails chewed to the quick and not even clean. If she has time to put on fake eyelashes that look as if they were stolen from a furry animal she could do something about her nails. Aren't all the women in the White house supposed to be totally glamorous at all times?
james jordan (Falls church, Va)
Gail, I would like to add to your pantheon of Trump Worsts: Larry Kudlow. He is one of the smoothest talking frontmen I have heard in 60 plus years of public service with the remarkable ability to tranquilize the press without ever saying anything of substance. There are dozens of these on YouTube but for your readers, I chose one at random to illustrate and support my nomination. This interview, I believe is the idea spark for Trumps new campaign slogan, "Transition to Greatness".
gary e. davis (Berkeley, CA)
I have BEEN calling him "the golf club king," but I think reciprocity-in-kind is more politic: DUMPY TRUMPY.
Ann (Ross, CA)
Gail's first paragraph is a classic!
elloo (CT)
It takes a village. It takes a team. One official turning a blind eye doesn’t turn a town bad. One player doesn’t lose the game. Defeat is a contagion in a group. A cancer. A virus. So, I cast my vote for all of these louts in power.
Fearrington Bob (Pittsboro, NC)
Gail, come on. You know that he is eyeing Andrew Johnson and working toward worsting him as president. North Carolina native President Johnson managed to get himself impeached and nearly convicted. Like Johnson, Trump, broke all kinds of laws and is on a path to be a one-term president. And, to boot, Johnson did this without ever being elected as he replaced Lincoln who was assassinated. Trump has the opportunity to be the first elected president with a worse record! And, he seems to be trying.
JD (Portland, Me)
Had enough of a president who fritters away his time, our time, on 'branding' nicknames, gets his stable genius insights from lunatic fringe websites and state media AKA Fox, and is so outright delusional that he actually thinks he knows more about science than scientists, and is a better president than Lincoln was? Enough is too much already. He is way beyond nicknames, hes plain old nuts. Our poor spoiled rotten to the core rich boy President is reported to be very grumpy now, tired of playing war on virus, having to almost pretend he cares, when after all, its tee time. As he bemoans, 'it's not fair.' So come on everybody, lets go to the beach and pack in nice and cozy with some coronavirus denier MAGA hats!and make fun of the mask wearing tribe. And be sure to tell all the old folks back home that they have to make the ultimate sacrifice, to boost the Dow ever higher! But wait, are they still allowed to vote?
Heysus (Mt. Vernon)
How about a president who tells the most lies. Kills the most people through negligence. Can't read or speak. A president with the most wives and affairs. It goes on and on. Feel free to add to the list. Vote Blue through and through.
Ernest Lamonica (Queens NY)
President Pandemic? Gail that's the first I am stealing from you since Romnay in station wagon jokes. Kudos.
Keeping it real (Cohasset, MA)
Pompeo is now the worst because his combination of venality and incompetence is played out on a world stage, threatening our national security and global interests.
T H Beyer (Toronto)
Too bad you can't use profanities in the nicknames/slogans for the worst administration in the history of the U.S., Gail. The acronyms, especially, would be so much fun. Meanwhile, maybe a T-shirt with just (and applying to every soul on the planet) "YOU ARE A VICTIM OF TRUMP AND HIS TERRIBLE ADMINISTRATION". Substitute anything you want for the word 'terrible'.
Nuschler (Hopefully On A Sailboat)
As a 71 yo I choose Gov Ron Desantis. He referred to Florida as “God’s waiting room."
William Wratten (Chicago)
Didn't someone famous say, "When they go low, I get high." At least that's how I've been needing to interpret it, with our all time, special, cannot do anything wrong kind of guy in the Oval Office. Lincoln would have been proud to know that Donald J Trump has been treated worse that him. And Trump has so many of his Trumpy mini-mes as hanger-oners. And if Trump gets reelected, Sarah Palin will be able to say that she can see part of Russia if she just looks straight south from her porch. Maybe Oregon? I hear rumors that Trump is looking to visit Palin to bring back that old magic one more time. Trump/Palin - that would be the ticket.
mjbarr (Burdett, NY)
So many horrible candidates for this honor, but Trump comes out on top.
MC (Indiana)
I'd nominate Tee Time Trump as the new nom de guerre of the sitting executive. It combines the notion of privileged leisure in the face of calamity with the man's laziness and corrupt private interests. It would also be fitting turnaround for the hypocrite who constantly harped on Obama for his down time while he now perpetually consumes his "workday" with tweets and television.
Mary (Nebraska)
Donald wears make-up. He doesn't want to wear a mask because it would muss his bronzer. Can't you just picture him running into the boy's room to fix his face every time he took off his mask?
Jake1982 (Marlboro, Vt)
I vote for Mitch McConnell, the gravedigger of democracy. He was here before Trump and he’s likely to be there when Trump’ gone. The stealing of Obama’s constitutionally mandating nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court stands at the top of the Long list of McConnell’s contemptuous sabotage of American democracy.
Gail Collins (The New York Times)
@Jake1982 Yes, Jake. Mitch McConnell is so very clearly up there I didn’t think it was worth going into in depth.
Stef (Philadelphia)
Trump goes beyond worst politician. He's one of the worst human beings in history. About the only thing positive Trump has done for politics is to make the career politician look good in comparison. Remember when 'politician' was a dirty word? I would leap at the chance to have someone as President who actually had some knowledge of the job, the history, and the law.
Rob (Paris)
I vote for "Dishonest Don": both for the worst politician who enables the rest and a better moniker than "Tweety".
Uncle Babe (Cincinnati)
When there is a wolf playing the banjo in your backyard day and night, it is hard to focus on the termites that are destroying your house. The entire cabinet and WH staff are gnawing away at our federal government, which has become dangerously hollow in just over three years.
sandpaper (cave creek az)
McConnell is the worst and as soon as posable all he has done should be reversed or neutralized at all costs, the stacking the courts should be met with a all out attack to take it back the damage it will cause is nothing short of dictatorship.
Samuel Curtis (Milpitas, CA)
In your rogues pantheon, you neglected mentioning our secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Ben "Joseph built the pyramids of Egypt to store grain" Carson. I understand how he can be overlooked given that there are so many deserving candidates for the worst, but definitely, Ben Carson should be remembered.
Martha White (Jenningsville)
Tweety Trump, Sleepy Joe, who cares. What I would love to see come this November that this Tweety Trump gets voted out of office. Then we no longer have to deal with Pompeo, Azar, DeVos, Chao, Mnuchin, Ross, Esperanza, Brouillette, Barr, Pence, Be Best Melanie, Jared, Ivanka, the new press Secretary what’s her name who swore she would not lie and look how long that lasted. Par for the course, I guess. Vote him out, vote any Republican loyal to Tweety Trump out. Then hopefully our country can be great again.
Jon (Boston)
President Trump needs to beat William Henry Harrison as the dumbest Penn alumnus to be President. Harrison, if you recall, wasn't smart enough to wear on overcoat and come in out of the rain during his Inaugural, caught pneumonia and died within a month of taking office.
John (Michigan)
And you didn't even mention last year's worst of the worst pick, Bill Barr, who consistently sets the standard for the worst attorney general in American history (John Mitchell was like a school girl in comparison). So many choices.
Connie L (Chicago)
I have to say, I think 'President Tweety' really works. It trash talks Donald on his own level. It's an insult he can understand. 'President Pandemic' would bounce right off of him, because he thinks he's done nothing wrong. 'Tweety' is a teensy, vulnerable, doe-eyed canary. I love the imaging!
Socrates (Verona, N.J.)
There are so many badly talented awful people in the Trump Administration to choose from; it's like a box of nightmarish chocolates. But we shouldn't underestimate Kayleigh McEnany, who thinks Donald Trump - the guy whose “one day it’s like a miracle, it will disappear” coronavirus snake oil strategy was an epic fail - may be “the best president this country will ever have.” At the very end of Kayleigh McEnany's very first press conference which was otherwise sober, McEnany revealed her inner bankruptcy as she offered this benediction: "and, of course, everyone should watch the Fox News Town Hall with the President from 7 to 9 p.m. It’ll be can’t-miss television, much like the highly rated President Trump Coronavirus Task Force briefings have been." "highly rated" and national death vigil updates generally don't go together if you have a functioning human heart and soul. "highly rated" is the last thing a decent human being would say amid America's coronavirus catastrophe and carnage. Kayleigh McEnany has terrible potential, and she's on track to reach it. As for Donald, we'll continue to see him spiral out of control, valiantly trying to change the subject from his coronavirus failures to his new and improved conspiracy theories and pathetic blame games. "It's China's fault...get them !" "Obamagate !" "Joe Scarborough is a murderer !" "Vote-By-Mail is the end of world !" "They're coming to get your guns - fire !!" Nobody sinks to the occasion like Donald Trump.
Brian J (New York, New York)
The mattress.. Lord, that seems AGES ago!
Person (Wisconsin)
It has never been in question. If I hafe to sequesture with Dave Letterman, it would be an honor. Dave, do you think our mothers would get along? I'm not sure. I think they migght collide. Can we make a Turkey together. I'm not sure that's possible.
Cjk (Florida)
Here are a few from the pages of history: Jackson, Harrison, Arthur. In American History class in high school, we learned about the Teapot Dome scandal of the Harding administration, a shocking tale of plunder and corruption. Seems a bit tame now...
Anne (Philadelphia)
PA Rep Mike Turzai and the craven state legislature are trying their damnedest to earn a spot on the podium.Trump is insane so automatically disqualified. Podium top spot goes to Mitch McConnell who is not insane, but illustrates the banality of evil by allowing this inept, insane fool run our country into the ground. McConnell could have voted to impeach. And now here we are. 100K deaths on GOP hands. Don't even get me started on their filthy tax cuts and climate-change denying stance.
Dan Kravitz (Harpswell, ME)
I agree, 'President Tweety' is not the zingy dissing nickname that will move the masses. I suggest that Biden refer to Trump as 'Emperor Tweety', because, let's face it, that's who he thinks he is. And in the debate(s), no matter when or where, Biden should address him as 'Your Royal Highness'. Let's get the point across. Dan Kravitz
nycdweller (NYC)
Biden is the worst. 40 years in office and a horrible track record, just like Pelosi, Schumer, et al
Memory Serves (Bristol)
How could you fail to mention AG Barr?
cdm (Utica NY)
How could you possibly mention Pompeo's dog-walking scandal without somehow contrasting it with Mitt Romney once strapping his dog to the top of the car?
Davarino (Cleveland, OH)
Our mentally deranged, immoral, chaotic and dangerous President must be considered the worst politician -- ever. He appoints or enables everyone else on your list with the possible exception of the hideous McConnell. He places his own interest in front of the nation's and destroys critical institutions, norms and alliances that have served us for generations. No contest.
Jack (USA)
Can I add... Mark Zuckerberg
Worst? McConnell. Trump and others don't know what they're doing. McConnell does. He even beats out Cheney for worst of all time.
Here’s an idea. Introduce the Donald J. Trump Award to be given out annually to the worst person in politics (other than DJT himself). The award is named in DJT’s honor—so he will continue to be recognized for his . . . umm . . . excellence of sorts—and there can be a debate over the winner each year instead of it being a landslide year after year.
MBD (Rocklin, CA)
Thank you! I laughed out loud many times. Trump has clearly committed the greatest t number of horrible acts, but because it's been going on so long I find he's just becoming garden variety boring. I miss the days when there was a little bit of a surprise factor. Now, I read about the latest heinous act and say to. myself "Well of course he did that." or "Of course democracy and the constitution is going down the drain."
jason morgan (italy)
Humpty Trumpty or Tweety. I definitely think Humpty Trumpty fits this scary, empty man much better. Sitting on his WALL.
DO5 (Minneapolis)
Trump has plunged the nation into a Chuckie Cheese ball pit. Unable to win an election on an adult plane, he has lowered the playing field to a childish level. His daily behavior, the incompetence of his administration has lowered the debate into almost uniform disrespect. This nation’s leaders must behave better.
Michelle Johnston (Sarasota, FL)
This list of worsts is right on and a good beginning. Sadly, there wasn't enough space in the New York Times Opinion Section to itemize all of their faults. They all deserve nicknames that reflect their misdeeds and lies. Tweety, for example, could be a good nickname because the yellow hair matches the original Tweety Bird's yellow feathers, and our president over tweets. However, I don't think that the bird lied. Is there another yellow animal that lies to self-promote?This list of worsts is right on and a good beginning. Sadly, there wasn't enough space in the New York Times Opinion Section to itemize all of their faults. They all deserve nicknames that reflect their misdeeds and lies. Tweety, for example, could be a suitable nickname because the yellow hair matches the original Tweety Bird's yellow feathers. Furthermore, our president over tweets. However, I don't think that the bird lied. Is there another yellow animal that lies to self-promote?
Caroline (SF Bay Area)
Apparently Buchanan is still a contender for the title of Worst. President. Ever.
Ama Nesciri (Camden Maine)
It is troubling that Trump is treated like some cute but naughty boy. I understand that opinion writers have nowhere to go after screaming “A monster is stalking us!” So they look for cute and naughty things to write about him. I just wish the new-normal emotional deflation wasn’t as dangerous as that terrifying looming uncuddly decompensation that Trump is among us.
Tom Q (Minneapolis, MN)
I have to vote for Pence. He heads the pandemic task force. Do I need to say anything more? And if I hear him say "thanks to the president's bold leadership and decisive action...," I may start drinking hard liquor again.
Jack Walsh (Lowell, MA)
So, speaking of nicknames: I still wonder why the Democrats haven't labeled our pal the Covid as the "Trump Virus". It's an easy hit, would drive him nuts, and is catchy. Any explanations for this obvious messaging failure?
Chris (SW PA)
On the mask you are close, it is appearance, but of his make-up. Smeared make-up is so unmanly. Well, that and he probably thinks the Hydrochloroquine will protect him. I think DeSantis wins the "man from Florida" award, which may seem obvious, but really if he gets noticed as being a loony in Florida, that is actually quite an achievement. McConnell always wins worst political, always. Their is no one who comes close. Mitch is still likely angry that he was teased as a child, and has spent his whole life seeking revenge. I actually find Pompeo entertaining. He seems like a child learning how to lie with that deadpan face he seems to be listening to himself to see if what he is saying is plausible, and like a child, he comes to the conclusion that it is. It's quite adorable. DeVos I suspect likes the rip-off education mills because that is where she was educated, and thus the lack of emotion and the cult-like monotone of her speech patterns. Very robotic. Donald Death is going to get quite a bit worse as the summer goes on. Perhaps developing psychosis from being on Hydrochloroquine. This latest accusation regarding Scarborough being a murderer may just be the first in a series of bizarre accusations mined from the depths of Qanon and 4chan.
manta666 (new york, ny)
I'm tired, Gail. Thanks for the smile.
Barb Davis (NoVA)
It reads like a Farrelly brothers’ script—and Daffy Duck comes in at the end and says “yeah cute—like a stomach pump.”
Ralph Averill (New Preston, Ct)
Worst Political Person Award? Mitch McConnell, hands down. McConnell has his own list of political sins, topped by the stonewalling of the Merrick Garland nomination. In engineering the acquittal of the impeached Donald Trump, McConnell took ownership of probably the biggest basket of political crimes and chicanery by the most corrupt and incompetent administration in our history, topped by 100,000+ (and counting) corona virus deaths. Mitch McConnell has my vote as the most vile politician to disgrace the halls of the capitol building. Ever.
priscus (USA)
The epicenter of hatred is the human mouth. For confirmation ask Mr. Trump.
jwgibbs (Cleveland, Ohio)
w about we just declare it a tie!
Futbolistaviva (San Francisco Bay Area, CA)
The simple fact is... Trump himself is the plague unleashed on America. America has been subject to his toxicity for the past 3.5 years. He embodies the worst character flaws of this country. Then there is the Covid-19 virus that started roughly 100 days ago. Over 100,000 Americans have passed. Imagine if that happened on Obama's watch? There is no contest, Trump is the most wretched politician we have ever seen in this country. The fact that people thought he would make a capable President is just laughable. Call him Twitler.......or I could go on for days with insulting nicknames but why waste my precious time. Vote and rid America of this toxic dump.
manfred marcus (Bolivia)
Many worsts seem so naturally applicable to this vulgar bully in-chief. But one of the worst may be that his deep ignorance makes it impossible for Trump to know how little he knows, hence, his arrogance. And his cruelty 'gratis', which compels him to castigate any and all that call his bluff; it has been his signature for so long that he just can't help it, to the point that his conscience, that usually ought to 'know' right from wrong, has been obliterated. Similarly his expert lying; he has made it such an art for far too long...that he is unable to tell fact from fiction anymore. But the worst may be his utter inability to 'feel' for others' suffering, seemingly immune to empathy. That is why he cannot acknowledge that his total indifference to the coronavirus crisis has 'produced' at least 100,000 deaths under his belt. He is impervious to reality, perhaps his worst feature. Oh, forgot his inflated sense of self, and demanding constant applause, so to appease a childish need for attention. But, in all honesty, we knew all along what a cheater he was, and a racist and xenophobe, and a sexual predator. And still, we elected him...hoping he would 'change for the better' once in the Oval Office.
A. Stanton (Dallas, TX)
The American people knowingly succeeded in installing a real estate crook-tax dodger, failed casino operator, necktie and bottled-water salesman, founder of a bogus university and reality TV clown to the highest office in the land; where today in broad daylight he is mismanaging a global pandemic, colluding with Russia, managing several undeclared wars, destroying the stock market, appointing Supreme Court and federal judges by the score, building an imaginary wall, issuing lying tweets by the hour, driving the country into bankruptcy, renting out rooms in his hotels to foreign governments and predicting the weather; all without batting an eyelash, squeezing a brain cell, reading a book or an intelligence report, or missing a day on the links. Where is the 25th amendment when we need it?
Ann winer (San Antonio Tx)
I nominate Governor Greg Abbott who literally drools around Trump. TX is ready to open up even with cases and deaths multiplying. At the same time the TX Attorney General wants to sue any municipality that requires a mask, like my home of San Antonio because it is against what the Governor said. Seriously folks, you can not trickle the responsibility down when things are bad and then expect them to go uphill as they change. Of course our fearless leader does that but that does not make itright.
Thomas H. (Germany)
I propose not to nominate Trump for the position of the worst politician because he just isn‘t one. But McConnell might be the most ugly influential political person whose actions and in particular inactions made the most measurable difference. Without him the political singularity wouldn‘t be in existence anymore for the last 2 years. His ugliness surely tops Barr‘s!
History (USA)
By late summer we should be talking about what the Times has done it's best to ignore, Obamagate. Not what Obama did but what the FBI/DOJ and intelligence communities did. I have been amazed that the press has allowed itself to be manipulated by these agencies. Newly released testimony shows this country would not have endured this stain, except for the presses complicity in posting articles to support the unsupportable.
Mr. SeaMonkey (Indiana)
Trump is a horrible person trying to do awful things to the country. And we are continually aghast at his behavior. But he would not get far if it were only him. Perhaps the single biggest trouble that we now have, as a nation, is that Trump is not an aberration. Instead, he is surrounded by people who are just like him and even those who aspire to be like him. Every day I try and fail to understand how people can be so abhorrent, so craven, so selfish, so unaware of other people in the world having valid needs. And yet here we are, with the top tier of our government filled with such people. With a high percentage of the US population AOK with the situation and even hostile to previously established cultural truths as well as black and white facts. I am still having a difficult time understanding it all.
LS (Maine)
McConnell, McConnell, McConnell. And Bill Barr. Stephen Miller third.
JeffP (Danville)
You forgot Steven Miller, he surely must be very high on this list. And others including Ross, Kushner, Ivanka, many others...
Charles Vekert (Highland MD)
Trump's ignorance knows no bounds; it is nearly total. The other day he announced that the price of insulin for seniors would be reduced. This is a good thing. Then he speculated out loud that perhaps he should be taking it to. After all, it is a good drug that helps lots of people. Maybe it would help him to? I would not hire a dog walker who was so ignorant as not to know that insulin is a drug for diabetes.
Huge Grizzly (Seattle)
I cannot help but feel we are witnessing the passing of the United States, right before our eyes. A President who does not care that 100,000 Americans have died from Covid-19 and advances conspiracy theories of murder for the sole purpose of reelection, a Republican party that curries the favor of only the wealthy, and a citizenry that does its best to ignore the racism of a woman in New York’s Central Park and the murder of yet another black American this time In Minneapolis. We’re done—we just don’t want to admit it.
Dave Condon (Kirkland WA)
It’s too bad Gail’s piece couldn’t focus on who’s the BEST politicians.
Opinioned! (NYC)
President Pandemic for the win.
Jack (USA)
Normally I think he’s a loser, but here, Trump wins!
John MD (NJ)
What? No Attorney Genator McBarrnell? The Turtle and the Toad rule the worst.
PaulB67 (South Of North Carolina)
It would be fair to label the Trump Administration (oh, the irony) as -- to borrow a book title -- A Confederacy of Dunces.
C (ND)
Just like every sports team gets a representative to the all-star game, ND's Sen. Kevin Cramer earns a spot to the worst-fest — even if he just rides the bench. FL Rep. Matt Gaetz has ND roots and an inferiority–worstness–complex. CA Rep. Devin Nunes and Sen. Kamala Harris are two worsty peas from the same "golden" pod. George Worcestershire Bush's faith-based worst still bleeds through into two administrations later. And for bailing out the biggest crooks on Wall Street — not even a month into the job — Barack Obama can't help but inspire hopeful new kinds of laissez-faire legacy worsts.
Pheww!! (Queensland, Australia)
I’m not American... but like many of your friends across the world... am looking on in increasing horror... the worst has to be any individual who does not do all in their power to call out and stop the sad trump insanity!
Jack Lemay (Upstate NY)
"But if you think of it as Sleepy Joe versus a canary it sounds pretty darned relaxing." If they gave Pulitzer prizes for funny, this line should get the award. I'm still laughing like 4 minutes later.
JohnKeohane (Austin, TX)
Bloomberg: Is he AWOL now(absent without leave). He was a Dem. until he ran for mayor, got elected twice as a Rep, and once as an Independent, then became a Dem again as he ran for President. Is he only for Bloomberg? He said, when he announced, that he was in it until the election in November. He got into the primaries only for those on March 4, produced brilliant ads, and won 10% of the vote. He spent lots of money by my standards, not too much by his. $1 billion dollars. Then he fired the staff, said forming a PAC was to difficult, and gave the relatively small change to the Democrats. That was less than 2 cents on the dollar to what he spent on his campaign. That for 6 months of this most crucial campaign to oust Trump, who is the most dangerous President in American history. What legacy will he be leaving? What does he really care about? He's got at least 40 or 50 billion dollars, spent $1 billion on his own campaign. How about for his children, and perhaps grandchildren and all the rest of this country and the world, starting a PAC (the Reps. loved the Supreme Court decision allowing any pmts. to PACs), then producing brilliant ads once again, this time to take Trump down by Trump's own actions and inactions, Trump's own words, and Trump's destruction? If he can not figure out to do this, I'll help him figure this out.
MeaC (Rochester, NY)
Ooh, I wish Matthew Brady had snapped a pic of President Pierce on the links.
Harold (Bellevue WA)
It is a tough call to identify the worst. As far as long lasting damage to democracy, Mitch McConnell wins the prize. In the closing days of the Obama administration, he held up Garland's Supreme Court nomination. Then Trump was elected, and a conservative filled the slot. The constitution says that "[the president] shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint ... Judges of the supreme Court..." This did not happen with Garland. The Senate did not participate because McConnell did not bring the matter to committee for a hearing, nor to the senate floor for a vote of consent or dissent. The result was that the balance of power in the Supreme Court shifted dramatically from what it would have been had Garland been the confirmed. And that change will effect SCOTUS decisions for a generation, while establishing a precedent in the Senate that allows a single person to quash a presidential nomination.
John McCoy (Washington DC)
Barr, DeVos, Pompeo—there’s a trifecta.
Eric Berendt (Albuquerque, NM)
@John McCoy Trump, Barr, DeVos, Pompeo—there’s a quadriga.
gratis (Colorado)
Liberals laugh. Liberals love to forget that Trump has a 40%+ approval rating, and those people will vote. Bernie voters will not vote. Young will not vote. Blacks will not vote. Hispanics will not vote. Go for it. Laugh. Hilarious. How about trying to drive up the voting participation. NO, rather mock than do something useful.
Stephen (Fort Lauderdale)
@gratis What are YOU doing to drive up voter participation? "All politics are local".
Robert J. Bailey (East Rutherford, New Jersey)
@gratis You mean with mail in ballots and ex felons voting in Florida, which Republicans want to squash because they know that both would favor Democrats?
Mike (Republic Of Texas)
@gratis On the topic of winning... So, of 24 primary candidates, women, people of color, billionaires, not yet millionaires, Jews and Christians, primary voters, fairly described as the most "woke", selected old, White and privileged. And, with the war cry of, "I'll vote for anyone but Trump", the bar was set low enough for Joe Biden to participate.
John Smithson (California)
The New York Times, just like CNN and the great majority of other media companies, never misses a chance in opinion pieces or even news reporting to hammer on Donald Trump. Sure, that's what your readers like, but is that what journalism has become? Partisan politics?
Christine Smith (Tampa Florida)
@John Smithson You know, there is nothing untrue in that article. How do you see that as "hammering on Donald Trump." The president has clearly lost his mind in the way he ONLY thinks about how he looks and NEVER about serving the country. His lies and name-calling are heinous and are causing irreparable damage. Anyone who enables him is just as guilty as he is. Please read exactly what the president says (or watch his videos) and forget who is reporting it. If you can still say positive things about this man, then the fall of the U S and its place in the world is as much on you as it is on him. I am thankful every day for the NYTimes, the BBC, the New Yorker and other CREDIBLE news organizations.
Adepaor1. (Maryland)
Like Trump, Pompeo wants no oversight. He gets rid of anyone who is critical of him in any way. If he has nothing to hide, he should hide nothing. His loyalty is to Trump when it should be to the Constitution, and the American people.
Robert J. Bailey (East Rutherford, New Jersey)
@John Smithson Could it be because Trump is so odious?
robert brusca (Ny Ny)
Among the many Pompeo messes, the most memorable are the allegations that he used a government employee for personal services that included dog-walking and picking up the dry cleaning. Hilarious. This is what you have on him? pathetic.
Bruce Browne (Westford)
@robert brusca when did corruption become funny? This is abuse of tax-payer funds when a civil servant is doing the work of a domestic hireling. Perhaps we are jaded by the increasing misuse of public funds by Republicans who used to be the "financial conservatives?"
pmbrig (MA)
@robert brusca Gail missed the target here, to be sure, but it's not as if there's nothing to aim at. Pompeo has been holding fancy dinners for Republican millionaires at taxpayers' expense, with no conceivable relationship to any official business at DOS. Not to mention getting the inspector general fired, you know, the one who was investigating him. Not to mention holding back the Mueller Report until he could dominate the press cycle with "the president is innocent" propaganda, in direct contradiction to the Report. Do you really want to stake out a position of defending this man?
Vicky (Columbus, Ohio)
@robert brusca It should bother you that people like Pompeo evidently think the taxpayers should pay for their personal expenses. Other cabinet members have lost their jobs for similar reasons. Trump, of course, is not concerned because coverage of trivial personal expenses comes with the job, but at least there's a stipend from Congress for it (Trump might not be aware of that). If Pompeo wants a valet paid for by the government (meaning you and me as taxpayers), he needs to ask Congress for one. I'm sure it will go over big. Moreover, Gail mentioned these things only as "memorable". It's hard to do a laundry list of the questionable stuff this guy has had done by public employees and stay within a column's limits. That's not to mention his mendacious declaration of an emergency to allow the sale of arms to Saudi Arabia to pummel the Yemenis with. If anything is pathetic, it's defending even minor corruption.
Bill (Belle Harbour, New York)
Mitch McConnell will be the worst political person of the summer. It's already clear that he has been undermining America's working class in service of the special interests that he serves since Obama was first elected; but it will become indisputably clear that he is the reaper of pain, woe, and suffering when he shirks and bristles at every proposal that crosses his desk if the proposal offers even a glimmer of hope for families in dire and desperate need. More tax cuts, eliminating capital gains, and packing courts with ideologues are the only causes that excite McConnell. Nero has nothing on Mitch McConnell.
Evan (Florida)
Gail: Hard to believe you left George W. Bush off the list of worst president of all time. Trump is the best thing to happen to him as his ineptitude and lack of intellectual ability are now considered marks of excellence by at least one third of our population. Any time you see a young man or woman without an arm or a leg, please remember George. This pandemic, and Trump’s response have certainly been egregious, but George W actually had to go out and persuade others to follow his lead, um, I mean Cheyney’s lead.
Mr. Darcy's mother (Upstate, but not far enough north, alas)
@Evan Ditto.
Bruce Williams (Chicago)
@Evan You left out Rumsfeld.
drosophilist (Big Blue City, USA)
@Evan I don't like George W. Bush, and I hated his decision to start the Iraq war, but I'll say this for him: at least he tried to be the President of all Americans, not just his supporters. He attempted to console the entire nation after 9/11. I don't recall Bush ever saying, "That's a nasty question" when a reporter asked him about 9/11. For Trump and his sycophants, "triggering the Dems" or "making librul snowflakes cry" is the whole point. That's what makes Trump's presidency so toxic and horrifying.
Pamela Eddy (DC)
For the worst political person the Summer, our perennial favorite, Mitch McConnell. For someone who is supposed to be above the fray and yet with his every breath breathes the worst partisan politics, Bill Barr.
EB (Portland,OR)
The president is really not Tweety Bird. Tweety was a nice little yellow thing - benign, and with an articulation problem. Rather, Trump is a mocking bird - happy to mock most anyone depending on his mood at any given time of day. He mocks women, people with disabilities, men. I haven't heard of him mocking children as of yet, but that may be next. American voters need to vote him out, even if our options don't look so great. I like envisioning a strong woman president stepping up when Biden steps down....doing so will encourage me to vote.
KJ (Tennessee)
@EB Perfect in many ways. Mocking birds don't formulate thoughts or understand their own words, they only repeat noise. Just like Trump repeats Fox pundits and struggles with his teleprompter. But mocking birds are better mimics. One wouldn't call Venezuela Venewella, for example, unless they heard it first from Trump.
Linda C (Expat in Spain)
@EB Trump does indeed mock children. See Greta Thunberg and the students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School who had the audacity to march for their lives!
jahnay (NY)
@EB - he mocks children by keeping the poor underfed and undernourished.
prrh (Tucson)
There is nothing funny anymore about trump and his fellow republicans. They have destroyed any trust people had in government. 100,000 Americans dead as a result of the failure for trump to mobilize the federal government and act quickly to mitigate the contagion is a perfect example of the old adage that Republicans know how to get elected, but have no idea how to govern. Sad. I pray we can oust trump in November.
D. Lebedeff (Florida)
Covid-19 damage -- it's a lot more than death numbers, although those are horrifically significant. There are hospitalizations, a much greater number, with immense costs to the individuals and each hospital's economic base. There are victims with stroke and kidney damage, who will require continuing care. And, there can be long recovery periods even for those who live and have no signs of permanent damage. There will be the legal system and the need to probate estates of those who died, or appoint guardians for those who may be unable to manage their affairs. As anyone familiar with these problems could attest, there will be strife and expense in many of these situations. There will be domestic abuse of both adults and children. There will be sexual abuse. Attempting to redress the resulting damage will call upon many too thinly-spread resources. We have not yet begun to calculate the real cost and the real pain of all the victims of this pandemic. That bell of John Donne will toll for each death, and also resonate through all of society, one way or another.
citizen (Shelburne Falls, MA)
Attorney-General Barr and the entire cadre of Republican senators (minus Sen. Romney) who gave the President a pass in his trial certainly deserve consideration as well . . . for best politicians of the summer, Gov. Cuomo and other state and local officials who have been working assiduously to protect their citizens -- thank you!
Mr. Darcy's mother (Upstate, but not far enough north, alas)
@citizen -- Yes, and don't forget the Governor of Michigan, Gretchen Whitmer, who has valiantly stayed the course to fight the pandemic despite posters of her face with a Hitler mustache (really-- not Trump, or McConnell?), and who did not cave to the hooligans who entered the capitol building armed to whine about face masks. That's moxie of the best sort.
Tom (CO)
I vote for Mitch McConnell! Yes, I know it’s too early to vote! However, I didn’t vote in any prior “worsts ever”. As Trump might say, “The Mitch vote is very, very solid. Probably the best vote ever!” Why? Because McConnell was there before Trump (heck, he was there before God), and Mitch will be there long after Trump and crew have departed.
rich (Montville NJ)
This article smacks of polishing the brass on the Titanic. Come November, we Democrats will find a way to fall on our swords once again. Infighting? Check. Far-left socialists who won't vote for Biden? Check. Minority groups and young people who won't vote? Check. Ignoring mid-America? Check. Have we not realized, in the past three years, that this election, like 2016, won't be about practical solutions to America's woes? Trump will do what he does best, inflame and excite, because emotions, not intellects, will vote in November. Can Biden raise a Trump level of excitement and commitment? Has anyone seen that?
Bob (Philly Burbs)
I keep waiting for Trump to declare himself an even better president than Ben Franklin.
aginfla (florida)
Thank you Gail, for once again putting everything in perspective. Write on!
dsmith (south carolina)
If the Trump presidency is the price I have to pay for our first lady's life changing "Be Best" campaign against bullying, Jared's middle east peace plan and the fearless leadership shown by Mike Pence in combating this nation's pandemic, compliments of China, then that is the price this American is willing to pay! Also, if the president wants to pardon Paul Manafort that is fine with me. And no this is not Paul Manafort posting this comment about the greatest president to ever live!
Mr. Darcy's mother (Upstate, but not far enough north, alas)
@dsmith Thanks for the chuckle.
Lucien Dhooge (Atlanta, Georgia)
Don't forget Brian Kemp who disenfranchises voters, points a gun at a teenager in one of his memorable campaign ads, oversees his own election race as secretary of state, and recklessly endangers the citizenry through his viral ignorance and willful disregard for science all the while proclaiming himself to be pro-life.
Gail Collins (The New York Times)
@Lucien Dhooge Yeah, in a year with so many governor-heroes, Kemp definitely has the other end wrapped up.
Steve Ell (Burlington, Vermont)
Sorry Gail - you have barely scratched the surface. Once these bums, thugs, creeps, and crooks, are out of power, it will take years to shovel all the dirt away and the artifacts of corruption will still be turning up decades from now. The cost of trump’s hydroxychloroquine prescription, pence’s unopened face masks, pompeo’s minibar tabs, barr’s unpaid private investigator bills, and who knows what else. Maybe they’ll even find jim jordan’s tie. Finally, we’ll find out what the grand total was for staying at trump’s hotels. Under it all, covered in filth - The Constitution.
BlueMountainMan (Kingston, NY)
No one in Trump’s administration is worse than Trump, though all come close. How a man with such poor character, such a lack of empathy, so obviously lacking in morals and ethics became POTUS still has me reeling. May God (or the gods) save us.
Dutchie (The Netherlands)
Where to start. You can start at the top with Trump. He is the most abhorrent president ever. But he is backed by the GOP, Fox State Television and 30% of the country. He is just the logical outcome of the polarisation the GOP fuels so fanatically. My vote would go to the people enabling Trump and defending his every move, even though they are fully aware he is incompetent, dangerous and corrupt. Mitch McConnell, Lindsey Graham, and probably the worst of them all, given the power he currently holds, William Barr. These people have done everything in their power to protect their man at the White House, and polarise the country further. They cover their abhorrent behaviour in religious sanctimony while they are corrupting the DOJ, the GOP, the judiciary and the government. I sincerely hope that the GOP is voted into oblivion coming November.
Joanne (Connecticut)
Left out top contenders Barr and Pence-guess there are so many its hard to mention them all.
Michael Piscopiello (Higganum Ct)
The Guinness Book of world records, could have a full chapter on Trump and this administration. Perhaps, as suggested by this article’s headline,Worst politicians from 2016-2020. Truthfully, Trump, the Trump family, the Trump administration and a healthy bunch of Congress people and Senators have left me disheartened and shell shocked that these folks are so horribly incompetent, mean spirited and corrupt. It’s hard to see a silver lining or find their politics amusing as the threat to our democracy grows.
Dadof2 (NJ)
There is no "worse" than Donald Trump. Andrew Jackson, wrongly admired, sort of comes close. The other Andrew, Johnson was horrible, but doesn't come as close, as does James Buchanan. Jackson was closer to being a sociopath than anyone else, but he still cared about other people. Trump doesn't. Not sure about A.Johnson. Buchanan was self-centered and incompetent. But no President actively worked as hard before and during his time in office to destroy the nation as a constitutional democratic republic. No other President. He is the worst.
grennan (green bay)
Let's distinguish between worst for us, the U.S. population, and worst for the individual himself/herself. Obviously Trump wins the former by his own performance, and how he enables a lot of worst angels, bad policy, and appointees who are normally just inept but under his command have done even worse. (His bad political moments transcend whatever it means to him politically because when he has a bad day. everybody else has a terrible week. Or month. Or worse.) Trump wouldn't have made it this far without the Big Three Enablers: Mitch McConnell, VP Pence, and Atty. General Barr, who are each responsible for part of the harm Trump has done.
David (California)
I'm prepared to say Trump will be the worst president this country will ever have. I say that with confidence because of the low road Republican's have paved that still isn't quite low enough for the likes of them. They are less political party than they are a hive-minded cult. They stand for nothing but their own selfish idea that if Republicans ruled the world they wouldn't have to pay taxes. The blatant hypocrisy. Isn't it in the constitution that American citizens ought to pay their taxes for the benefit of the country??? Biden will likely stave-off ruin for the U.S.A, for now. But if we don't get our acts together, enact laws that shutter Fox News and prevent new ones from popping up, another Trump is possible. Democrats just can't be happy with taking the executive branch and the Senate back, they have to remain focused, pin their ears back and pursue supermajorities in both houses. Our constitution needs amending to prevent another Trump.
Houston Houlaw (USA)
We've had some great teams through the years: Butch and Sundance; Smokey and the Bandit; Tom and Jerry; Ike and Tina...the list goes on. But who would have ever expected we'd end up with Sleepy Joe and Tweety competing for what once was the most powerful political job in the world? It's almost like having Dumb and Dumber. How far we have fallen.
John (DC)
While Trump is the obvious choice, there are others that are much worse. Look to the states and how many governors issues needlessly broad stay at home orders, shut down businesses that didn't need to be shut down, and ruined the economy to a degree not needed to combat Covid-19. The science does not support these actions and unlike Trump's verbal nonsense, actually hurts people, a lot of them. Trump is bad, the governors are worse. Many use a highly politicized version of science as cover. We know they are liars. All of them.
R.S. (Texas)
Trump is of course still the top of the Worst Pile. But there is an aspect of Trump I'd love to hear more about. Lyndon Johnson was known for intimidating people over policy. There's even the picture of him looming over another man. What makes Trump worse? His horrendous policies? His saying it out loud? His crude language? Lack of subtlety? Inability and ignorance to make substantive threats?
Jk (Oregon)
Perhaps it is his utter disregard for the welfare of the citizens that differentiates Trump from Johnson.
Queenie (Henderson, NV)
I can’t believe you left out not only the worst but the most dangerous. As Attorney General Bill Barr as perverted the Justice Department and has become the one person who protects Trump from the rule of law. He alone can make Trump the dictator Trump longs to be. He is the person who decides when to bring the full force of the federal government against Trump’s enemies while giving his friends a get out of jail free card. Bill Barr has done more damage to this country than all the other candidates put together.
Michael (California)
@Queenie Thank you, Queenie. Imagine if Barr had been AG during Watergate. Q.E.D.
Gail Collins (The New York Times)
@Queenie I expect sometime this summer we’ll have another reader contest for worst cabinet member. Since Barr has been winning those by a landslide I figured I’d save him for later.
Joe Bellesbud (New Jersey)
There is one comparison I have not yet seen. Who is the “best” Republican President? Ronald Reagan was canonized by the party and viewed as the living embodiment of conservative beliefs. It might make an entertaining exercise to compare their “accomplishments”. Saint Ronald versus the Best Brain. Ask members of Republican Party who is better, Trump or Reagan? The answer might break the heart of every old school Republican. And that is perfectly ok. I keep hoping that self-serving delusion and greed will go out of style, but its like plaid pants. There’s always some old fool who thinks it makes them look good. Vote 2020
David (Berkeley)
Not sure I agree with you, Gail. I like the sound of "Tweety Trump" or just "Tweety." He may be president but that doesn't mean he's not cartoonish.
Barking Doggerel (America)
You must at least put South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem on the dishonorable mention list. She thinks meat packing workers are not real people. And there's this from the WaPo: “It’s an exciting day,” she boasted, repeatedly citing her conversations with presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner. Anyone excited by Jared Kushner merits "worst" consideration.
Mike (Republic Of Texas)
Reading the first few paragraphs, I was struck at how much this sounded like how I felt about Obama. Ms. Collins and others would ascribe my feelings to racism, while I ascribe her tone to Trump Derangement Syndrome.
Stephen (Fort Lauderdale)
@Mike "...others would ascribe my feelings to racism,.." If it walks like a duck...
Pat (USA)
You said you are a Republican, rather than saying you were a Republican. That is mystifying. There was a time when the Republican Party stood for the rule of law, protecting the Constitution and against slavery (Lincoln); creating a more level playing field against cartels (Teddy Roosevelt); supporting the international order and investing in infrastructure (Eisenhower). They all believed that government can play a positive role in people's lives. Those days are gone. Now Republican politics are all about maintaining minority rule, playing to people's worst instincts and hollowing out government. Your getting ill with COVID-19 is a feature, not a bug of this incompetent administration as we witness 100,000 needless deaths. Vietnam, New Zealand, Australia, South Korea and Taiwan have shown how compassionate, organized, centralized early action could have avoided the medical and financial catastrophe we current face. Hope you get well soon.
P McGrath (USA)
I would say Chuck Schumer is the worst politician. Life long, constantly changing his viewpoints depending on the day. Chuck is your typical politician that could have easily played the role of Mayor of Amity in "Jaws."
rlschles (SoCal)
I don't think I am alone in naming Millard Fillmore, James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson and Herbert Hoover as our worst Presidents. Trump tops them all.
pi (maine)
Worst political person? Mitch McConnell. He has contributed to corruption of all three branches of government. Blocking the work of the legislature. Blocking the appointment of judges and justices. Blocking the impeachment trial of Trump.
Rogie21 (NJ)
@pi Don't forget the common sense gun safety legislation --which had substantial majority popular support--passed by the House 15 months ago which sits buried in "Grim Reaper" McConnell's graveyard.
writeon1 (Iowa)
Trump has already retired the "Worst President," "Worst Politician," and possibly the "Worst Human Being" trophies. The Mercy Rule means that he is no longer eligible for competition. In the future all such awards will bear the suffix "EDT" meaning Except Donald Trump.
ijarvis (NYC)
I know somene who is thrilled that Trump is in office; George Bush, who once upon a time appeared to be permanently enshirned as the worst President in modern times. Not any more.
George (NC)
I find it desperatly worrisome that the two people vying for the highest office in the world are calling each other names as if they were in the fourth grade.
jamiebaldwin (Redding, CT)
And then there's Billy Barr...
richard g (nyc)
Thanks for pointing out all of the members of trumps admin that are truly deplorable. I don't envy you trying to write a humorous column on a subject that is so devastating to our country and the world. It is a difficult task at best and an impossible task in the current atmosphere.
misterarthur (Detroit)
I'm reminded of the scene at every Academy Awards show, when everyone associated with a film gathers on stage to accept the 'Best Picture" award. Seems to fit here - it's hard to select a single person that is responsible for our current governmental debacle. Let everyone share the award.
Dave (Edmonton)
The tough question would be who in the gop could be considered decent? The worst list has too many options and ties for win place show.
Nice try, Gail. Written exactly how the DNC required you to. But it won't work. Our President will be reelected in November. Mostly because the Dems have an extremely weak candidate.Not being Trump is not a platform and will not be enough to win. And the best thing, you all know this and now live in the fear of knowing another loss, in a long line of losses, will happen once again.
eheck (Ohio)
@DB Wow - a veiled threat. How Trumpian. Or maybe not - Trumps is stupid and makes direct threats; it's one of the things that is proving to be part of his undoing. Don't get too confident; I don't think Trumpsters quite grasp how truly despised Trump and his minions are among people in their 20's and 30's. They are totally aware of how Trump's refusal to take responsibility and act to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the US caused a lot of the problems they are currently having to face, and they are angry about it and planning to vote accordingly. Even Trump himself admitted that Republicans can't win elections without resorting to voter suppression; those of us who are grown-ups have known this for years. Trump supporters and the GOP would be wise to check their hubris.
Stephen (Fort Lauderdale)
@DB Yeah, right. Thanks for Today's Chuckle.
@eheck Hogwash. But you are entitled to be as wrong as you are. Where is the "veiled threat"? Unless you consider the reelection of our President a threat. Which you probably do..but there is not veiled threat or any other type of threat.
Rob K. (NYC)
Barr. The rule of law seems important to America, if not to some other countries we can name, and this fellow either doesn't understand it, or doesn't care to. Either way, he's got my vote for worst of the worst. Bring back John MItchell!
He's your President, America. Your electoral system put him there. Not a good look, hope you have the sense to replace him for 2021.
Linda Howell (Portland, OR)
@EG He is NOT my president. I respect the office but not THAT man.
hen3ry (Westchester, NY)
@EG Yes, he is our president. I didn't vote for him. I don't consider him to president for all Americans. He has continued to divide the country, constantly undermined people who disagree with him, made a habit of issuing demeaning, denigrating, and often baseless attacks on others, and disgraced the office he holds. He has been abetted in no small way by the GOP, McConnell in particular. I think that there ought to be a thorough investigation of McConnell and Chao to see what personal monetary gains they've from their mutual association. I think that the entire cabinet should be impeached, investigated, and charged with criminal negligence. In a saner political world none of them would be in charge of anything at all. Pompeo, with his actions, does a real disservice to every West Point alumnus and every cadet. All in all, this administration could give the Red Queen a run for her money to say nothing of comparisons to how Mao and Stalin hurt their citizens.
belsac (Sacramento)
@EG And, yet after two years of him, you ended up with the same look.
beth (florida)
It turns out that Hilary Clinton's "basket of deplorables" most aptly describes the Trump administration and his allies. Is it really worth anyone's time to evaluate who among them is the most deplorable?
DCBinNYC (The Big Apple)
No mention of William Barr tipping not only the scales, but the very definition of justice? I mean, c'mon...
That's What She Said (The West)
"Worst" Political? I think worst political is counter-intuitive. The worst political doesn't get elected. The Most Political does --they know how to make everything political to their advantage. It's sad, that the truthful, honest, pulling for all worker will never get elected.
Steve Bolger (New York City)
@That's What She Said: US public policy is locked into a tautology of irrationality.
Edgar (NM)
Mitch, Donald, Mike, Betsey, the list is endless. But don’t forget the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Andrew Lewis (R) who announced on Facebook that he had tested positive and had continued to work with others and had kept it secret. Knowing you are infected and hiding it while continuing to work with others has to be some weird inhumanity. But the Republicans are the clear winners in that category. It’s like kids who won’t admit they took all the cookies.
Gordon Jones (California)
Joe - stay in that basement. Prepare for the Democratic convention and the Democratic Platform. You do not have to campaign. Save your campaign funds. Trump is very effectively campaigning for you. Every single day, every single twitter, Registered Republicans more and more determined to cross party lines in November. More and more independents rapidly come to a decision to vote for you, for Democratic Senate candidates, and for Democratic House Candidates. We will see the Senate flip, we will see the House expand its Democratic majority. trump is toast, mitch will be ditched, lyndsey g. expelled, barr will be barred. Renovations of Al Capone cell at Alcatraz under way. VOTE folks. No apathy. Ignore polls. Our ballots are out bullets. Take America back.
Doug (Port Ludlow, WA)
Kind of surprised that Gail chose Franklin Pierce over James Buchanan as Donald Trump's competition for the worst President we've had in the United States. Either will do, but Trump bests both.
Steve (Maryland)
Who would be nominated for the Best Political Person of the Summer?
JohnFred (Raleigh)
It is important for everyone to step back and truly consider what we now consider as "normal" behavior for the POTUS. He does not govern, he watches TV, spews hateful tweets, makes public appearances where he lies repeatedly, and he provides cover for a cabal of minions who are destroying the abilities of the Federal Govt to function. We expected bad but we have gotten so much worse. It truly is beyond what we imagined and we have to keep that in mind. We have to fully wake up to the nightmare we are living and do everything humanly possible to make sure this tyrant is ousted on November 3.
Independent (the South)
The New York Times had a poll of historians a while back and Trump was definitely near the bottom. My guess is that with each year he is in office, historians will see him as even worse.
Frank Casa (Durham)
How about ALL of the above? It's unfair to deprive any of them from a highly merited award. It's the only one that will ever get.
gern blansten (Back woods)
Nicknames: my moniker for our fearful leader, for the last 4 years, has been Twitler. I still find it accurate, perhaps more than ever.
Truthbeknown (Texas)
Hard to say, President Obama lost a glorious once in a generation historic opportunity to be a healer in race relations and he was and is a dismal failure on that score; topped only by the complicity of his administration in creating the false narrative of the Russian collusion which tore this country apart; although the political agenda of Speaker Pelosi is loading up proposals with needless expensive special proposals is a pretty disgraceful current event.
Lynn (Dallas)
I'm not sure I should say "Thank you" for the brief refresher since it left me even more depressed. But the piece was mercifully short - about 20 short paragraphs - vs. the 20 full pages, or volumes, the topic actually warrants.
chickenlover (Massachusetts)
While the list of Trump cabinet members and other appointees who would qualify for the worst is a long one, there is one group that is not mentioned in this context. And that is the nearly 40% of our fellow citizens who, after 3.5 years of watching Trump spew venom, half truths, untruths, and make bizarre statements, are still in favor of handing him the office of the POTUS for four more years. It is harsh thing to call them bad or ugly names, but would it be incorrect to call them naive? Should they not win this nomination hands down?
sdw (Cleveland)
Deciding who is the Worst Political Person of the Summer is difficult because, with Donald Trump in the picture, the category would have to be Worst Political Person in a Supporting Role. Putting it another way, Donald Trump has not yet served a full term in office, but he is eligible for the Lifetime Achievement Award as Worst American Public Official in History.
Jim Lee (Raleigh NC)
I just love Ms Collins. She always manages to bring a little levity [with an edge] to an otherwise depressing news day. She is one of the reasons I take the Times. I'm certain I'm not alone. Keep flying Tinker Bell!
Saba (Albany)
Ms. Collins, Every time I think that there cannot possibly be anything funny about the day’s news, you have me laughing aloud. Thank you.
Charles Michener (Gates Mills, OH)
A question for Gail: Did any contenders for "worst president" (Buchanan, Pierce, Andrew Johnson, Harding, Tyler et al) have anything approaching the popularity that Trump has while in office? Or anything approaching his unpopularity? This is the conundrum at the heart of our broken system.
Adepaor1. (Maryland)
I vote for Trump. His hypocrisy alone deserves the award. He refuses to wear a mask yet anyone who comes in contact with him must wear a mask. He doesn’t want tests yet he and everyone around him get tested often. More tests, he claims, mean more cases. He hasn’t caught on that the cases will be there, tests or no. He says China is at fault. Yet he praised China loudly and often. Now he says China lied about the virus yet he lied for weeks: it was 1 person coming in from China, it was 11 people, all getting well, it was a hoax, it would disappear magically, he had it under control, anyone can get a test. He doesn’t want anyone voting by mail yet he votes by mail as does his new press secretary. He says voting by mail encourages voter fraud yet there is no evidence of that and many red states already vote by mail.
NS (Washington)
Why do you think Trump keeps firing his pollsters? Nobody sees a path to the 48% he got last time, never mind 51%. His only hope is to make the atmosphere so toxic (remember talk of pollwatchers a few days back?) and flood SocMed with junk that turnout will drop low enough to nudge him over the finish line. If enough people think for themselves, this will end.
Anyoneoutthere? (Earth)
It's easy to deduce why he doesn't wear a mask. Remember, Trump Ties? Trump Steaks? Trump University? He probably tried Trump masks, and the venture failed like all his others. With the virus mauling our nation, we probably didn't notice the effort. Well he did win the presidency, which says a lot about our political system. My mom used to say, "If you lay down with dogs, you'll get up with fleas." Taking our cabinet members into consideration, it's a bit difficult to distinguish the dogs from the fleas! Too, we have stimulus money. Of course it's splayed out with folks needing it the most, either not getting a share or getting too, little. But, the markets are up, and who knows what November will bring.
we are all human (International)
I would suggest that Biden's idea of naming Trump as "President Tweety" is a far superior approach to "President Pandemic" Biden's approach is a form of mockery that shows up Trump as the small minded clown that he is. Mockery takes the wind out of the sails. Biden needs to stay the course with that approach. Something like President Pandemic will resonate well in Blue States that are already safe bets but in Red state and swing states illustrations of Trump's evil actually just makes him seem powerful. Don't forget the pandemic is a democratic hoax that is killing mainly democratic voters which is unfortunately a good idea to the nut case right. Trump knows that it all rides on four states and the vote margins are so tiny that he can squeak through another win by motivating his base to show up at 100% turnout rate which the Democrats will never get close to. That's why he is tweeting about mail in ballots. The "rigged" election just gets his base to show up. Saying and doing horrible things just gets the left to attack Trump which again riles up his base so they show up 100% on election day. That's all he needs. Be warned. Trump is focused completely on winning the election. Nothing else. It's all about turnout. Not the issues.
Carol (North Carolina)
I know that Senate Republicans (perhaps a small exception for Mitt Romney) aren't technically part of the Trump administration, but they get my vote. Without them and their willingness to abdicate responsibility for oversight, Trump couldn't succeed in his quest to be the biggest loser in the history of the American presidency.
Dan (Southwestern, Ut)
I will hire only the best President Tweety told us. Yup. A turnover rate that is more than what most entry-level jobs in a convenience store experiences. A press secretary, the most recent, who I swear her nose grows when she speaks. With the latest tin-foil hat theory tweet it is amazing how many fall into the trap of the charlatan from Queens when he sprinkles shiny objects in front of them. Would these same people give their life savings to a person in a revival tent promising salvation if they do give him/her all of their money? The claim of Trump being the best president ever is laughable. Perhaps the best president whose attributes we must avoid in the future.
Person (Wisconsin)
I'm lost without you. We endure the loss of life. I'm shocked.
Jack Hartman (Holland, Michigan)
Gail, I gotta go with Trump as being the worst person. After all, he is the leader of this pack and appointed all these people to cabinet level posts. However, you might want to consider a contest of the worst generations. Boomers win out on that one hands down (and I'm one of them). They are the generation in power and now seem incapable of doing anything to fix things, starting with Trump. Barring any upcoming movement towards becoming sages after recognizing their failures, we'll go down in history as the generation that brought America to its knees.
ttrumbo (Fayetteville, Ark.)
Trump's the worst but who are we? The industrialized country with the highest levels of inequality and incarceration. That's not just Trump. The only industrialized country without national health care. Trump didn't do that. The only country that uses an 'electoral college' to give the presidency to someone who actually lost by millions of votes. USA, USA! Nah, we're all complicit. Slow to react to poverty, climate catastrophe, extinctions, corruptions, housing crisis, income and wage crisis, hedge fund managers making billions, the Waltons of Wal-Mart making $100 million a day, the Fed buying bonds today so the market share's prices don't collapse (our corporate socialism). We've been the virus of bad citizenship for quite some time. We don't want to change the Constitution because it's difficult and we're not really 'into' the self-government thing, and it's so holy (though, remember, without changing it, we'd still have slavery and women couldn't vote). So, sure, Trump's the worst man I've ever seen, but we're not so hot, either.
Corrie (Alabama)
A carnival barking clown beating Honest Abe. If that’s not the most 2020 thing ever! But my vote goes to Ron DeSantis, not only for his “our beaches are open for business” rhetoric (it’s like Jaws!), but because he’s obviously going to let Trump have the Republican convention in Florida. That’s probably a smart move though, because then someone from the essential state industry of professional wrestling can be the keynote speaker.
Person (Wisconsin)
The rememberance of life at age 9 or 10. It's the most imortant remembrance. Remember how it was. Mine was marred by horror. Nowone elses should be marred by that kind of thing. Mine should not have been subjected to it. There's a man out there that did this to us. His name is Carpenter. Can you help us redeem? Can you live up to your deeds?
Enlynn Rock (Winchester)
I never had anything but low expectations of trump even before he became president, bit I am still completely appalled by his constant use of derogatory nicknames. I know it’s hardly his worst sin, but that our own president, erstwhile global leader, regularly descends to this level shames our whole country.
Quoth The Raven (Northern Michigan)
When it comes to the Trump administration and its plethora of incompetent and objectionable appointees, we have been forced to watch a multi-year game of "Limbo," the hallmark of which is "How low can you go?" Every time we think we've got the answer, they lower the bar even more.
Jeffery Davis (Lincoln, NE)
"Sleepy Joe and a canary",...thank you Ms Collins. The next five months will be a bit more bearable now.
carllowe (Huntsville, AL)
The most important thing this column made me understand. Finally! I now see the reason DJ Trump doesn't have a dog: Dogs, apparently, only mean trouble for Republicans. Romney got in trouble for carrying a dog around on his car roof (and Ms. Collins never let him forget it). Pompeo is in hot water because an aide had to walk his dog. Imagine if DJT had a dog! The mind reels at the possibilities and political liabilities. Trump can't resist a cavalcade of Tweets. But he's got a stable genius' grasp of the dangers a dog would bring. Forget about the way LBJ (admittedly a Democrat) used to grab dogs' ears. Trump would come up with something worse. It would be a canine disaster.
Rea Tarr (Malone, NY)
@carllowe Someone, I think, brought him a canary. But the little thing took one breath and keeled over dead. Someone else thought maybe a lizard, but no one's tried that yet.
Anamyn (NY)
Mitch McConnell. The man is is doing everything he can to dismantle democracy. Ditch Mitch, Kentucky! Save our democracy!
Michael (Toronto)
Very disappointed, Gail, your list stopped short of William Barr. I know it's hard to keep up, and he's so yesterday, but he lurks, and his unerring touch for injustice will be back.
Psst (overhere)
I think all members of trumps administration and all gop members of the Congress should get participation trophies.
Dick Tater (Star, ID)
Thanks for the fun column Gail, it was a welcome respite from all the bad news. I vote for the Fake President, which he developed into because he is a Fake Person. Stay well all.
FixThisNow (CT)
Trump is the worst. McConnell is solidly in second place. The bronze is a 51-way tie by the other GOP senators who, given the opportunity and responsibility to fix the mess that is Trump during impeachment, did the opposite. Rarely have the consequences of a bad vote been so immediate and so catastrophic! More than 100,000 Americans dead, with no end in sight. Trump's responsibility for the high COVID-19 death toll is disputed by Trump-followers (of course). But Trump's failures are the cause of many COVID-19 deaths and Trump himself has admitted to the facts that make this conclusion undeniable. Trump claims his partial China travel ban saved "hundreds of thousands" or "millions" of lives. His numbers are inflated - yet keeping infected people away from uninfected people is the most effective way to prevent viral transmission. Of course, Trump doesn't understand science or medicine, but he's taking credit for preventing spread of the disease, nonetheless. Unfortunately, the virus was already in America and spreading fast - and Trump's failure through February and most of March to heed the warnings of the experts or to do anything else to combat the spread of virus within our country is directly responsible for many of the subsequent deaths. Trump can't have it both ways: if he saved lives with his China travel ban, as he claims, then he also condemned many others to die by his failure to take other necessary actions. There is no other conclusion.
Larry Roth (Upstate NY)
I think the worst has to be all those who believe he is the best.
Vik (Nathan)
Everyone that the President refers to as a "Great guy" should be an automatic contender. There should be two categories - "sheer incompetence" and "ruthless manipulator". Pre-Covid, I actually liked the members in the first group. Barr, Pompeo, McConnell and Miller should definitely be in the second category. If I weren't so witless scared about my life and our collective future, I would have bought tickets to watch this circus.
just Robert (North Carolina)
The members of the Trump administration pass by in a blur of incompetence and larceny, either that or they just can't stand the atmosphere of blame and back biting. Does anyone remember Scott Pruitt or that guy Perry? the seats are barely warm and some scandal or other pops up or there is a book from a former cabinet member condemning Trump and whole nefarious lot. And Trump thrives on it all as he always claimed as the stable genius that he needed no one else and that is true in one respect. Trump with the help of those who voted for him is a one man wrecking ball. Who chose this rogues gallery anyway?
Tom (DC)
Of all the actors in today's political turmoil, it's the liberal media that's the worst. The turmoil began when the media foisted the Russia Collusion Hoax on the American people. The media was duped by Russian disinformation (the steel dossier), and promoted the collusion narrative for three years. This began before Trump was even elected. The media was lied to by politicians like Adam Schiff, and eagerly promoted those lies. This was the biggest political event of this presidency, and it was set in motion before Trump even became president. How can Trump or any GOP voter converse in good will when the entire liberal media falsely accused him of being a Russian mole for three years? What would the presidency and political tone be like if this hoax didn't occur? I blame the media more than the lying politicians, because they're supposed to by the watchdogs, but instead they foisted this on us. They were the primary enablers. The other major events that the media deserves "the worst" award for is Kavanaugh and the impeachment. What do Russian Collusion, Kavanaugh, and the impeachment have in common? They were all very significant political events that had the entire nation's attention, involved prosecutorial over-reach, some form of deep-state skulduggery, and a heavy-dose of media inflammation. They were all non-events, hoaxes.
Antonia (Wilmington, NC)
All those people in Donald Trump's administration came directly from the swamp. I could write their names in a long list but why give them any recognition.
Muhammad Abeer (California)
I ponder Mr. Trump as the most stiff-necked person in this world. In the early stage of this pandemic he declared his unease of donning masks. As of today he is just maintaining his words regardless of the dangers posed by this monstrous virus.
Ben (Midtown)
Liberal here. Sadly, I think a case could be made for Andrew Cuomo. His delay in shutting down New York when there was evidence of community transmission of Covid elsewhere in the United States may have contributed to thousands of deaths. Unlike the reprobates Collins mentions here, Cuomo's mistake can be chalked up to a failure in judgment, not a failure in character. And, of course, if the Federal Government had been performing proper surveillance -- instead of downplaying the disease -- Cuomo might not have had the opportunity to make such a mistake. Still, as they say, mistakes were made.
Rea Tarr (Malone, NY)
@Ben Andrew Cuomo also "may have" saved thousands of lives by acting as he did when he did. "May have" is never a good argument for anything once you're out of the terrible two's.
Robert Black (Somewhere In Florida)
It is time to stand on top of a hill in any city and look at the people in front of you. Put them in groups of five. Now realize that two of those five support Trump. Of course to varying degrees. But enough support to vote for him. Now step down from that hill and sit down and ponder about how we got here. Try to get the partisanship out of your thinking. Did you experience an epiphany? Are liberals just like a Trump in blaming others for our failures?
eheck (Ohio)
Now, Gail . . . as a longtime reader of your hilarious brilliance, I seem to recall you referring to Trump as "Tweety-Bird" in one of your columns that was published during the 2016 campaign, either pre- or post-election. I remember laughing my head off when I read it. As much as I admire Joe Biden, I think he might have cribbed this from you . . . If he did, I don't blame him. It's too irresistible. The only problem is that in the classis Warner Bros cartoons, Tweety-Bird was usually the victor against a greedy, not-too-bright puddy-tat. Since Trump has more of Sylvester's qualities than those of the enterprising, surprisingly always-armed-with-dynamite Tweety, I'd advise against using it as a campaign motif. It might backfire, and we don't want that under any circumstances. There's too much at stake.
sjs (Bridgeport, CT)
I thank God every day that most people in the trump administration don't know how to get things done. I have never been so grateful for incompetence.
Enlynn Rock (Virginia)
Remember the great summation “malevolence tempered by incompetence “ Says it all.
Bob Hanle (Madison)
Sorry Gail, but in the magnitude of awfulness, comparing the Second Worst Political Person of the Summer to Trump is like comparing doing 50 in a 25 mph zone to the speed of light. It's really not worth the effort.
DBR (Los Angeles)
I don't know, Gail, we must be living in very different worlds. Every morning I wake up and can't imagine how things could be better.
Rea Tarr (Malone, NY)
@DBR How awful it must be for you to see how the world seems to be successfully fighting through this pandemic. Maybe it will reactivate and you can laugh again.
Steve (Maryland)
Trump's cohorts are a formidable lot: Pompeo, Barr, McConnell, et al, but right up there is the entire Republican Party that moves in lock step with our miserable failure of a "leader."
Greg (Lyon, France)
Since American politic has long been based on money, I'd say all of the current Administration, most of the Legislative branch, and now the leadership of the Justice Branch, qualify as the worst politicians.
EB (Massachusetts)
"Now this is the election that’s going to have you awash in rage and terror for the next five months. But if you think of it as Sleepy Joe versus a canary it sounds pretty darned relaxing." Thanks for the belly laugh this gave me this evening, Gail. I needed that.
vaughan (Florida)
Oh Gail, please have a nice summer. We need you in fine form for the fall and the election. I'll always call 'him' President Tweet - short and to the point; Joe is being rather nice. Onward!
Jeffrey Barker (Washington, NC)
Easy to see why all these toadies are in contention, but the glaring omission is William (low)Barr. Very hard to consider any other AG who could have single handedly undermined the rule of law more insidiously, all the while projecting himself as the cuddly teddy bear just trying to do God's moral work. Mitch might have also merited at least a dishonorable honorable mention. Perhaps an indication that when one is being buried by an avalanche, it matters not which boulder does the worst damage.
Carmela Sanford (Niagara Falls, New York)
That the current occupier of the Oval Office is a leadership disaster is an unchallengeable fact. Trump is a master, not of the universe, but of wasting time. President Do-Nothing or President Timewaster works for me. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is, like the President, another incompetent. He reminds me of Fred Flintstone, a loud, bullying braggart who knows little and says nothing of importance or consequence. However, for me, the real symbol of a lazy administration official is Mitch McConnell. Yes, I know, he’s not actually a White House appointee, but come on. He’s a slavish, Trumpian stooge. What I want to know is this. How did McConnell, a Federal employee in various jobs for more than four decades, became a multi-millionaire on his salary? Yes, he has gotten occasional raises, but even if we accept the current $174,000 per year Senatorial salary as an average, plus an additional $19,000 for each of the last five years as Senate Majority Leader, how is this man so staggeringly wealthy? McConnell’s wife, Elaine Chao, has also been a Federal employee for decades, mostly in appointed posts, and she is also a mega-millionaire. I think my nickname for the McConnells will be Senator and Mrs. Money Bags.
SpeakinForMyself (Oxford PA)
Trump doesn't want a mask to smear his bronzer makeup. Pompeo is a bad joke. Etc. Blame doesn't flatten the curve, any more than wishful hope. What lies will be told when the 2nd wave arrives? Whose fault next time? Can't be reopening too soon. In the end it's yours and mine and anyone's who doesn't vote to stop the insanity through their choices, their actions, and their ballot. M & G, Masks and Gloves, team.
merc (east amherst, ny)
The worst? I'd have to say it's a plural noun, not singular. It's all those in the Republican Party who still support Trump once he started to spin, exaagerrate, and lie the way he's been doing since getting elected president.
I believe Trump not wearing a mask is his attempt to be Putin-esque: while Trump can't go shirtless on horseback, too much of His Paunchity there, or wrestle bears or alligators like Putin, Trump can appear macho by not wearing a mask. How can the guy who places so much of his self-worth on his masculinity be seen to be cowing to a microscopic virus? Which begs the question, if we start seeing pics of Putin wearing a mask, will Trump make fun of that as he did with Biden?
Paul (Brooklyn)
It is Trump by a landslide ie the worst. If you are conservative or liberal you will consider the other side as stopping progress as you view it but not a lethal danger to democracy. Trump is the greatest threat to our democracy since the Civil War imo and a lethal danger to democracy.
Mike (Rural New York)
Trump is potentially the most dangerous person in the world. But, Mitch McConnell has proven to be the most dangerous and damaging influence on the current and future democratic institutions of the country. No joke. Whether you agree with the policies or not, the methods and cynical contempt for the collaborative functioning of our government has been immeasurably damaged by him. This will have a lasting, and not positive, impact long after he’s gone.
Leigh (Qc)
President Pandemic's secret oath of office: I do solemnly swear that I will outperform all enemies, foreign and domestic, in undermining the high status and unmatched promise of The United States of America, so help me McConnell.
Prof Dr Ramesh Kumar Biswas (Vienna)
Other countries have malevolent, incompetent, venal leaders - but also a massive mobilization of voters against them, demonstrations, fundraising, boycotts. Where is this happening in the US on a large scale? All you have is sensible parts of the media exposing trump and his gang. though Fox and Breitbart hold sway. I'm afraid if the anti-trump forces on both sides of the aisle don't get their act together, we will have an increasingly senile, angry and aggressive trump in charge for another four years, a puppet easily manipulated by big business and the military, supported by the least-educated and worst-informed part of the electorate. In the midst of a serious long-term pandemic.
Alan R Brock (Richmond VA)
@Prof Dr Ramesh Kumar Biswas It's difficult to imagine a more frightening scenario.
Jim (Placitas)
Picking a Worst Politician out of this administration would be like having Michael Jordan play basketball in an Over-60 league, and then choosing who gets the MVP award. Some people are just in a class by themselves. When it comes to bad anything --- politician, husband, businessman, human being --- Trump is the clear winner.
Guido Malsh (Cincinnati)
How do you describe the Trump regime in one word or less? KAKISTOCRACY. That's simply a five dollar word for a government of the corrupt and inept. As for 'Tweety,' he's the canary in the coal mine we used to call a democracy. Enjoy the summer of our discontent which will finally be over in November.
NYC BD (New York, NY)
Let Trump have his big, glorious convention. And if a few people who happen to have COVID-19 happen to be there, let it spread like wildfire. The local hospitals wherever this event ends up should have no obligation to treat them, as they have brought it upon themselves. I am a pacifist and one of the kindest, most positive people I know but my whole body fills with rage whenever I think of all of these clowns, and the millions of my fellow Americans who blindly support them.
jules (California)
Mitch McConnell. Trump is a big nobody without him. For giving Trump power no President should have. For remaining silent to Trump's most egregious behavior. For condoning bribery of a foreign official. For representing only wealthy benefactors. For allowing conflict of interest (including wife Chao) that he would never have allowed under a Democrat.
William Mutterperl (NYC)
Actually, I would nominate Bill Barr for this ignominious award. His job is to support the impartial administration of justice without fear or favor. But in fact, Trump did find his Roy Cohn in Barr, who views the job as protecting Trump and using the immense prosecutorial powers of his office to intimidate the President's critics.
Thomas M. (Tampa)
Not the worst, but the biggest disappointment so far is Nancy Pelosi. Other than the occassional zinger for the media to play up, she has given Trunp everything on his wish list without raising a peep. She and Schumer are both republican light who do nothing for labor, healthcare, education. She plays her roll but does not stand up for the working class.
thevilchipmunk (WI)
I suspect that "future historians" will regard the Trump presidency in much the same way current historians view the reign of Emperor Caligula. In other words, "poorly".
Whole Grains (USA)
The Worst Politician of the Summer? Well, I'm surprised you didn't mention Jared Kushner, who boasted, just after the Covid-19 death toll reached 60,000 in the U.S., that the administration's handling of the pandemic was a big success story. We were left with the impression that he was ready to pop the corks and celebrate. I don't think the reaction from the public and the press was what he was expecting. He should be the winner and the award for The Worst Politician Ever should be reserved for his father-in-law, Donald Trump.
Misplaced Modifier (Former United States Of America)
The worst political citizen is American news and social media corporations who enable Trump, Mitch and the Republican propaganda machine. They continue to report and minimize and normalize his lies, without contradiction or checks or counters, and feed it the public as if they were facts.
John Paar (Weaverville,NC)
It has to be Trump. Because since day 1 of his vile presidency everything has been about the Center of the Universe as he seems to see himself. Even the pandemic is viewed as some sort of myth perpetuated to try to deflate the chances of his re-election ('God forbid). He has apppointed others, who like himself, are unqualified for their positions. Let us hope fervently that there will be a clean sweep of this corrupt and unqualified group from our nation's capital and replacement by persons who actually are qualified by education and experience to render service to our country and to the world.
Earl (Cary, NC)
My recollection is that Tom Friedman did not "suggest" Pompeo was the worst Secretary of State in history. Rather, he stated it outright, and I agree with him. The man is a disgrace to West Point and McArthur's beloved corps. You can be sure that when Pompeo crosses the river, he will be thinking of Mike, and of Mike, and of Mike.
Stan Van Gundy (Lake Mary, FL)
Bill Barr is extremely upset to not even get a mention. He has worked hard to undermine democracy and the rule of law. He has made every effort to be the worst of the worst. To not even be mentioned is an affront to his lack of dignity.
paplo (new york)
Can we just call him "Donny Tweet"? He'd hate it. Imagine a political rival referring to him as "Donny Tweet."
Bob Parker (Easton, MD)
My vote, Gail, is AG Barr. While McConnell has prevented any meaningful Senate discussion of bills passed by the House and continues to focus on the appointment of unqualified right-wing judges to the Federal judiciary, and while Pompeo is facilitating the use of U.S. Foreign policy and the Intelligence Community to personally aid trump to the detriment of our country, it is Barr who is both overseeing and facilitating the dismantling of our Constitutional checks-and-balance allowing a president beyond the reach of oversight by the congress. Barr and a trump-appointed SCOTUS together have allowed the continuing disenfranchisement of large segments of Americans in service of trump and a bankrupt GOP. These actions, in my opinion, place Barr at the top of the list. While McConnell serves with the consent of the voters of Kentucky, the rest of Americans can rid the country of Barr, Pompeo and the rest of trump's cabinet of corrupt clowns by voting trump out of office in November.
Sha (Redwood City)
How about Jared Kushner for his brilliant coordination of Trump's virus response? This, on top of his achievement of bringing peace to the Middle East, should be grounds for a Nobel Prize for his father in law.
Michael Epton (Seattle)
Given his Twitter addiction, I think that Mr. Trump is best characterized as "Twit in Chief". If that needs to be explained to him, he should just consult with his buddy Boris. As for worst Secretary of State ever, I think Mike Pompeo wins. He even beats out John Calhoun, who was a pretty nasty piece of work.
Joseph Wilson (San Diego, California)
I look forward to President Joseph Biden appointing Vice President Kamala Harris to set up a Truth and Reconciliation Commission next year when 2020 passes to the dustbin of history. Or maybe she should be the prosecutor at an El Paso version of the Nuremberg trials. Mexico will be glad to foot the bill.
Ann (London By Way Of New Jersey)
I read a beautiful comment on another newspaper’s forum about Betty de Vos: Trump has stated he loves the uneducated. He appointed de Vos secretary of education to make more of them.
Thomas Renner (New York City)
Who is the worst? The answer to this is always along party lines however at this point in time I find it almost impossible to believe almost half of the country approves of our dear leader and his pals. Its too bad we cant have a poll judging their actions without taking into account what party they are part of. I suspect this would show a vast majority of America is unhappy with our government.
Nancy (Atlanta)
Thanks Gail, but I am still suffering an emotional hangover from last night after watching "Becoming" (Michelle Obama book tour documentary).........tears streamed down my face for much of it, all because the stark contrast between the Obama administration and our current one....class to trash in one fell swoop. No administration is perfect, but the contrast is painful to contemplate.
Nan Socolow (West Palm Beach, FL)
Gail Collins, we've been awash in rage and terror for the past 4 years under President Tweety. What's going to change in America by November? Voter fraud and worse? Probably. Thanks for all the contenders for Trump's wonderful world of worsts!
Rob D (Oregon)
Ms Collins missed a couple; any DJT chief-of-staff, Wilbur Ross, Peter Navarro... in the end the list could include anyone who has served in the shambolic DJT administration. An easier and shorter list to compile is who wouldn't be listed as the worst of all time to occupy their respective positions.
Phyliss Dalmatian (Wichita, Kansas)
Pompous Pompeo is the Kansas version of suave and sophisticated. He is to competence and Public Service as Trump is to Successful Businessman. Just saying, and note my address.
JKM (Salt Lake City)
Stephen Miller wins easily. Not only the worst political person, I wonder if his reflection can be seen in a mirror. Mr Miller is not in the public view often so he is sometimes forgotten. Instead he prefers to spend his time in the White House cellar writing the latest justification for banning all non-white immigration to the US. I am sure Mr Miller views the pandemic as a blessing because it is an easily marketable justification of shutting down immigration.
cwc (NY)
The vaccine needed to cure America will be available on November 3, 2020. Until then we must grin and bear it. And wait to see if the cure is effective removing the cause of the problem that's been spreading nationwide since January 2016. And there's also the COVID-19 pandemic. Let's hope for a quick cure for that also.
Eric Pease (San Francisco)
I always thought James Buchanan was the worst US President up until the Trump election. Buchanan is #2 now.
Red Sox, ‘04, ‘07, ‘13, ‘18 (Boston)
Ms. Collins, there are many contenders for the "worst" of the Trump World "personalities," but, at the end of the day, as they say, Donald Trump is the T-Rex of worst. He eats everything he sees. There's no force of animal nature that can withstand him. Mitch McConnell comes close, though. I'd put him down as an Allosaurus, a savage carnivore. This reptile is much smaller than a T-Rex but it's the bite that counts. Michael Pompeo would make a splendid Dilophosaurus. I didn't know such a creature existed before "Jurassic Park." Poor Dennis Nedry. All he wanted to do was get to the loading dock with his contraband of dinosaur DNA to sell to people who would, ah, use the vials to get the dry cleaning and walk the dog. We come next to Betsy DeVos. She has her maw in the private school industry and is screaming angry that public schools, which received a paltry pittance in the first CARES "bailout," don't want to give it up. Ceratosaurus for her. We've got to include Alex Azar, the HHS Secretary. He'd make an excellent Dimetrodon. I recall this nasty creature from "Journey To The Center Of The Earth." Kayleigh McEnany would make a splendid Spinosaurus, simply because, like all her predecessors, she doesn't have one. Running out of room, "Gentle Ben" Carson gets the nod as the poor Stegasaurus, the huge beast with the spade-shaped growths on its back. It fights valiantly but futilely against the T-Rex in "Fantasia." They're all subjects to the T-Rex, their king.
Cathy (Hopewell junction NY)
How do you find the nadir of a bottomless pit? It’s as if Trump worked so hard to drain the swamp only because he wanted to free the Swamp Things that lived on the bottom. But, l’m an American, and live for the challenge. So I nominate Mitch McConnell. Why? Because he actually understands the evil he is wreaking, and the pain it causes, and sees that as an opportunity, not a tragedy. For the price of a lot of judges, McConnell would let us all die. The rest of them, except a few like Pompey who also knows what he’s doing, are just mightily incompetent, living examples of the Peter principle. People die because of their stupidity. The evil is a byproduct. Oh, and an honorable mention to John Bolton, who combined incompetence with his bad faith to the country. He fired the pandemic team.
Marcie Martelli (The Villages, FL)
You forgot about Bill Barr & I nominate Bill Barr. He's not incompetent. He knows exactly what he is doing. That's why he is so dangerous.
David B. (Albuquerque NM)
it's hard not to award all the worst politician Rewards to Trump thinking about the fact that 1/3 of the 100000 coronavirus deaths are due to his floundering incompetency and lack of caring for people
Disillusioned (NJ)
We are past the point where political sarcasm means anything. Trump must be directly and pointedly criticized. His racism, sexism, homophobia, egomania and addiction to lying must be highlighted daily.
Lewis Palca (Trumbull, CT)
We can try to ignore the 16,000 or more DOCUMENTED lies and hateful slanderous “tweets” of POTUS, but we and future generations will have to deal with the horrible and unqualified lifetime appointments that Mitch has engineered for Judges approved for the lower courts and the U.S. Supreme Court. Sadly, he remains the uncontested “winner” of this and every subsequent competition for WORST!
Harry (Missouri)
Gail left out the letter my wife and I got yesterday telling us that we should have had $2400 deposited to our banking account that was signed by Donald Trump.
Gery Katona (San Diego)
Pompeo is going to the Senate and will be ineligible for the Worst of the Summer award. Should be any day now. I think he has to declare by June 1 or no later than.
Nial McCabe (Morris County, NJ)
Right now we do not have a good way to measure who's the worst....but that will soon change. Right now, Trump has presidential immunity and he hands out pardons to his other criminal/politician buddies like they were penny candy. But that will end in January 20, 2021. And among others, the Southern District of New York is ready to snap like a giant, litigious mouse trap on January 21, 2021. After that, the real measure will be apparent as we see how many days in jail that Trump and each of his criminal associates are awarded. My guess is that Trump will win that prize mostly due to Michael Cohen. Rumor has it that Rikers has already prepared a suitable room without a view.
James Tynes (Hattiesburg, Ms)
So many to choose from, Gail! Could we just nominate an amalgam of the whole Republican party (with exception for Mitt Romney)? But Trump is the head of the fish that is rotting away every day. In terms of 'monstrous' they're somewhat like that late fifties movie 'The Blob' starring Steve McQueen. The Blob was a jello-like menace from outer space. It starts like little bowl of jello at the end of a stick from a meteorite from a curious farmer but which quickly desolves the farmer and then begins to consume every human that it comes in contact with into a massive gelatinous red 'blob' that can dissolve human flesh. Color it orange and it's easily identifiable as the party of Trump in a sequel. In the original movie, the troops couldn't kill it but they were able to freeze it. They froze it and sent it to the Antarctica. But in our sequel, because of global warming, it thawed, moved to America where it was elected president with help from Russia where it consumed the Republican party and is now out for the rest of us as a pandemic. While Trump is truly the absolute worst, the party of Trump should share equal time as the worst by far along with the political monster they helped to create. We can't kill it, but maybe we can freeze it and send it to outer space on a Space Force rocket to a galaxy far, far away.
See also