Lyin' Ted, Crooked Hillary, Little Marco — President Trump's nicknames for his political opponents are many and varied. They often at least have some peg to a piece of news or a well-known stereotype — but apparently, that isn't always the case. Trump has a new nickname for President Obama, and it's very unclear what exactly he's attempting to refer to.
"Thank you to Rasmussen for the honest polling. Just hit 50%, which is higher than Cheatin’ Obama at the same time in his Administration," Trump tweeted on Tuesday morning. The first part of the tweet is clear — he's highlighting results of a Rasmussen poll from April 2, where 50 percent of respondents reported that they approved of the job that Trump is doing (the poll from April 3, when Trump posted that tweet, shows only 49 percent of people saying the same thing). According to the same Rasmussen poll from April 2 of 2010, when Obama was at the same point in his first term, 46 percent of people said that they approved of the president's work so far.
So, Trump didn't make up any poll numbers — but he did make up a nickname. "Cheatin' Obama" is apparently the first time Trump has used a nickname for his predecessor, but he didn't make it clear how exactly Obama is "cheatin'."
One potential explanation of the nickname goes back to the very infancy of Trump's involvement in politics: his support for the birther movement. After all, Trump did spend years questioning whether Obama was a legitimate president, apparently because of a belief that Obama was not really born in the U.S. and that the birth certificate that Obama eventually produced was actually false. While he publicly accepted Obama as a legitimate president late in the 2016 campaign, the New York Times reported in November of 2017 that privately he had begun questioning that fact again.
So, perhaps Trump is implying, in a subtler manner than he used to do, that Obama's entire presidency is a cheat. However, that doesn't appear to be what comes to mind for everybody who reads the tweet.
"I especially like the 'Cheatin Obama' moniker," wrote Twitter user @seannacher. "Trumpian Teflon at its best - when I think of someone cheating, it’s *definitely* attached to no-scandal, 25-year-year [sic] married Obama."
"Mr 'cheated on 3 wives' should not throw the word cheating around," Twitter user @HowardA_Esq wrote. "Also, you will never be as good or as admired as President Obama, treason trump."
While Trump has denied recent allegations that he cheated on his current wife Melania with multiple women including adult film industry tycoon Stormy Daniels, it is public knowledge from the 1990s that he cheated on his first wife, Ivana Trump, and his second wife, Marla Maples. Obama, on the other hand, has never been revealed to have cheated on wife Michelle, and in fact the two have what publicly appears to be a very close and loving relationship.
Whatever Trump meant to say about Obama in that tweet, the nickname isn't the only part of the missive that readers could take issue with. The Rasmussen poll that he refers to is actually an outlier poll; the polling average of his approval ratings is actually currently standing at 40.6 percent, according to statistics blog FiveThirtyEight. Trump didn't mention his disapproval ratings, but FiveThirtyEight has that polling average at 53.5 percent.
Now, the only thing that remains to be seen is whether the "Cheatin' Obama" nickname will actually stick. Trump nicknames like "Pocahontas" and "Crooked Hillary" have fully become part of the vernacular — so Obama may have just found out which derogatory word Trump has permanently attached to his name.