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During a press conference Wednesday with the King of Jordan, President Trump employed an often-used presidential tactic: he blamed his predecessor.
"I have to say that the world is a mess. I inherited a mess," Trump said. "Whether it's the Middle East. Whether it's North Korea. Whether it's so many other things. Whether it's in our country, horrible trade deals. I inherited a mess. We are going to fix it. We are going to fix it."
In other words: whatever bad things are happening right now is all Barack Obama’s fault. And while Trump may be right about the state of the world before his presidency, how long can he really keep saying that?
So far Trump has blamed Obama for problems with the economy, trade deals, government leaks, protests, and the failure of the health care replacement bill. But the North Korea problem, for example, has perplexed presidents in different ways since Bill Clinton held the White House.
In fact, Obama blamed George W. Bush for not solving the problem. Bush blamed Clinton, who crafted a deal with the North Koreans and China, which was eventually ignored.
Obama cited his inheritance of the Great Recession in nearly every major political speech, essentially blaming Bush for a sluggish economy.
But at some point Obama stopped referring to the recession as Bush's fault. It was around the same time monthly unemployment numbers began to improve. And now Trump is already taking credit for good jobs numbers and a soaring stock market, much of which started under Obama.
Up for debate now is who to blame for tension abroad. Speaking of which, later in the press conference, Trump was no longer talking about Obama's failures in Syria.
"I now have responsibility, and I will have that responsibility and carry it very proudly," he said.James Pindell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @jamespindell or subscribe to his Ground Game newsletter on politics: http://pages.email.bostonglobe.com/GroundGameSignUp.