Truly pathetic


Today photographers captured the notes in Donald Trump’s hand as he spoke to reporters. There is nothing scandalous in them. All it says is:

I WANT NOTHING
I WANT NOTHING
I WANT NO QUID PRO QUO
TELL ZELLINSKY TO DO THE RIGHT THING
THIS IS THE FINAL WORD FROM THE PRES. OF THE UNITED STATES

What is extraordinary is that he needs notes to say such ordinary things and even to repeat banalities like “I want nothing”.

On the one hand, we can be reassured that he knows how to read. On the other, it looks like he never learned to write in cursive script.

Comments

  1. fauxchemist says

    I would have though someone on his staff would have written it out for him. Nice and big and dark so he could see it without the reading glasses he almost certainly needs.

  2. Pierce R. Butler says

    … it looks like he never learned to write in cursive script.

    Have you seen the photos where Trump holds up something that he just signed?

    If my cursive handwriting looked like the seismograph tracing from a major earthquake, I’d make my notes in block letters too.

  3. Ridana says

    I don’t hold the printing against him -- if I were using a crib sheet in front of the nation, I’d want it as legible to me as possible and I often can’t read my own handwriting.

    It’s the content that speak volumes. I don’t want anything, Ukraine got their money so they can do what they want. Everything’s fine now, ok? We good?

    It’s the cries of someone who got caught robbing a convenience store begging, “I’ll put it all back, I’ll put it back, I didn’t mean it, just don’t arrest me, I’ll never do it again!”

  4. suttkus says

    What is extraordinary is that he needs notes to say such ordinary things and even to repeat banalities like “I want nothing”.

    Great, now I have to look like I’m defending Trump. WHY GOD WHY?

    He needs the notes because he’s quoting testimony from the impeachment inquiry and wants to get the words of the testimony exactly as they were delivered. So, yes, notes to say such ordinary things including the duplication actually make perfect sense.

    The quote is from Sunderland, who was quoting Trump. So, yes, Trump is quoting himself third-hand, except I’m not sure we can take it from Sunderland’s testimony that these are meant to be direct quotes.

    The idea, according to Trump (current Trump, not past quoted Trump) is that when asked what he wanted from the Ukrainian president, he said, “I want nothing, I want nothing, etc.” Thus, the testimoney says he was completely innocent and we should shut down the impeachment hearings immediately!

    Because, in Trump’s mind (citation needed: does he have one?) one witness supporting you closes everything, apparently.

    But it’s worse than that, because the phone call Sunderland is quoting takes place AFTER the bribery story broke to the public. This isn’t Trump saying he doesn’t want to coerce the Ukrainian president, thus he’s innocent, this is post revelation Trump trying to do damage control. There’s no possible way that a conversation after the story broke could possibly exonerate Trump from things he did earlier.

    So, Trump having the notes: Makes sense. The notes mean what Trump claims they did? NO SENSE AT ALL.

  5. Dunc says

    Have you seen the photos where Trump holds up something that he just signed?

    If my cursive handwriting looked like the seismograph tracing from a major earthquake, I’d make my notes in block letters too.

    If you have a job that involves signing a lot of documents, your signature tends to degrade pretty quickly, and ends up not looking anything like your actual handwriting. I once had a job that involved signing something every couple of minutes of a 12-hour shift, so my signature is now literally just a weird jerky squiggle that’s stored somewhere in muscle memory.

  6. OverlappingMagisteria says

    Thanks suttkus. I was gonna write the same thing. Thanks for defending Trump so I didn’t have to!

  7. Heidi Nemeth says

    One sign of dementia is deteriorating handwriting. The victim’s handwriting gets smaller and less legible.

    Writing out notes he needed to read without reading glasses, Trump used a Sharpie. Remember the weather map annotated with a Sharpie showing the hurricane expected to affect Alabama? It’s hard to write small with a Sharpie.

    I think he likely wrote the notes himself because, though the second like is an exact copy of the first line, the writer misjudged the spacing -- even though the first line was an exact template -- and had to crowd the letters at the end of the second line.

  8. lorn says

    I have no criticism for having notes, even banal and dead-simple ones. Sometimes I write very simple, sometimes just seeming random letters, notes to reinforce what I already know, or out of boredom.

    I don’t have a problem with his handwriting. Mine isn’t great and although I know and use cursive I often use block lettering. Whatever works. I suspect the size and choice of pen has more to do with his eyes and not being willing or able to make it with contact lenses.

    What is foremost in my mind, the big question for me, is: What the fuck does he think he is doing? What exactly does he think his note and recitation routine is going to get him. What is the expected outcome? Where is he trying to go and how is this song and dance going to move him and his administration down that track. Is he thinking that a Sharpie drawn note and a dramatic reading is going to explain it all away? As if we, the entire press and public, would all just nod our heads, say something about how that explains it all away and places it all in a context of profound and obvious innocence? That everyone, no matter how skeptical, will walk away entirely satisfies that the game is over and there is ‘nothing to see here’?

  9. johnson catman says

    lorn @10: You are assuming facts not in evidence. The Orange Toddler-Tyrant doesn’t “think” logically and may not “think” at all. He simply (very simply) reacts and spews forth some talking points that he probably got from someone else.

  10. says

    This is a very interesting photograph, at least to someone with my thoroughly obscure set of interests.

    The way it framed and shot invites us, I believe, to see it as a letter-sizes/A4 sheet of paper, with large, clumsy, block letters on it. In fact it is a fairly small notepad, of the kind you find in hotel rooms, and the writing is, while no tiny, a fairly small and neat hand.

    The fact that can read as a larger sheet opens the door to imagination: one can imagine an angry fat man scribbling away with a fat marker, writing huge clumsy letters on an A4 sheet. This is an appealing image for many, including me,and I have noticed any number of remarks about “sharpies” and “crayons” online, which suggest to me that people are indeed imagining this.

    As is usual with viral media, the apparent reading is completely wrong and driven by ideology, or at least by preconceptions.

    Side note: isn’t anyone offended by the fact that Air Force One apparently has branded notepads on board? I mean, I know this stuff ain’t expensive, but still, why am I, as a taxpayer, being asked to spring for notepads that waste space on “Aboard Air Force One”?