Long before President Donald Trump was running the country, he had received some unexpected praise from Barack Obama.
In a 1991 article, when Obama was 29-years-old, he penned a law school paper about race and the American Dream—basically, saying that the American Dream was to be a guy like Donald Trump.
Obama didn’t necessarily consider that a good thing—the paper goes on to discuss how America’s a “racist society” where the American Dream is out of reach for minorities—but believes that the average American wants to be like Trump:
Americans have “a continuing normative commitment to the ideals of individual freedom and mobility, values that extend far beyond the issue of race in the American mind,” Obama wrote. “The depth of this commitment may be summarily dismissed as the unfounded optimism of the average American—I may not be Donald Trump now, but just you wait; if I don’t make it, my children will.”
The paper, which had never been made public before, was quoted in a new, comprehensive biography of Obama’s earlier years, called “Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama.”
Despite Obama’s earlier words about Trump, he’s recently re-entered the political sphere—with a fiery speech where he attacked his successor, which was slammed by the White House.
Trump claimed that he “fell asleep” during Obama’s speech—while Vice President Mike Pence said it was “very disappointing to see President Obama break with the tradition of former presidents, and become so political, and roll out the same tired arguments that he and liberals have made over the last eight years.”