The Slatest

Trump Wonders Why Coin Commemorating 100th Anniversary of Women’s Suffrage Wasn’t “Done a Long Time Ago”

President Donald Trump signed the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commemorative Coin Act Monday, which was a nice thing. “This new law directs the Treasury Department to issue 400,000 $1 silver coins in a commemoration of the 100th anniversary of women securing the right to vote,” Trump explained during his remarks at the bill’s signing. “The $1 coins that we—will be issued under the act will honor the vital history of the women’s suffrage movement and celebrate many of the brave heroes who fought for the right to vote, such as Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Harriet Tubman, and Ida B. Wells.”

The coin comes as part of a broader celebration of the upcoming 100-year anniversary of the passage of 19th amendment to the Constitution granting women the right to vote. Each of the participants who spoke as part of the signing ceremony was generally magnanimous, praising the bipartisan teamwork of the commemorative effort that passed through Congress by unanimous consent. Everyone except for the president, that is.

Trump, shortly after signing the bill, started sniffing around for credit.

Trump: This is a great—you’ve been working on this for years, right? (Applause.)

So—and they have. They’ve been working on this for years and years. And I’m curious, why wasn’t it done a long time ago? … Well, I guess the answer to that is because now I’m president, and we get things done. We get a lot of things done that nobody else got done. 

What exactly is it that Trump’s trying to take credit for here? The most embarrassing answer is that he’s wondering aloud why a centennial coin wasn’t minted, you know, “a long time” before the centennial. A more charitable reading is that Trump thinks a coin honoring women’s suffrage should have already been minted? And that his administration—not the natural historical occurrence of the 100-year anniversary—was the real driver of this getting done? Never mind that the coin was the result of an act of Congress, that this is the same president who unceremoniously booted Harriet Tubman off the planned $20 bill revamp and, of course, has a long history of alleged sexual misconduct.

Thanks? A commemorative coin, one more notch in Trump’s presidential belt.