What began as a surprisingly cordial rapport between President-elect Trump and his Democratic predecessor has devolved into an occasionally bitter public feud over who should be calling the shots as President Obama prepares to cede his power to someone with a fundamentally different plan for the country.
Although he has just three weeks left in office, Obama has pursued an aggressive slate of foreign policy moves, environmental rules and executive orders in an attempt to tie up the loose ends of his policy agenda before Trump can begin to dismantle it.
Meanwhile, Trump has already begun to pursue his own agenda — a course that has repeatedly brought him into direct conflict with the sitting president.
"There's no question that Trump is a unique animal, but what Obama is doing is unprecedented," said Ford O'Connell, a Republican strategist.
"You'd have to go back to 2008 and sort of see the transfer of power between Bush and Obama," O'Connell said. "Obama was grabbing headlines left and right…and in a lot of ways, Bush kept quiet and went off into the sunset."
O'Connell said the incoming and outgoing presidents seem locked in a struggle for control of the media narrative with their escalating political moves and rhetoric.
"I do think that part of it is a battle for attention, which is unprecedented," he said.