Will Donald Trump Ever Set Foot in the White House Again?
Today, to celebrate the signing of the Affordable Care Act (and its recent expansion), former President Barack Obama returned to the White House for the first time since he left office in 2017. Do you remember when he left? It was a pretty dark day! I remember trying to hang onto every second I could on Obama’s last day, watching him stop by the Resolute Desk and walk through the Rose Garden for the very last time. It felt like the last time things were going to be even remotely calm for a long while. That feeling did not end up being wrong.
Obama hadn’t been back since that day, January 20, 2017, until today. That’s not all that unusual. President George W. Bush, who left office in January 2009, didn’t return until May 31, 2012, where Obama, while introducing the hanging of his Presidential portrait, amusingly thanked Bush for leaving him “a really good TV sports package.” For his part, Dubya welcomed Bill Clinton in June 2004 for the hanging of his Presidential portrait. Bush said at the time that Clinton “filled this house with energy and joy. He’s a man of enthusiasm and warmth, who could make a compelling case and effectively advance the causes that drew him to public service.” It is difficult to imagine, today, the President honoring a previous President of a different party so warmly.
That’s of course because of Donald Trump; it’s difficult to imagine him honoring anyone who he didn’t feel personally benefitted him. It’s definitely worth noting that Obama didn’t return to the White House until Trump was out of office; it was Trump who ended the tradition of unveiling Presidential portraits in the White House in the first place. (Biden plans on returning to it.) Trump’s…