Establishment Media Blasts Trump over Mar-a-Lago Visits, Silent After Seeing What His Christmas Plans Are


After an eight-year break during the Obama administration, the mainstream media in the Trump years has been able to get back to berating presidents over their vacationing habits.

For a while, I was actually worried that the people at CNN would be so out of practice from ignoring Barack Obama’s golf junkets they wouldn’t be able to make an appropriately snide remark any time President Trump decamped to Bedminster.

Of especial interest to the media seems to be the president’s visits to Mar-a-Lago, his Florida resort. Sure, Trump could be taking a working vacation at his club down in the Sunshine State, but Anderson Cooper is still going to act like he’s sitting out by the pool for hours on end watching old episodes of “The Apprentice” on his iPhone.

And with the partial government shutdown now in full effect, they were all ready to pounce. It was going to be Chris Christie on the beach, times a million. The helicopters were all gassed up, ready to provide non-stop aerial coverage of absolutely nothing happening while Don Lemon gave some sort of lachrymose paean to all of the poor government workers who won’t be receiving a check this Christmas.

And then it all went to pot: Trump decided to spend Christmas in Washington.

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“Due to the shutdown, President Trump will remain in Washington, D.C., and the First Lady will return from Florida so they can spend Christmas together,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced Saturday.

“The White House had twice canceled Trump’s planned departure to his Mar-a-Lago resort, two White House aides confirmed, as Washington plunged into a partial government shutdown and officials continued negotiating to reach a compromise,” Politico reported.

“The White House had signaled in an email to staff obtained by POLITICO on Friday that the president might depart at noon on Saturday — a day later than originally intended — but officials scuttled that plan when it became clear a quick solution to reopen the government was not in sight.”

Trump also tweeted that he was canceling the trip.

Even Politico seemed a bit miffed that journalists didn’t get to harp on the “optics” of the situation.

“Trump’s decision to stay in D.C. for the time being is a recognition of the poor optics of having the president at his luxury resort while the government is closed — furloughing hundreds of thousands of workers and halting some federal services near the holidays,” they reported.

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Do you think President Trump should have stayed in Washington?

You can almost detect that split-second of arrant disappointment between each keystroke, can’t you?

Again, there were plenty of Obama vacations that took place while controversies or privations of various sorts were underway. In fact, given the permanent crisis mode of every presidency in the 21st century, any vacation could theoretically be seen as being optically poor.

Still, it’s always with a certain glee that Trump vacations are covered, particularly when they’re in Florida.

However, Trump will be staying in Washington for the duration of the holiday. The camera crews can stay inside the Beltway. The helicopters needn’t be refueled. The CNN coverage is almost non-existent. Don Lemon will have to find something else to fulminate about. (I think he’s still on that facile “President Ann Coulter” bit, though, so I suppose he has a bit of time to find a new angle.)

In other words, that’s one less Christmas present for the media this holiday season. And the very prospect makes me all the merrier.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture