Donald Trump never agreed to a peaceful transition of power if he lost, and sure enough, it’s been anything but peaceful. Though it appears the Secret Service won’t have to drag him, kicking and screaming, from the Oval Office, there is one thing that almost certainly won’t be happening: As per CNN, the 45th president and his FLOTUS, Melania, will not do the usual showing around as the two presidential couples pass the baton.
The tradition is this: The outgoing president welcomes the incoming president on the steps of the North Portico, at the front of the White House. They then ride to the Capitol together. Meanwhile the outgoing First Lady shows the incoming First Lady around. But this time — after two months of baseless voter fraud accusations, even a failed MAGA coup, to say nothing of Trump’s grim financial and legal future — when the new president arrives the old one will already be gone. Instead, the Bidens will likely simply be greeted by White House chief usher Timothy Harlet — a Trump hire who likely won’t last much longer.
This will be not be the first time the incoming and outgoing presidents have not partaken in this tradition. Richard Nixon wasn’t there when Gerald Ford took over, but that’s because Nixon had resigned rather than be impeached and removed. Woodrow Wilson didn’t greet Warren G. Harding at the door, but only because he was ill. The last time the snub was intentional was when Andrew Johnson, a Southern boy, refused to meet with former Union army general Ulysses S. Grant, in part because, like Donald Trump, Johnson had just been impeached.
Then again, maybe it’s for the best. When the Bidens return to the White House following a series of traditional ceremonies, such as wreath-laying at Arlington National Cemetery, the joint will have been thoroughly de-Trump-ized:
By that time, all Trump paraphernalia will be gone, and a thorough top-to-bottom cleaning of the entire White House campus will have been completed. Deeper cleaning protocols were arranged via the White House with outside contractors, on top of regular cleaning done by staff, including specialized attention to rugs, carpets, curtains and surfaces, to tackle any possibility of lingering germs, of the Covid-19 sort or otherwise.
The Bidens will even be receiving new mattresses and box springs for their bedroom, but that is mere standard operating procedure. It’s worth noting that Trump reportedly spent his administration sleeping alone, in a room that has previously been used as a study or den.
As for Trump’s send-off, he reportedly wants it to be huge, with a splashy gathering at Joint Base Andrews, where he and Melania will board Air Force One for the last time, bound for Mar-a-Lago. He’s demanding pomp and circumstance — a 21-gun salute, red carpet, military Color Guard. But though they’ve invited hordes of people, an administration official told CNN, “So far, there haven’t been a lot of RSVPs.”
In any case, it’s not surprising Donald wouldn’t want to shake hands with Biden, but the Melania snub does rankle. After all, it seems to go against what she has been arguing would be her lasting legacy as FLOTUS.
Melania trump has broken tradition by NOT inviting the incoming First Lady to the White House.
That's not very “Be Best,” is it?
— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@mmpadellan) January 18, 2021