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Note from the editor: The original headline of this post was incorrectly written and has been corrected.
An age-old White House custom has come to a premature end reportedly thanks to the tension between current President Donald Trump and former President Barack Hussein Obama.
For decades, succeeding presidents would host a ceremony for the unveiling of their predecessors’ official White House portrait.
Obama hosted a ceremony for former President George W. Bush:
Bush once held a ceremony for former President Bill Clinton:
And Clinton once held a ceremony for former President George H.W. Bush:
The tradition reportedly dates back to 1978, when then-President Jimmy Carter unveiled former President Gerald Ford’s portrait. Yet as of 2020, this tradition is now reportedly dead.
“Obama will forgo the unveiling of his presidential portrait in the White House as President Donald Trump ramps up attacks on his record,” U.S. News & World Report reported Tuesday.
“It is a long-held White House tradition that a first-term president hosts a ceremony to unveil the official portrait of his immediate predecessor that will hang in the building. However, people familiar with the matter [said] that Obama will skip the unveiling of his portrait.”
The evidence suggests the Trump administration has for its part at least tried to be congenial with Obama about the matter.
“An administration official said there have been some discussions between the White House and Obama’s team to hang the portrait but no date was ever officially scheduled,” CNN confirmed.
Yet as noted by NBC News, which broke the original story, Obama “has no interest” in playing nice and would rather wait until Trump is out of office to have his portrait unveiled.
But while the media have tried to justify his lack of interest by pointing to Trump’s “attacks on his record,” they’ve neglected to mention HIS administration’s unprecedented, potentially illegal attack on the current U.S. president.
Mounds of evidence prove that the Obama administration not only spied on Trump’s campaign prior to him taking office in 2017, but also used manipulation and threats to force one campaign official, Michael Flynn, to plead guilty to a “crime” he never committed.
WSJ’s Kimberley Strassel lays out the FBI’s set up of Gen. Flynn like only she can https://t.co/QlFGGszbxg
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) May 1, 2020
The media have also tried to blame the end of this age-old tradition on Trump’s alleged pettiness.
“Trump appears poised to deliver another petty strike at Obama’s legacy: According to NBC News, it seems the president will not be inviting his predecessor to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for the ceremonial unveiling of his White House portrait, breaking with a contemporary presidential tradition meant to symbolize unity over partisanship among American leaders,” Vanity Fair claims.
NBC News made no such announcement. In its original reporting, it said only that the ceremony “won’t be taking place” and that Obama “has no interest” in the matter. It added that the current president is “unconcerned about shunning yet another presidential custom,” but the report did not explicitly say that Trump is responsible for the shunning. In fact, the evidence suggests it’s Obama’s pettiness that’s to blame.
Knowing Obama, the theory certainly fits.
During the 2013 government shutdown, he stuck it to World War II veterans by erecting barriers around open-air war memorials on the National Mall, but then turned around and allowed illegal aliens to protest for their “rights” at the same spot.
Live from the WWII memorial where park officials are setting up more gates and tape to block visitors pic.twitter.com/XkzBTWFMEE
— Charlie Spiering (@charliespiering) October 2, 2013
Park workers back at WWII memorial using zip ties to put up more “closed” signs pic.twitter.com/q3cK2z7W33
— Charlie Spiering (@charliespiering) October 2, 2013
Learn more below (disable your adblocker if the video doesn’t appear):
The move was derided as extraordinarily petty given Obama’s demonstrable disdain for the military and its veterans.
Six years later, a report emerged that Obama was privately pointing out to everybody that, whereas his memoir was being written by himself, former first lady Michelle Obama’s memoir was written by a ghostwriter.
“The writing has been going more slowly than he’d expected, and according to several people who have spoken with him, the 44th president is feeling competitive with his wife, whose own book, Becoming, was the biggest release of 2018 and is on track to be the best-selling memoir in history,” The Atlantic reported last year.
“Speaking on the condition of anonymity, like others in this story, these sources note he’ll occasionally say in conversation that he’s writing this book himself, while Michelle used a ghostwriter.”
That seems petty — just as petty as refusing to participate in an age-old White House tradition. Nevertheless, some particularly vociferous left-wing voices support the former president’s current bout of pettiness.
“For people like me who really feel how he is the first African-American president, we don’t really want him there. And it would be a slap in the face for him to go there,” far-left CNN commentator Don Lemon argued late Wednesday.
“And he and his wife and his family and the people it really means a whole heck of a lot to, we know that. We don’t want him to go there. Do not go there. Do not put yourself in that situation. Do not lower yourself and debase yourself and go to that White House. Yes, I said it. Don’t do it.”
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