Trump’s New York Presidency: Will They Even Live In Washington?

The New York Post is reporting that Melania Trump and 10-year-old Barron will stay in New York City after President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration on Jan. 20. In Trump-land, where rumors and leaks are circulated, collected and cashed in like casino chips, we have no clue whether this is really true.

It has the ring of deniability, using an unnamed source:

“Melania is extremely close to Barron, and they have become closer during the campaign,” said a source close to Trump’s transition team. “The campaign has been difficult for Barron, and she is really hoping to keep disruption to a minimum.”

In fact, Trump has already denied it–sort of–according to NBC 4 New York:

Trump has said that he and his wife Melania will move into the White House after inauguration day, but The New York Times reported last week that the president-elect has considered spending weekends back at Trump Tower, the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, or the Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida.

Trump may be the first president since George Washington to serve his term in New York City, commuting between his White House-based Oval Office and Trump Tower.

New Yorkers already got a taste of this last week, and it didn’t make them happy. When Trump left his penthouse Friday afternoon to meet with various people (including Mitt Romney) at his golf resort in Bedminster, NJ, he created a massive traffic jam, closing the Lincoln Tunnel for weekend-bound commuters.

Now imagine this as a weekly thing. Monday morning, the president leaves Manhattan for New York. Friday afternoon, he heads back to the Big Apple from Washington, D.C.

President Reagan had a “western White House,” and Bush had his Texas ranch. But at least those presidents could go to private, out of the way places where their presence and massive security requirements were handled without inconveniencing 20 million people. No such luck for New Yorkers.

It’s ironic how Hillary Clinton wanted the White House so badly she probably already had the china patterns and flower arrangements picked out, and didn’t get it, and Trump gets the White House and his best response is “meh,” it’s nice and all, but I prefer Central Park.

Kevin Williamson at National Review wrote a nice take from a New York perspective on how Trump’s win has somehow exposed Washington D.C. for what it is, geologically speaking: a swamp. His promise to #draintheswamp apparently never included a commitment to actually live there, further hammering his not-so-subtle point and enraging the self-important beltway crowd.

If Donald Trump’s choice of domicile is an insult to Washington, that isn’t an accident: Donald Trump’s election as president of these United States was an insult to Washington, intended as such by the disaffected Republicans and gobsmacked rage-monkeys who lined up behind him. And that’s all to the good: God knows Washington deserves the insult.

Maybe Trump can kill two birds with one stone. He could rent out the most exclusive weekend bed and breakfast in the world for weekends (like the Clintons did), while keeping his own presence there to a minimum: 9 to 5, Monday through Friday. After all, how many billionaires actually choose to live in D.C.? (The answer is zero, according to Forbes’ 2015 list. There are 15 in the “DMV area” but they all live in Maryland and Virginia.)

It’s likely Trump will never really unpack at the White House. It will be the most sterile presidency of all time since President Truman gutted the place down to the beams and rafters.

Both the new president and the White House will benefit from that arrangement. I can imagine the White House curators reacted with horror at the prospect of a Louis XVI rococo decor, and they’re plainly relieved that Trump has stated he won’t change much.

Trump has previously insisted that if he made it to the White House, he wouldn’t make too many alterations to the West Wing. In an interview last year in People magazine, he said he would “maybe touch it up a little bit.”

“But the White House is a special place, you don’t want to do much touching,” Trump said.

To Trump, the place is just an office, a symbol of power, and the greatest media set the celebrity leader of the free world could ever dream of. Why would he change anything but a few sculptures and paintings on the wall?

From what we’re seeing in the press, it’s likely he will just be a frequent overnight visitor there anyway.

About the author

Steve Berman

The old Steve cared about money, prestige, and power. Then Christ found me. All at once things changed. But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

I spent 30 years in business. Now I write and edit. But mostly I love. I have a wife and 2 kids and a dog and we live in a little house in central Georgia.

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