The news that Donald Trump will likely not preside over the traditional unveiling of his predecessors’ official White House portraits is disappointing, but not exactly surprising.
The prospect of having Michelle and Barack Obama and a bunch of their former administration officials back in the White House for an occasion on which Trump would be expected to say nice things about the popular former president is probably a bridge too far. Even for a former reality TV star.
If nothing else, Trump was elected to be a different kind of president and to shake things up. His unwillingness to follow time-honored political norms or appear “presidential” appeals to his base. They admire him for being what they call “authentic.” Trump’s opponents view the president’s behavior as self-indulgent, arrogant and contemptuous of what has made our country and form of government special.