Proving yet again that he remains jealous of his predecessor, President Donald Trump will not be holding an official unveiling of the White House portrait depicting former President Barack Obama, even though the ceremony has been held for decades by presidents of both parties, NBC News reports:
“This modern ritual won’t be taking place between Obama and President Donald Trump, according to people familiar with the matter. And if Trump wins a second term in November, it could be 2025 before Obama returns to the White House to see his portrait displayed among every U.S. president from George Washington to Bush.
“Trump is unconcerned about shunning yet another presidential custom, and he has attacked Obama to an extent no other president has done to a predecessor. Most recently he’s made unfounded accusations that Obama committed an unspecified crime.”
However, the joke may well be on Trump, as Obama is said to have “no interest” in participating in the ceremony as long as Trump remains in office.
Presidential historian Michael Beschloss notes that the entire matter of the Obama portrait is emblematic of how deeply polarized American politics are in the Age of Trump:
“You’ve got a president who’s talking about putting the previous one in legal jeopardy, to put it nicely. We have not seen a situation like that in history. It takes antipathy of a new president for a predecessor to a new level.”
The process of presidential portraits usually begins in the last year or so of an administration, NBC notes:
“After the president and the first lady select an artist, the privately funded White House Historical Association negotiates a contract that includes a confidentiality agreement so the artist’s identity and details of the portrait are kept secret. Stewart McLaurin, the association’s president, said in February 2017 that the organization was in discussions with the Obamas about their portraits.”
But for now, the Obama portraits will remain hidden. Then again, if Joe Biden wins in November, he can be the one who honors the Obamas. That would be the ultimate revenge for both Biden and his former former boss.
Featured Image Via NBC News