Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Can the Trump White House even manage an Easter egg roll?

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Apparently not. Julie Davis reports in the NY Times:

President Trump received an urgent warning in February, informing him of a crucial date he was about to miss.

“FYI manufacturing deadlines for the Easter eggs are near,” said a Twitter post directed at Mr. Trump; the first lady, Melania Trump; and the president’s daughter Ivanka Trump. “Please reach out!”

The message came from Wells Wood Turning, the company that supplies commemorative wooden eggs for the annual White House Easter Egg Roll, the 138-year-old celebration that has drawn 35,000 people to the South Lawn in recent years.

The staff of the company, based in Buckfield, Me., wondered whether the Trumps planned to continue distributing the wooden eggs as party favors, or whether they were even going to have a White House Easter Egg Roll at all.

By early March, the White House announced that the roll was on — next Monday, to be exact — and soon followed up with a rush order for the wooden eggs.

By that time, the ovoid uncertainty had raised a question perhaps not as consequential as investigations into Russian interference in the presidential election, a legally dubious travel ban and a collapsed health care bill, but no less a window into the inner workings of the Trump administration: Could this White House, plagued by slow hiring and lacking an on-site first lady, manage to pull off the largest, most elaborate and most heavily scrutinized public event of the year?

“It’s the single most high-profile event that takes place at the White House each year, and the White House and the first lady are judged on how well they put it on,” said Melinda Bates, who organized eight years of Easter Egg Rolls as director of the White House Visitors Office under President Bill Clinton. “I’m really concerned for the Trump people, because they have failed to fill some really vital posts, and this thing is all hands on deck.”

White House party catastrophes have been the stuff of presidential nightmares in the past. During his first year in office, President Barack Obama drew harsh criticism for lax security procedures after a pair of aspiring reality-show celebrities successfully crashed a state dinner honoring the prime minister of India, with one of them managing to buttonhole Mr. Obama for a handshake.

The late start in planning by the Trump White House points to a smaller and less ambitious Egg Roll than in previous years. There may be half as many guests, a fraction of the number of volunteers to manage the invasion of the South Lawn, and military bands in place of A-list entertainers like Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Idina Menzel and Silentó who have performed for Egg Rolls past.

White House officials did not respond to several weeks’ worth of inquiries about the Easter Egg Roll, typically a heavily and enthusiastically promoted affair, and declined to provide basic information such as how many people are expected to attend. It is unclear, for instance, whether Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, will reprise his appearance in a bunny suit for the event, as he did a decade ago when George W. Bush was president and Mr. Spicer was an aide in the Office of the United States Trade Representative.

“Plans for the Easter Egg Roll are well underway, and the White House looks forward to hosting it,” said Stephanie Grisham, Mrs. Trump’s communications director, installed only a few weeks ago. She said it was “just not accurate” to suggest that the event had been scaled back from past years, but would not provide figures for the size of the event or information about the program. . .

Continue reading.

The refusal to respond to inquiries and to provide information is ominous. This is truly a White House that does not know what it is doing. It’s like a bunch of coal miners trying to sail a ship: they’re out of the depth and their ignorance is harmful. And, like Trump, it will not admit error—and it wants to operate in secret. (It’s requiring a lawsuit to gain what should be public information: the White House logs (and the presidential logs at Trump Tower and Mar-a-Lago). President Trump doesn’t seem to grasp that he is an employee of the public.

The damage done by an incompetent Easter egg roll is not great, but incompetence in foreign affairs (like Trump’s whiplash 180º reversal on Syria, shows how the problems can be much more serious. Apparently the US is now committed to regime change in Syria and has the bonkers idea that Russia will help us.

In the meantime, those who voted for Trump see his presidency as a great success so far.

Written by LeisureGuy

11 April 2017 at 11:16 am

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