It was a sad sight. Here was an aging comic confronted by a shrinking audience, its jokes landing with a thud, its star beginning to fade.
Donald Trump suddenly finds himself where he’s never been: a side story, overshadowed by Joe Biden, no longer dominating the news cycle.
On Tuesday, Biden introduced the smart adults of his pending government at a major event with a noble speech on restoring America’s moral leadership and saving the planet from the climate crisis.
An hour later, at the White House, a turkey was forgiven by a lame duck who discovers how fickle the media circus can be.
The gathering at the Rose Garden was naturally slowed down by the coronavirus pandemic, but their last Thanksgiving ceremony was a quiet affair that also struggled to make its way onto the cable news.
“Ladies and gentlemen, the President of the United States and Mrs. Trump,” said one announcer, the words suddenly elegiac as an abnormal administration turns black.
Trump, true to himself to the end, began by praising the Dow Jones industrial average, which passed 30,000 for the first time. He praised his wife, Melania, for renovating the rose garden, and welcomed his daughter, Ivanka, and his son-in-law, Jared, who may be contemplating their eventful return to New York society.
Trump spoke about the presidents’ tradition of saving the birds of the Thanksgiving table, which dates back to Abraham Lincoln and they receive formal pardons every year since George HW Bush. This year’s pair, Corn and Cob, were selected from the official presidential flock of 30, he said. “Some real beauties.”
The president spoke about the nation’s love for farmers and the 400th anniversary of the pilgrims’ arrival on the Mayflower. He thanked the doctors, nurses, healthcare workers, and scientists who have battled the coronavirus pandemic and rushed toward a vaccine, but he couldn’t resist using the term “China virus” for the old days nor did he dare to Offer your condolences to the families in the neighborhood. millions of Americans killed.
“We send our love to every member of the military and law enforcement heroes who risk their lives to keep America safe, to keep America great and, as I say, ‘America first'” Trump said. “He shouldn’t walk away from it: America first.”
It sounded like a feeble plea from a dying monarch, given that Biden had just vividly re-united Barack Obama’s gang with an explicit repudiation of “America first.”
What was missing from Trump’s brief remarks were puns from the Obama years that made his daughters tremble, or Trump’s own cheeky 2018 jokes about an online vote on which turkey should survive: “This was a fair choice. Unfortunately, Carrots refused to budge and demanded a recount, and we’re still fighting Carrots, ”or with his sad humor about his own impeachment a year ago.
The reality of losing, for a self-proclaimed winner for life, is clearly no laughing matter. Early Tuesday, Trump retweeted an image of himself meditating on the Resolute desk in the Oval Office with the caption: “I grant NOTHING !!!!!”
A man picked corn on a table adorned with fall flowers and mini pumpkins. Trump and Melania got closer. With his hand raised, Trump said, “Look at that beautiful, beautiful bird. Oh how lucky. That is one lucky bird. Corn, I hereby grant you a full pardon. Thanks, Corn. What a bird! Thank you.”
He added, “Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Thanks a lot. Thank you all. Have a good.”
So it was that while Biden prepares to take the reins of power, Trump is left with the equivalent of a ribbon cutting. The former attention champion has lost his crown to a challenger he deems unworthy. As they left, the journalists shouted: “Mr. President, will a pardon be granted?” and “Will you invite President-elect Biden?”
The answer did not come. The man who could never stop talking to reporters has now taken a vow of silence. Bringing up the election results is as awkward as chatting at a Thanksgiving dinner hosted by a divorcing couple.
Digsmak is a news publisher with over 12 years of reporting experiance; and have published in many industry leading publications and news sites.