Saturday, December 30, 2017

What did Donald Trump do today?

He (probably) set a personal record for leisure.

UPDATE, 12/31: Trump is apparently golfing today as well, extending the streak described below to six. The box truck was apparently a temporary Trump-shielding measure, and the gap that allowed the public to observe the fact that Trump was golfing has now been plugged by hastily planted trees.

UPDATE #2, 1/1: In a rare publicly acknowledged golf outing, Trump was off to the links again this morning, for an all-but-certain streak of seven consecutive days. 

Trump very likely golfed today, which means he almost certainly golfed five days in a row, which may be a record for Trump's golf-happy presidency. If not, it either ties a record set November 22-26, or comes in second to the nine-day stretch Trump spent entirely in residence at his Bedminster, NJ course August 5-13. (Rain on August 7 likely spoiled that run.)

The uncertainty comes from the fact that the White House rarely confirms that any given Trump visit to a golf club is in fact a golf outing. Sometimes Trump aides even physically obstruct reporters who are trying to keep track. For example, CNN tried to get a photograph of Trump's Wednesday outing--having done so several times already during Trump's lengthy vacation at Mar-a-Lago--only to find that a mysterious white truck was being moved around the course to block lines of sight from public sidewalks. (It was later revealed to be owned by the local police department, though who ordered it there and how much it cost taxpayers to have it there remains unclear.)

On Christmas Day, right before the five-day streak began, Trump warned Americans that the next day it would be time to go "back to work in order to Make America Great Again!" Trump has had nothing recognizably related to his duties as president on his public schedule for at least a week, and traveled away from Trump-branded properties only once in that period.

Counts vary slightly, but today makes approximately the 72nd time that Trump has gone golfing since his term began, and the 115th day out of 344 in which he has spent time at a Trump-branded property.

Who cares?

  • Hypocrisy is still bad, even when it's not really news anymore.
  • A president who brags about going "back to work" after a holiday should probably do so within a week or so of making that brag.
  • Concealing something from public view doesn't mean it didn't happen.