Barack Obama has chosen not to return to the White House to continue a tradition that is as old as water.
Usually, former presidents return to the White House to have their official presidential portrait unveiled but the stale air between Obama and Pres. Trump is too thick, and neither men want it to happen.
Their public war-of-words have heightened over the past few days with Trump calling for #Obamagate and Obama telling graduating college students that Trump didn’t know what he was doing in regards to the country and handling COVID-19 coronavirus.
[Daily Mail] The long-held tradition of current presidents attending the unveiling ceremony of the portraits of their predecessors and their wives during their first term will be skipped during this presidency due to the bitter feud between Trump and Obama, people familiar with the matter told NBC News.
If Trump wins a second term in November, Obama may have to wait until 2025 to have his portrait revealed and displayed in the White House among every U.S. president before him.
Obama, people familiar with the matter said, has no interest in participating in the post-presidency tradition as long as Trump is in office – and Trump has no qualms with snubbing a presidential custom.
The tradition of previous presidents returning to the White House to meet with their successor to unveil their portraits seems to span back to the 1970s, and has provided some rare moments of praise and bipartisanship even for those who have issued harsh criticism of each other or ousted the other from office in sour races.
It seems that Obama probably won’t return to the White House for many years if Trump is reelected for a 2nd term, which is fine for all Trump supporters.
These events are critical parts of our culture, who we are as a people and a nation; the WH Correspondents Dinner, the Kennedy Center Honors, Presidential Library, and Portraits. In participating in these rituals, the President is not only a part of the culture but helps mold, shape, and evolve it. It is so sad that both men can’t come together for this to happen.
So very sad.
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