Let’s be honest though– he’ll probably watch the hell out of it and live tweet it too.
Though Trump is breaking yet another POTUS tradition, the announcement that he’ll not be attending the annual White House Correspondents Dinner (that’s effectively a presidential roast) comes with little surprise.
Dozens and dozens of times, President Trump has demonstrated that he can’t stand the parody and satire done of him. On top of that, Trump’s war on the mainstream media, including the recent ‘gaggle’ on the NY Times, Politico, BuzzFeed, CNN, and others, and kicking off his 2020 reelection campaign paints Trump as someone who can’t handle criticism at almost any level.
Unfortunately, the criticism probably isn’t going to stop and, in turn, his whining as being depicted as an awful president probably won’t stop either. Even if his approval ratings reached new lows (they already have by the way) or he got impeached, we’d bet that Trump would never admit that he did what could be described as a “bad job”.
Teddy Roosevelt said it best regarding this matter: “To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American Public.”
Again, it’s not shocking that he won’t be going to the WHCD, but it’s still regrettable.
He could do a sliver of good for his image if he sat down and took the scorching jokes that he deserves right on the chin just like President George W. Bush did when Stephen Colbert hosted the WHCD back in 2006.
White House Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders remarked on Trump not attending the event, “I think its kind of naïve of us to think that we can all walk into a room for a couple of hours and pretend that some of that tension isn’t there,” she continued. “One of the things we say in the South, if a Girl Scout egged your house, would you buy cookies from her? I think this is a pretty similar scenario.”
Unlike the Girl Scouts of America, being the President of the America comes with the territory of millions of people hating you in some way, shape or form every single day (even if you’re a well liked Commander in Chief).
One should note that The White House Correspondents Dinner has a secondary function of exhibiting and celebrating the importance of freedom of speech and a free press, as guaranteed in our Constitution. The President attending, no matter if they’re popular or not, is a renewed vote of confidence in those sacred ideals.
With no President there, it would seem that Trump doesn’t really think such things matter that much.