Since 2016, the President’s fast food habits have been constantly under the spotlight. Probably more so than with any other incumbent, the public remain fascinated by a man who could literally afford any food he likes and yet actively chooses to survive on a diet of cheese burgers and fried chicken. This is surely the final, incontrovertible evidence that American politics has been hijacked by a six year old.
Like other six year olds, Trump has some interesting ideas about how best to host a party. When previous Commanders-in-Chief have opened up the White House, guests could expect a magnificent spread of delicious, indulgent, adult food. JFK was a huge fan of New England fish chowder, while Warren G. Harding insisted on serving his guests homemade chicken pot pie. Trump, on the other hand, is obsessed with all things beige and fried.
This preference became even more apparent this week when Trump welcomed the Clemson Tigers - the nation’s champion college football team - to the White House for a unique congratulatory feast. While many pundits incorrectly guessed that steak and chips would be on the menu, it quickly became clear that the President had other ideas. Speaking to the press before the event, POTUS 45 mused, "I think we're going to serve McDonald's, Wendy's, and Burger Kings with some pizza." For clarity, he added a cursory, "I really mean it. It'll be interesting."
It is, of course, the President’s prerogative to serve his guests whatever he fancies. But one look at the photographs now circulating online makes it abundantly clear that this was a highly unusual occasion for everyone involved. The sight of a smiling Trump, flanked by a besuited White House employee lighting an expensive chandelier, surrounded by 300 burgers, French fries and pizza is certainly an interesting new look for what should theoretically be the most powerful and respected office on earth.
Once more hilarious pictures, featuring champion college footballers slowly trudging around a table sagging under the weight of too many Big Macs, began to emerge, the White House started to scramble for an explanation over what was clearly becoming a shambles. It was left to the indefatigable Sarah Huckabee Sanders to explain that, "Because the Democrats refuse to negotiate on border security, much of the residence staff at the White House is furloughed - so the President is personally paying for the event to be catered with some of everyone's favorite fast foods." How generous, for a man who claims to be multi-billionaire, to treat his guests to McDonald’s.
Recent weeks have made it obvious that Trump and the Democratic leadership are struggling to see eye to eye on almost anything. Nonetheless, it seems pretty far-fetched to try and blame the President’s choice of dinner on the tough negotiating stance of Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. Whether Trump sticks to his fast food service once the White House is back up to full strength remains to be seen. In the meantime, guests might be advised to give 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue a wide berth if they want to avoid early onset diabetes.