It’s another day, and that means another slice of absurdity served up in Trump’s America, guys! Or in this particular case, slices of pizza. And some hamburgers and other assortments of fast food.
This is the spread the president put on for the visiting Clemson University football team, who had won the College Football Playoff National Championship. Trump made sure to point out numerous times that he paid for the food out of his own pocket. Many federal employees are not being paid at all, given the ongoing government shutdown (now the longest ever), which is why the president had to order food in the first place, because catering staff are on furlough (which, again, he blamed on the Democrats).
Where to start with this McFeast? With the miniature packets of mustard, like how everyone’s mum has that drawer full of stolen restaurant condiments? Except these ones are on a genuine silver platter?
Or the beautiful way it appeared that a portrait of Abraham Lincoln was watching over the scene, distinctly unimpressed?
Perhaps the juxtaposition between the napkins with emblems on and slivers of pizza slithering off plates like Dali clocks? The pyramids of burgers that were surely stone cold within minutes?
We know that Trump loves his burgers, because he has been known to enjoy them in bed. (As a notorious germophobe, he also apparently likes McDonald’s because the food is pre-made and there is less chance of being poisoned, possibly by facts). But you know that scene from In the Loop when a low-profile politician is invited to a conference just as “meat in the room”? Well, this is the literal version of meat in the room; where the meat is Big Macs and the room is actually in the White House. There were also some Burger King Whoppers visible. (And, as basically everyone pointed out on social media, Trump has been feeding those to people for years.) There was more cold meat in that room than a circa 2010 Lady Gaga dress. Side note: how was that eight years ago? The apocalypse has come at lightning speed.
You might think that athletes would turn their noses up at such fare, but actually, all the photographs captured them merrily chomping down. Clearly, they are as committed to healthy eating as … well, the administration’s healthy eating initiative that was rolled out literally just months ago. Nothing says “healthy and balanced” like a two-foot-high pile of chicken wings!
There were however some grim-looking salads in plastic containers, which Trump tolerated. They were present but not actually involved.
The truth is though, if this were a politician from the left, at least culturally speaking, they’d probably be praised for being down-to-earth. If Barack Obama had been doling out Domino’s, it would have met with Twitter approval. On this side of the pond, Jeremy Corbyn was hailed as a man of the people when he ate a single Pringle passed through the railings of a school (that was when politics was less weird, and fair play). The thing about Trump is, we know he was genuinely – as Ronald McDonald himself might put it – lovin’ it. It’s not like how George Osborne doesn’t know how to arrange his hand when holding a cup of tea, or how Zac Goldsmith puts his pinky finger out when drinking a pint. Or that weird way Theresa May ate from a cone of chips, as though she was a Dementor sucking in a soul.
But, this being Trump, the authenticity didn’t last long. (Do you want lies with that?) He went from apparently saying he had bought “300” burgers to “1,000”, and we don’t think he was scrambling five minutes before midnight closing time to order more. Back in the UK, a Westminster staffer has apparently ordered a box of Krispy Kreme doughnuts to survive today’s Brexit vote. Politics in 2019, it seems, is not great for the health.