As Joe Biden Gets Inaugurated Where Is Donald Trump?
January 18, 2021
U.S. President-elect Joe Biden is preparing his speech for the Inauguration Day this Wednesday, which will mark the formal transfer of power from Republican Donald Trump to his Democrat successor. In one of his last forays on Twitter, before his account – with its 88.7 million followers – was summarily closed, Trump made it clear that he will not attend the ceremony, the first time in decades the outgoing President has failed to show up. So far Trump has not congratulated Biden on his victory, nor has he conceded the legitimacy of the election; perhaps we should not be too surprised then at his churlish decision to absent himself from the ceremony at Capitol Hill.
But where will Donald Trump actually be on the day? No prizes for guessing that he will not be wishing Joe Biden well, shaking his successor’s hand and ensuring the world sees a peaceful transfer of power in the most powerful democracy in the world. Normally, the outgoing president would then take a helicopter from the Capitol to the Air Force One military base just outside Washington to say a few words to staff and supporters before heading home. We understand that, instead, Donald Trump is keen to have a “military-style” ceremony (with less razzmatazz than the Pentagon would normally provide) with a crowd of his supporters in attendance, either at the White House itself as he departs or at his compound at Mar-a-Lago in Florida.
From Tuesday, 12 January Mr Trump has not had recourse to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat or YouTube. Parler, a social network service, has also been disabled, and Trump’s most fervent right-wing supporters are without a platform. With Trump’s normal President-to-voter communication routes cut off, we are only gaining fleeting insights into Donald Trump’s state of mind. Mike Pence, the outgoing Vice President, has been an object of Trump’s anger and the Wall Street Journal reports a Trump advisor saying that the President is “in a dark place” and “it’s like watching someone self-destruct in front of your very eyes, and you can’t do anything”.
Many online bookmakers offer bets on political markets and Paddy Power are offering punters the opportunity to bet on what Donald Trump will choose to do during the Inauguration Ceremony itself. Trump’s love of golf is to the fore in the betting with odds of 1/ 2 that the outgoing President will be striding down his golf course…giving that little golf ball a piece of his mind! On an associated train of thought, the bookie offers odds of 6/1 that Trump will be working on his tan – although, surely he can do that when he is playing golf?
With a sense of irony (we hope!) Paddy Power also offers odds of 25/1 that Trump will choose to telephone his erstwhile chum, the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un. Or perhaps he will jump on a plane to visit Vladimir Putin. This last bet, with odds of 50/1 from the Irish bookmaker, is really rather naughty, given that the Democrats spent a lot of energy trying to prove Trump’s 2016 election campaign was being controlled by Russia, only to be proven wrong after an investigation that reported three years later.
Trump is also facing an impeachment trial possibly starting as soon as this week with Betfair Exchange already having seen £70 000 bet on the outcome of the trial with the odds heavily tilted towards an acquittal.
Wherever Trump decides to go after he leaves the White House, we are sure that controversy will follow. After a few rounds of golf (yes, we are confident that golf will be top of his to-do list), we reckon he will be spending much time with his advisors and his legal team. He will also have to address the backlash to the riot at Capitol Hill, in terms of the impending impeachment process and also the withdrawal of support from various sponsors and his bankers, Deutsche Bank. It would be a mistake, however, to write Trump off as a political force at this juncture. Seventy four million Americans voted for him and Republicans may, after a period of reflection, value political expediency above moral grandstanding. Donald Trump is down, for sure, but he is not yet out!