It has been good enough for more than sixty years, since 1948. It was good enough for the Bushes, Senior and Junior, it was good enough for Presidents Obama, Clinton, Ford, Nixon, Carter, Johnson, Reagan. But it is not good enough for Donald Trump, who is used to his accommodations in Trump Towers where he has gold bathroom fixtures!
It is reported that a few weeks ago, Trump was at his golf club in New Jersey chatting with other members when he explained his reason for coming to the New Jersey club every weekend is that “the White House is a dump”. He later denied having said it, and since I was not privy to the conversation, I cannot say for sure, but it was reported by several people, including staff members who were present, so I am inclined to believe he said it.
So, during Trump’s 17-day vacation, while we are paying for him to play golf and eat steak every night, the White House is undergoing a renovation. To be fair, some of the repairs are necessary, such as repair of a leak in the ceiling, HVAC repairs, etc. And those repairs were approved before Trump took office. Other renovations, however, seem unnecessary and a bit frivolous in these troubled times, for example new carpeting throughout the West Wing.
The renovations will also include fresh landscaping and a granite curb … now, who needs a granite curb? Isn’t concrete good enough?
Apparently there has been a problem with house flies in the West Wing, and last month Business Insider reported that Trump called Reince Priebus to the Oval Office to kill a fly that was buzzing about. Flies … this is what happens when you fill a space with trash.
So, you may wonder how much all this is costing us. The renovations will amount to $3.4 million: $1.965 million for upgrading the HVAC systems, $1.17 million for carpet replacements. and a fresh coat of paint will amount to $275,000. I hesitate to mention that my carpet is 19 years old, and my home has not been painted since then, either. My home needs plumbing repairs, and my 25-year-old stove/oven is on its last legs.
Deputy Press Secretary Lindsay Walters said the cost of the renovations is less than what the past three administrations have spent. Perhaps, but consider the past three administrations’ costs were over a period of eight years each, not 7 months! And if the past three administrations have each spent more than $3 million, should not the White House already be in pretty damn good condition?
Since the Trumps are not quite the personification of class, grace and dignity that the Obamas were, I had concerns that Trump’s idea of “Making the White House Great Again” might involve such tackiness as gold-plated fixtures, nude paintings, or hot-pink walls. But my research reveals that any renovations must be approved by the Office of the Curator.
“The White House Office of the Curator is charged with the conservation and study of the collection of fine art, furniture and decorative objects used to furnish both the public and private rooms of the White House as an official residence and as an accredited historic house museum.” – Wikipedia
Phew! That is a load off my mind, for in Trump Towers, Trump has a three-level penthouse designed to look like the interior of Versailles, complete with gold and diamond accents, and miles of marble and hand-painted ceiling murals. Can we say “hedonistic”? “Tacky”?
In my opinion, and mind you this is just my opinion, the thing that most needs to be replaced in the White House are its occupants.