“What Donald Trump Liked About Being President”

From a New York Times political memo by Matt Flegenheimer and Maggie Haberman headline “What Donald Trump Liked About Being President”:

In November 2018, after a vote that did not matter enough to him to push conspiracy theories about the outcome, President Trump stood in the Rose Garden and delivered the hard truth.

“This was a fair election,” he said to a bird named Carrots, sidelined at the annual White House turkey pardon after being snubbed in an online contest over which privileged poultry (Peas or Carrots) would star in the ritual. “Unfortunately, Carrots refused to concede and demanded a recount, and we’re still fighting with Carrots.”

The crowd laughed, and Mr. Trump smirked a little. Such hammy pageantry in stately settings, aides say, has long been a part of the job he especially enjoys. . . .

The trappings and the title have plainly pleased him the most, placing him at the center of major celebrations for the mere fact of being president. He has marveled at the Bastille Day parade in Paris, taken to the “beautiful phones” at the White House and delighted in serving fast food to college football champions. In July, Mr. Trump, who has for years pressed the federal government to stage an elaborate fireworks display at Mount Rushmore, finally got his way.

He has also amused himself showing off Air Force One and the Lincoln Bedroom. Then there is the study off the Oval Office, which he converted into a small dining room — the space, he has informed guests with a twinkle, where Monica Lewinsky would visit President Bill Clinton. . . .

By the end, though, the president was fulfilling the part of the job that always made the most sense to him: master of ceremonies. He placed his hand over a turkey named Butter, used the word “hereby” to infuse the proceedings with requisite gravitas (“I hereby grant you a full and complete pardon”) and started clapping on his way back inside.

“That was great,” Mr. Trump said, watching the crowd watch him. “Lot of fun.”

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