Last year, the White House Easter Egg Roll was staggered with guests. This year, the First Family kept it between Donald and Melania with even Barron missing.
I love Easter festivities at the White House. A privilege of being a White House Correspondent, a benefit of being privy to public events that revolve around the American family traditions and resurrection of Christ. A White House Easter Egg Roll. A day we get all immersed into a few hours of “pretty in pink”, with white and blue hats, colorful eggs, children and pink credentials for the journalists. It’s a moment where everyone tunes into the music of the military band and eagerly awaits to see what’s the Bunny costume be like. A silver screen bubble of #BeBest on Easter, a hyperreality of a picture-perfect movie set. Except, it’s not a movie set, it’s live, reporting scene in front of the most powerful building in the world. The White House.
Egg rolling on the south lawn is one, and I say often, a rare occasion to let go of the daily tensions of political reporting even for a brief moment. The White House staff is usually in a good mood on this day which makes the press exit our combat, default mode. I do not know how is it for them, and I’ve never asked, to stand in front of us knowing how critical stance we have toward the Trump administration. But it’s Easter so let’s get to our positions and get the cameras rolling.
Keep it in the family
Last year, the White House Easter Egg Roll was staggered with guests. This year, the First Family kept it between Donald and Melania with even Barron missing. I remember Don Jr. attending the festivities last year with his children and then soon to be ex-wife. There were Eric and Tiffany. And Rick Perry. This year, however, no one of them showed up. But Kellyanne in a royal blue dress emerged from the Rose Garden with her children and without a Republican husband, George Conway who would like to impeach Trump with the rest of the Democrats. Pure political surrealism or delusion of 2020, it’s hard to tell the difference.
Standing to Kellyanne in close proximity I’ve noticed that she is in a good mood, accepting to take pictures with strangers who clearly love her. If you ask the White House guests who came to Pennsylvania Avenue to roll eggs, they would probably tell you how they will be voting Trump again.
We, the press, we stand on a watchdog island, the one of a different perspective, the one that will ask questions and put the microphone in front of a public official on any occasion. Even in front of Mr. Mueller leaving the church after Easter mass as that‘s what we do.
Easter or not, Kellyanne loves to talk to reporters and today she repeated her political message on a religious holiday, that none of the Democratic presidential candidates have any single message but “Trump, Trump, Trump, Trump, Trump”
But what would family festivity be like without Stephan Miller, a mastermind of immigration zero-tolerance policy that put children in cages and away from their parents? A 33-year-old Trump’s confidant, in a gray suit and Quelle surprise, orange tie, positioned himself in front of the press, aloof and cocky, posing for a picture from afar, gazing in the children rolling eggs.
Are you on the list?
As for the press, I heard the complaints that this year, many did not get their credentials since the office of FLOTUS restricted press list. A few photographs told me someone stopped them on their way to the south lawn asking ” are you on the list?”
It was a normal day overall. The families who were attending had the best time. Trump behaved. He even answered a few questions stamping out the message of an aspiring Strongman such as “Nobody disobeys my orders” and he reassured a child he will build the wall.
“ It’s happening It’s being built now. Here’s a young guy who said ‘Keep building that wall can you believe that?’ He’s going to be a conservative someday!”
Not only there was no breaking news, but there was no news at all.
Unusually slow, Easter Egg Roll Monday with the White House calling a lid a little past 3 pm. Hard to believe, but that’s all.