In a nearly unprecedented move, Donald Trump recently announced that he won’t be attending this year’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner; now, high-profile Trump impersonator Alec Baldwin could be filling his spot. The feud between Trump and the media has been ongoing since before Inauguration Day, and after weeks of labeling news outlets “fake news,” Donald Trump took to Twitter to announce that he wouldn’t be attending this year’s soiree.
I will not be attending the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner this year. Please wish everyone well and have a great evening!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 25, 2017
The last time a sitting president skipped the event was decades ago. That president was Ronald Reagan, and he skipped the dinner, where politicians and media powerhouses rub shoulders, only because he was recovering from an assassination attempt.
— Chicago Tribune (@chicagotribune) March 3, 2017
Immediately after the news broke that Trump was opting out of this year’s dinner, Alec Baldwin fans took to social media to implore the actor to attend in Trump’s place. Baldwin has famously taken on the role of Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live, mocking the real estate mogul throughout his campaign and turning up the heat following both Trump’s unexpected win and swearing in. Trump has expressed his displeasure at the popular show and portrayal on Twitter, indicating he’s no fan of Baldwin or SNL.
.@NBCNews is bad but Saturday Night Live is the worst of NBC. Not funny, cast is terrible, always a complete hit job. Really bad television!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 15, 2017
After nearly a week of pleas from his fan base, Alec Baldwin has finally responded to the calls for him to stand in for Trump at the April 29 event. Baldwin set down with late night TV host Jimmy Kimmel on Wednesday to discuss the Trump correspondents’ dinner rumor mill. As the Denver Post reports, during the discussion, Baldwin claimed that there’s a lot of “lobbying” going on among actors who want to “play Trump” at the event.
“It’s interesting how there are people who — now that he’s not going to the White House correspondents’ dinner — there are people who are lobbying to play Trump.”
@chicagotribune Wouldn't thst be a hoot guaranteed to piss off the so called president, the liar in chief go for it Alex
— Riki (@xscoutie) March 3, 2017
— Alexandra Marshall (@AlexMAbroad) March 3, 2017
When asked if he was one of the folks lobbying for the job of the White House dinner Trump, Baldwin’s answer was less than direct.
“Well, I wouldn’t say I’m not lobbying.”
This year’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner is already playing out much different than those of years past. Traditionally, the event’s headlining comedian is announced months in advance. However, this year is different. Despite the fact that the event is less than two months away, no announcement has been made. And because Trump has taken the nearly unheard of step of boycotting the dinner, it’s possibly that the headlining comic could end up playing the role of president, too.
— McSpocky™ ???? (@mcspocky) February 26, 2017
As for Jimmy Kimmel, he seemed to think that Alec Baldwin is the man for the Trump impersonating job. Despite Baldwin’s claims that there is a bunch of lobbying (and therefore possibly stiff competition) for the gig, Kimmel made it clear that none of them are up to the Baldwin level of Trump mockery.
According to Baldwin, not everyone is a fan of his pouty-mouthed, slow-to-speak Trump.
“Well, tell these guys. They say I suck. I can’t say bad words, because I gave it up for Lent. F*** them!”
Even if there are other “alternative Trumps” out there, some with fan bases of their own, apparently, Kimmel still thinks that Baldwin should be the one to fill Trump’s empty shoes at the correspondents’ dinner. The reason? Donald Trump hates seeing Baldwin in the role.
“It should be the one the president hates seeing do it the most. And that’s undoubtedly you.”
What do you think? Should Donald Trump simply uphold American tradition and show up at the April 29 White House Correspondents’ Dinner? Would the event be better off without a Trump at all? Or should Alec Baldwin dust off his SNL Trump and take up the hosting role?
[Featured Image by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images]