President Donald Trump on Thursday night held a rally to celebrate himself in West Virginia. The event kicked off what will be Trump’s first extended vacation as president of the United States. Despite Trump’s frequent weekend golf trips, the 17-day “working vacation” that starts Friday is his first official long-term respite from the day-to-day toils of being president of the United States. The trip will see Trump visiting his own Trump National Golf Club in New Jersey, according to USA Today. No official word yet if he will be giving his Twitter account a rest, but don’t count on it.
It’s hard not to see the rally in West Virginia as an attempt by the president to make himself feel better before heading to his golf club in New Jersey. According to Newsweek, the right-wing Rasmussen poll, which Trump has historically used as bragging fodder for his popularity due to Rasmussen’s tendency to give him approval ratings well above other polls, recently reported a sharp decline in people’s opinions of the president. Rasmussen has Trump’s approval rating at a dismal 38 percent. Combine this with the failure of the Republican Senate to repeal Obamacare last week and today’s news that special counsel Mueller has impaneled a grand jury related to the ongoing Russia probe that has plagued Trump since being elected, as reported in the Wall Street Journal, and it’s understandable why the Donald might want to bring himself back to those happier times on the campaign trail, when he would shout slogans at crowds filled with people in “Make America great again” hats and they’d fill the air with cheers of adulation for the man they adore.
The rally in West Virginia was nothing out of the ordinary for Donald Trump. Aside from the fact that he is now president, its tone was nearly identical to that of one of his 2016 campaign rallies. According to Time, Trump had his friend stop by, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice, to tell the crowd that he was switching from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party. While certainly noteworthy, Justice’s party switching is nothing new. Until February of 2015, the wealthy coal executive was a Republican.
Trump won 69 percent of the vote in West Virginia in the 2016 election, making it a perfect setting for his little pageantry of pomp and ego. And while his supporters in attendance likely gave him some welcome adoration, the truth is that Donald Trump can not escape from the fact that much of the country feels markedly different about the job he’s doing as president. That’s something that no number of self-adulating rallies and relaxing days at the golf club are going to change.
[Featured Image by Justin Merriman/Getty Images]