CNN worked itself into an Ol' Yeller rabid lather recently when it was reported that at a White House dinner President Trump was served two scoops of ice cream with his pie while guests were given a single scoop.
“Time” magazine also reported Trump was given an extra dish of sauce for his chicken and his guests were served water while he got Diet Coke. The implication was clear: Trump’s staff makes sure he gets extras that set him apart from everyone else in the room.
For perhaps the first time ever, I thought a critique of Trump was a bit of a nothing burger.
I’m not going to hate on Trump for demanding two scoops. He’s the president. If he wants to have his pie topped with rainbow sprinkles, little green army men and the happy tears of a Miss Universe contestant who just found out all the copies of her sex tape have been destroyed, fine by me. If Trump wants to squirt Reddi Whip straight from the can into his mouth for dessert every night, I don’t care. Kings and Queens do it. OK, no they don’t.
CNN missed the real story, if you ask me. Which is that serving ice cream with a cream pie is basically an abomination. It’s a cream pie. It doesn’t need ice cream. Was Guy Fieri just named White House chef and I missed it?
The other thing that was glossed over in “scoop gate” was that Vice President Pence didn’t get any pie but was served a fruit plate instead. Weenie. I suspect “Mother” chides him when he lusts after the spun sugars.
Another way to interpret this apparent slight was that Pence was being punished by the boss. A fruit plate? That sounds positively liberal or, dare I speculate, European.
So why am I sidestepping this “breaking news” and giving Trump a pass? Simple. When we libs get all worked up over dumb stuff, it just gives ammunition to our detractors.
That said, would it kill Trump to just try to fake normal host behavior? He can always hit up the West Wing kitchen after dark. I saw President Martin Sheen do it a million times.
The host, even if it’s the president, especially if it’s the president, needs to be gracious, magnanimous, making sure his guests are served first and served best. It’s Cotillion 101. Ten-year-old’s learn this stuff pretty quickly in the South.
By the way, at the same dinner, Trump was served Thousand Island dressing on his salad while everyone else got a creamy vinaigrette. Is it elitist to point out that only toddlers and supermax prisoners eat Thousand Island? It is? Pity.
The Diet Coke vs. water was odd, but endearing. Water is, of course, better for you so Trump was demonstrating concern for the health of his guests. Advantage: Trump.
Somewhere, I imagine poor Pence was mournfully eyeing his fruit plate and whispering to his seatmate: “Hey, you gonna finish that?”
The writer is a NYT-bestselling author and humor columnist who frequently writes about politics.