By Nate Odenkirk | Staff Writer
For years, residents of Palm Beach, Florida were treated to the storied tradition of presidents spending whole weeks at the Mar-a-Lago resort. However, that may end with the election of Joe Biden, who has signaled to aides he is disinterested in continuing the time-honored ritual.
As far back as 2017, presidents used Mar-a-Lago as a “personal retreat,” a means to get away from the prying eyes of the DC establishment and the totally unfair media. President Trump (who by happy coincidence owns the Mar-a-Lago property) was only the most recent president to carry the torch. Officials involved with the Biden transition say he has “no immediate plans” to go to Mar-a-Lago, though that may change at any time. “Biden is worried that he doesn’t have the prominence to make such a historical gesture,” said someone close to the president-elect.
As far back as 2017, presidents used Mar-a-Lago as a “personal retreat.”
For voters in Palm Beach, the loss of the spectacle is met with disappointment and nostalgia. “I remember when I took my 3-year-old to the very first presidential visit to Mar-a-Lago,” said John Spoon, a father from Florida. “Now, he’s all grown up. He’s six now, and to have to tell him the president isn’t coming anymore, that hurts. It’s the end of an era. Mar-a-Lago is just so beautiful, and I loved seeing the president meet with average Americans who are members of the club. Shame on you, Joe Biden.”
Without the visit to Mar-a-Lago, other presidential customs appear to be on the chopping block. Most notably, “appearing in photos with Jeffrey Epstein,” a presidential pastime since the Clinton years, looks to be on its way out following his suicide in 2019. “Biden was very sad to see him go, because now he’ll never get the chance to be photographed candidly with him,” said an advisor. When footage emerged of Donald Trump with Jeffrey Epstein at Mar-a-Lago, the nation delighted in the enjoining of two presidential traditions. “America got so used to seeing its leaders either at Mar-a-Lago or moonlighting with the serial pedophile, so to get a glimpse of both at the same time—what a thrill!” said Wynnette Loach from Massachusetts. “I guess that’s over now. All we can do now is hope Biden at least promotes Mar-a-Lago on official White House accounts.”
On January 20th, 2021, America will say goodbye to a leader who showed reverence to tradition, as long as they were traditions he created. The presidential suites in Mar-a-Lago may very well sit empty for the next four years. It will lie dormant in South Florida, waiting to be occupied by the next Commander in Chief who will be compelled to return out of obligation to the office, or (more probably) their last name is Trump. ♦