Sunday, May 28, 2017

Barack and Bad Optics

By Suzanne Eovaldi, staff writer

Did former President Obama try to co-opt media coverage of President Donald Trump's international trip by making Italy his first stop in an all-expenses paid trip around the world?  Isn't this the first time that a former president traveled a route nearly parallel with that of the new President?

Obama departed for Italy on Friday, one day before the People's President embarked for Saudi Arabia.  The Obama private jet was encircled by six Eurofighter Fourth Wing fighter jets en route to Italy for his five day stay at the $15,000 a night Borgo Finocchieto, thirteenth century restored village, owned by Obama friend, former US Ambassador to Italy, John Phillips.  

The Obama entourage consisted of a 13 car motorcade which included an armored Chevrolet to protect the former Commander in Chief.  President Trump flew into Saudi Arabia on Air Force One, accompanied by The Beast--the president's very own, specially made, armored transport vehicle which was safely stored in the back of his plane! 
Trumps land in Saudi Arabia

Obama stayed in the once owned Borghese family villa just 45 minutes south of Florence. He’s about a one hour flight from President Trump who will be staying at the US Air Force Signorella military base in Taormina, Sicily.  "Taormina's roads are too narrow and bendy for the US President's car; his motorcade is longer than the distances it would have to cover during the G7summit," reports Italy's La Repubblica.  Because of the security nightmare, President Trump's overnight accommodations while in Italy have been changed from the Hotel Timeo, where Germany's Angel Merkel and Japan's Shinzo Abe were booked during their visits, to the Signorello base. 

Flying over the tiny towns and roads in the Mount Etna region to the summit, President Trump will look down from his vantage point aboard his military helicopter.  This decision to change overnight reservations was made by the Secret Service which said the base stay was "the lesser of two evils…potential eruptions from Mount Etna and the risk of damage to the copter was deemed preferable to driving through tight streets with no escape routes."  (From personal observation, yes, the roads are tiny, making navigation of the tourista buses nearly impossible.)
Signorella Air Base

Comparing the Obama Italian villa stay with the Palm Beach opulence of Trump's Mar-a-Lago illustrates each man's fascination with the beauty of gold d├ęcor.  Both estates have gold dining rooms, gold formal rooms, gold colored wallpaper and furnishings.  Concierge, executive chefs and wait staff cater to the guests' every whim.  However, the Trump formal dining room table has gorgeous candelabra, lit by actual candles, whereas the restored Borghese estate's dining room table is lit by battery operated candles-- nice, but still not authentic.  (The gold amenities in Mar-a-Lago are beyond beautiful!)

While the title of the Tuscan town means Village of Fennel Fields, the Trump Palm Beach estate means "Sea and Lake" in Latin.  While Obama played golf at the World Heritage Site private golf course Castiglion del Bosco, Trump owns one of the world's ten top private clubs.  Again, the optics carry the day here and Obama's pre-Trump overseas trip just looks bad.

Though President Trump did not bow to him, the Saudi king presented the Order of Abdulaziz al-Saud medal, his nation’s highest medal of honor, to the president at the Saudi Royal Court in Riyadh. The red carpet upon which the President walked was groomed so meticulously that some attendants swept the beautiful rug in their bare feet! While Obama angered many Americans when pictures of his deep bow to the Muslim king began to circulate stateside, the pictures of President Trump showed him holding a sword. 
Trump and Sheik

Michelle Obama flew in to accompany her husband on their trip, but not before Barack went sightseeing in Italy, just prior to the President landing. Note here the obvious PR factor of Obama being seen first.  Obama spoke to a full house at the climate change "Seeds and Chips" Global Food Innovation Summit in Milan, prior to the Trump speech before the G-7 Summit.

First Lady Melania Trump flew with her husband, along with his daughter Ivanka and son-in-law.  Both of the Trump women were impeccably dressed and looked drop-dead gorgeous.  Of course, the Obama loving US media tried to start a no head-scarf flap with Melania's beautiful cascade of hair. But attempts to find a similar media flap about a non-scarf wearing, former first lady in the Middle East came up empty. Not exactly a surprise.

Something about Obama's Italian interlude just does not feel quite right.  Wouldn’t it have been more gracious of Obama to have stayed at home, out of sight, in deference to the new President's first overseas trip? As I recall,  former President George W. Bush stayed out of the public eye in order to show deference to the newly elected Obama.
Taormina ancient theatre

Obama had eight years of America's pomp and circumstance and he and his family spent ridiculous amounts of taxpayer dollars on vacations.  He might have come across as a classier, better mannered former president had he shown deference to the new president.  But Barack Obama’s behavior will never be mistaken for class.

Obama and his globalist handlers sought to cast far too large a shadow across the path of President Trump. If anything, it’s an incident which adds more credence to the meme that the Left has set up a soft coup against the new President and Obama, living a mere few miles from the White House, certainly seems to be in the vanguard of this unfortunate endeavor.

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