Commentary: The White House shouldn’t be the back drop of political campaigning

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Aaron Kittredge

The White House, a symbol of non-partisanship, is in danger of becoming an accessory to future campaigns.

As we begin to enter fall, now is when the presidential candidates need to watch their footing very carefully to claim the Oval Office. 

One wrong step and their path to victory can get very messy very quickly.

But if the convention speeches acted as the starting line for the heat of the presidential race, President Trump began with a major metaphoric tumble.

Right in front of the White House.

President Trump became the first president to ever hold a convention speech on the Presidential Palace’s grounds, whether that’s a good or bad thing has been up for debate.

I must say that to see the South Lawn adorned with Trump-Pence signage and a screen projecting President Trump’s face to his attending supporters was appalling to say the least.

The White House represents something that cannot be stained by any president or their scandals. 

The White House has been able to withstand sexual affairs and corruption as a continuous sign of integrity and beauty, even when some Presidents have not.

As both Republican and Democratic presidents have entered and exited, it has always remained an impartial yet welcoming home. Standing without ever being stained by political parties.

It’s very name, although picked by Teddy Roosevelt, has always been a testament to the lack of partisanship it demonstrates. Like a pure canvas that has been able to avoid the splatters of blue and red.

It’s very name, although picked by Teddy Roosevelt, has always been a testament to the lack of partisanship it demonstrates. Like a pure canvas that has been able to avoid the splatters of blue and red.”

— Ali Juell

But I fear that Trump’s usage of it for his political campaign may be the beginning of that impartiality being lost in the mudslinging.

The use of the Executive Mansion was a boastful attempt by President Trump to establish that he’s the incumbent candidate despite trailing poll numbers. 

With over 180,000 deaths due to the coronavirus pandemic and a flailing economy under his watch, he has so little to be proud of that he’s resorted to showing off the office he received four years ago.

There’s nothing wrong with having pride in the Executive Office, but President Trump’s decision to use it as a trophy in his cabinet and reduce it to a campaign stage was extremely disrespectful to everything it is meant to stand for.

The Hatch Act does not prevent the president or vice-president from holding campaign events/speeches on federal grounds but it does prevent any other staffers from assisting in these efforts.

Such an act was put in place to prevent a gross misuse of federal grounds created for the sake of all Americans, not just for the party currently in power. 

And so I can only hope that the many monuments and testaments to the American will, including the Executive Mansion, shall continue to be void of shallow political usage.

Or maybe the White House will soon become the latest and greatest billboard.

We’ll have to see what happens.

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