When Joe Biden was proclaimed ‘president elect’ by television stations, Donald Trump was standing on the grass watching his golf ball. A driver sat in a cart a few meters away. He waited patiently for the boss to hit.
Where do you want to be when you hear bad news? Perhaps at home with family or friends. Or do you prefer a quiet place where you can think alone?
Trump likes to be on a golf course. Every few days, he wants to give a few hefty taps. Just like other presidents. Eisenhower and Kennedy did it too. George W. Bush told the press while golfing that terrorists should be caught and then show off: “Now watch this drive!Obama was addressed in his tenure on his many trips to the golf course.
There are many videos of Trump as he is on the green. He’s not doing bad at all. There is more swing in his hips on the golf course in casual wear than on a walk through the White House. In a suit, Trump gains the motor skills of a slowly moving rectangle.
At first glance, Trump has his urges under control while playing golf. Politically he is a loose cannon, but with a club in hand he seems to stick neatly to the existing techniques of the sport.
No doubt he got the call for Biden on the track. In the distance, a television camera zoomed in on the golfing president as far as possible. Although filmed from a distance, it was still easy to see what he was doing. With one white glove on, Trump stood next to the golf ball that lay invisibly behind a knoll. Or maybe there was no ball at all? No, it would fake news to be.
Shortly after each other he practiced the blow with an iron. Three times. What was he thinking about now? Biden’s grin? What to tweet about? Those blue and red areas on the CNN screen? Or to his friend Rudy Giuliani, who wanted to chop up voting fraudsters during a hastily arranged press conference in a parking lot between a dildo shop and a crematorium?
The world could watch over his shoulder as Trump was ready for the decisive blow to the ball. Trump swung his club back, forward. Pats. Hanging loosely on one hip, the president watched the ball go by; no trace of anger or disappointment anywhere. Trump sat in front of him for a moment, then he got into the golf cart.
Where the ball landed was not shown.
The golf was over. On the way to the exit, Trump chatted with a newly married couple (‘Have a great time‘). He took all the time for a photo with the bride. Moments later, a column of black Cadillacs took off.
The president was not visible through the shuttered windows.
Wilfried de Jong is a writer and program maker.
A version of this article also appeared in nrc.next on November 9, 2020