Pence’s Ireland drama exemplifies the unforced, ego-driven errors hindering the Trump administration – Washington Examiner

Dublin, the Irish capital where Vice President Mike Pence has multiple meetings scheduled this week, sits on the east coast of the island nation. Per the request of the president, Pence is residing in Doonberg every night, on the opposite coast of the country. Unsurprisingly, Trump directed Pence to commute hundreds of miles a day so he could stay at his only Irish golf course, Trump International Golf Links & Hotel Ireland.

Naturally, the whole debacle has become yet another entry into the entirely unforced news cycle driven purely by the president’s own ego.

The administration defended itself by noting that despite the costs of commuting between Doonberg and Dublin, as well as the lodging of Pence’s entourage, he will personally pay for the stays of his family members. Further, Pence staffers pointed out that due to the vice president’s immediate ancestral ties to the village, a Doonberg visit was already on the books, albeit at the end of the trip. But because Trump issued the “suggestion” that Pence relocate to Doonberg and reshuffle his entire schedule so the president could stay in the country as Hurricane Dorian heads towards U.S. soil, the administration managed to turn a logistical planning error into a publicity crisis.

Trump doesn’t need the extra cash from the trip. And it seems unlikely that he thought through the optics of milking American taxpayers by bringing not just Pence but his entire security detail more than three hours away from Dublin. But Trump’s constant demand that his name, in this case, literally, remain the center of attention and earn a sycophantic endorsement from his retinue creates news cycle after news cycle parading the worst excesses of his self-aggrandizement.

An equally egotistical but slightly more prepared president could have made the exact same demand, but planned in advance with the schedule of the trip in mind. A more exceptional president would have realized that the presidency isn’t an opportunity to advertise your private property for personal publicity. But instead, we’re subjected to entirely unnecessary and self-imposed episodes exemplifying the hubris dragging down the Trump administration and exhausting ordinary Americans.

As for Trump’s part, it made sense for him to cancel his Europe trip, as Dorian could prove one of the most destructive hurricane’s in history. Too bad he spent the 227th day of his presidency golfing at — you guessed it — another Trump property.

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