Donald J. Trump has been getting beaten up on social media over his use of the term “Southern White House” to describe Mar-a-Lago, the glitzy resort he owns on the south Florida coast.
He made that reference during a Christmas phone conversation he was having with troops overseas. The Twitter network went nuts.
Why? Because Mar-a-Lago is a for-profit business associated with the resort to which it is attached and which the president still owns. Even though he turned day-to-day operations over to sons Don Jr. and Eric, Donald Trump hasn’t divested himself of his financial interest in Mar-a-Lago.
To be sure, other presidents have used their private residences as “getaway” White House quarters. President Kennedy had Hyannis Port, Mass.; President Johnson had his ranch in Stonewall, Texas; President Nixon had his place in San Clemente, Calif.; President Ford had a home in Palm Springs, Calif.; President Carter had his home in Plains, Ga.; President Reagan had his ranch near Santa Barbara, Calif.; President Bush 41 had his place at Kennebunkport, Maine; President Bush 43 had his ranch near Crawford, Texas.
Presidents Clinton and Obama didn’t have actual residences where they could go, so they would vacation wherever they felt like it.
All of the off-site “White House” residences I mentioned did not serve as business endeavors for the presidents. Therein lies the reason that Mar-a-Lago shouldn’t be referred to as the “Southern White House.”
None of that will stop Donald Trump from speaking carelessly. It’s what this guy does.