President-Elect Donald Trump is about to make history – again.
The billionaire-turned-leader of the free world is planning on bucking 40 years of tradition by staying at his new Washington, D.C., hotel instead of at the Blair House, the private guesthouse across from the White House.
While the plans haven’t been finalized, people familiar with the process said that Trump is considering staying at his newly completed Old Post Office Hotel instead of the president’s guesthouse across the street, The New York Times reports.
Inauguration Day has begun the same way since President Jimmy Carter in 1976: A private breakfast for friends and family at the Blair House, church service and a brief meeting with the outgoing president and first lady. Then a drive to the Capitol for the swearing in.
That might all change. If Trump stays at his own hotel, he would be joined by his friends and family, top advisors and top donors, the Times reports.
Trump’s inaugural committee hasn’t disclosed his plans for the days leading up to the inauguration. “We don’t have [any] announcements to make at this point,” spokesman Alex Stroman said.
In December 1976, Carter was eager to get to work. He set up transition operations in the Blair House and since then, every president has spent his final few days before the swearing-in at the home at 1651 Pennsylvania Avenue. Nancy Reagan famously complained that the mansion needed “sprucing up,” the Bushes took over the place twice and the Clintons and Obamas spent their last nights as private citizens there.
When it’s not hosting presidents-to-be, the Blair House – operated by the State Department, serves as a very busy and very fancy hotel for foreign leaders and other VIP guests.
But since 1976, it has served a very symbolic role during the inauguration.
The president-elect signs an official guest book on the morning he takes office, marking his new role as head of state, as well as the importance of international diplomacy. In the afternoon, the State Department hosts a reception and a parade viewing for ambassadors and other diplomats to celebrate the country’s peaceful transition of power.
Once sworn in, Trump said he plans to split his time between the White House and the Trump Hotel in New York. First Lady Melania Trump will remain at Trump Tower with their son, Barron, 10, while he finishes the school year.
The house was built in 1824 by Joseph Lovell, the army surgeon general, in what was then an open field across from the White House. Publisher Francis Preston Blair, part of Andrew Jackson’s “Kitchen Cabinet,” bought it 13 years later, and it stayed in the Blair family for more than 100 years. Presidents eager to slip away from the pressures of the White House crossed the street to socialize with the Blairs and other friends: Abraham Lincoln was especially fond of Montgomery Blair, whom he made postmaster general.
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