When you think of reducing government cost overruns, you probably don’t think of pens. Thankfully, the Trump administration does.
An Associated Press profile of the pen company that supplies the White House’s ceremonial pens — given away when an executive order or a bill is signed — revealed that Trump is using a cheaper model than the Obama administration started out using.
The profile revealed that the Trump administration uses the Century II model from Rhode Island-based A.T. Cross Company, cheaper than the Townsend model that the Obama administration initially used — the kind he signed Obamacare into law with back in 2010.
It’s worth pointing out that the Obama administration eventually moved to the Century II — which retails for $115, but can be bought cheaper in bulk — later in the former president’s tenure. (To be fair, George W. Bush also used the Townsend model, as did and Bill Clinton, during their White House years.)
However, under Trump, there is one major change: The president’s signature engraved on the pens is gold instead of chrome, perhaps to match the new Oval Office decor.
“It’s really just a personal preference,” said Andy Boss, manager of business gift sales for Cross. “Obviously, Trump loves gold.”
However, Trump has been signing so many of Obama’s legacy items out of existence that the supply of pens from the 170-year-old New England pen company is running low.
“I think we’re going to need some more pens, by the way,” Trump said on Inauguration Day, and he wasn’t kidding. The latest shipment of 350 pens, Boss said, was slated to arrive in Washington on Friday.
“He absolutely, positively, had to have them by Friday,” Boss said. “My guess is he’s running low.”
Politico reports that Trump has already signed 23 executive orders, and that’s a lot of pens to go around, so that would be my guess, too.
Even though Cross has been providing pens for the White House since the Ford administration, Trump does have two reasons to be wary of them.
First, Cross did move most of its production to China, a big no-no in Trump’s book. In fact, the pens are lacquered and engraved in China before being sent over to America for final assembly. Second, Cross assumed Trump wouldn’t win. Back in October, the company began designing Hillary Clinton’s inaugural pen, confident that they could go forward. Whoops.
For his part, Boss says Trump “could probably polish himself a little more and be a little more statesmanlike,” but he adds that “(t)o me it doesn’t matter whether the president is a Republican or a Democrat. Just having a president using our pens is pretty cool.”
“I’d much rather him using our pens than somebody else’s,” Boss added.
And I’d much rather have Trump signing executive orders these days than the Democrat he defeated.
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