Trump's Vs. Obama's Second Easter Egg Roll Were So Different
The bizarre tradition of rolling eggs on the White House's South Lawn began 140 years ago, per NPR. Each administration plans the event with its own unique flair, but there's arguably not a more stark comparison than setting President Barack Obama's event beside President Donald Trump's event. Here's what the photos tell us about Trump vs. Obama's second Easter Egg Roll.
Though the White House hosts the event, the president and the first lady typically take a backseat role — they walk out to a rendition of the national anthem, welcome guests, and the ceremony begins. But even so, there are many observable differences between the Trumps' and the Obamas' handling of this enduring tradition alone. (Obama's second Easter Egg Roll was in April 2010, and Trump's was this Monday, April 2.)
The event, which dates back to the Rutherford Hayes administration, used to close schools in the D.C. area so that children could congregate on the South Lawn for the tradition. The ceremony now includes an egg hunt, a children's book reading by members of the administration, or a performance by a musical guest. With all these pieces at play, there are a lot of ways for administrations to make their own unique spin on the egg roll.
The most glaring difference was Trump's eagerness to discuss specifics with reporters.
Traditionally, the president and first lady emerge to greet guests on the South Lawn by delivering a welcome message from the balcony, below which press, family members, and attendees gather.
In 2010 Obama spoke for about 30 seconds at his second Easter Egg Roll and then handed the microphone over to the first lady, noting that she was "the best looking of the older Obamas." Michelle Obama then discussed her initiative to combat childhood obesity.
Trump, on the other hand, rambled about the economy and how great everything is. Melania did not speak. At one point, apparently thanking maintenance workers at the White House for preparing for the event, President Trump launched into a barely-coherent tangent about the majestic building, saying,
Also I want to thank the White House Historical Association and all the people that worked so hard with Melania — with everybody — to keep this incredible house, or building, or whatever you want to call it — because there really is no name for it. It is special. And we keep it in tip-top shape. We call it, sometimes, tippy-top shape. And it's a great, great place.
Trump then touted the "important" funding of the military in next year's budget, referring to the some $700 billion allotted in the spending plan. All while the Easter bunny stood next to him.
Reading to children on the South Lawn is a time-honored tradition at the egg roll.
At the 2010 Easter Egg Roll, the Obamas read to children on the South Lawn — taking turns sharing passages from their favorite children's books. This was Obama's second time hosting the event, a little more than a year into his term. Author J.K. Rowling also dropped by to read selections from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.
The guest readers didn't appear to be as high-profile this year. On Monday, Sarah Huckabee Sanders read an Easter story to children on the lawn, and some took to Twitter to mock her apparent low-levels of enthusiasm. First lady Melania Trump also read stories to children.
The musical guests this year were Justin Bieber-less.
Justin Bieber headlined Obama's 2010 egg roll — to the delight of many screaming, adoring fans of his. He performed his then-hits "One Time" and "Baby" among others. The Biebs was 16 at the time.
This year's musical guests included the U.S. Marine Band, U.S. Army Voices, U.S. Navy Band, and the U.S. Air Force Band, per the event website. But Trump isn't averse to teen pop acts — last year, at his first Easter Egg Roll, he invited Bro4 to perform last year.
This year's White House Easter Egg Roll was also absent an iconic Easter Bunny — Sean Spicer.
During the egg roll, Twitter went off on Trump and was nostalgic for the Obamas.
Twitter was not kind to Trump's brief remarks at the ceremony, and even remarked on how Donald Trump Jr. and his wife, Vanessa, awkwardly mingled for the first time in public since they announced their divorce.
The first children attended both the Obamas' and the Trumps' second Easter Egg Roll.
Sasha and Malia Obama were all smiles in 2010 at their second Easter Egg Roll, and stood on the rear balcony of the White House as their mother, Michelle, spoke to the crowd. Barron Trump, 12, also attended President Trump's second egg roll — but did not stand on the balcony with his parents during the welcoming ceremony.
Regardless of which administration you think did the White House Easter Egg Roll better, they certainly are very different events, and it's a totally bizarre tradition.