Mon. Apr 19th, 2021

President Trump has aspirations of an international airport bearing his name. This may come true for him one day but not now and not with one that has been suggested as the airport to honor Trump.

Most presidents talk about and make plans for their future presidential libraries and foundations. President Trump, however, is a businessman who has his last name on numerous buildings around the world. There were even jokes about putting the Trump name on the wall he began building on the southern border – at least I think it was a joke. The point is that when his company builds something, the Trump name goes on it. Trump didn’t build the Palm Beach International Airport but Christian Ziegler, the vice-chairman of the Florida GOP and Sarasota County commissioner, suggested it be renamed for Trump to fulfill the former president’s wish. No dice, said members of the Sarasota County Commission. That’s not going to happen.

According to the Sun-Sentinel, the idea of renaming the airport in honor of Trump was recently touted by Christian Ziegler, who serves as a Sarasota County commissioner and the vice-chairman of the Florida Republican Party. However, County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay has made it clear that she does not support the idea.

During a brief discussion with the publication, McKinlay explained why she, along with five other county commissioners, are not in agreement with the prospect of the airport being renamed after the twice-impeached, one-term president.

“When people hear [Palm Beach], they envision our beaches, our equestrian sports, and in some cases our agricultural contributions,” McKinlay said. “It is a lifestyle.”

McKinlay went on to tell Ziegler to “stick to renaming his own county facilities, not ours.”

In December, it was first reported that Trump asked about the “paperwork” required to have an airport named “Donald J. Trump.” Trump also asked about having an aircraft carrier commissioned and named after him. Last week, Florida State Rep. Anthony Sabatini called for U.S. Highway 27 to be renamed the President Donald J. Trump Highway.

“This legislative session I will be sponsoring an amendment to rename U.S. Highway 27 as the ‘President Donald J. Trump Highway,’” he wrote on Twitter. “Looking forward to working on this important designation honoring one of the greatest Presidents in American History.”

Is naming a highway that runs from north Florida to south Florida enough to satisfy the Trump ego? Probably not. Trump officially made Florida his home in 2019 so he’ll likely have plenty of time and opportunities to lobby for something more. It will likely take some time, though, since the country is still so bitterly divided and the Biden administration is pursuing a strategy of blaming the Trump administration for their failures, like the new CDC director not knowing the amount of COVID-19 vaccines on hand. The Biden administration is lowering the bar as much as possible on performance so that (they hope) we don’t notice that a man with almost 50 years in elected office isn’t off to as stellar of a start as one might think.

There are American airports named after at least eight U.S. presidents, including Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, and John F. Kennedy. In Houston, we have the George Bush Intercontinental Airport, named after George H.W. Bush.

So, what about a presidential library for Trump? There hasn’t been an announcement about a brick and mortar building but the National Archives and Records Administration launched a website for the Donald J. Trump Presidential Library last Wednesday.

The new site features a compilation of archived White House websites and social media accounts used by Trump administration officials, such as the @POTUS and @FLOTUS Twitter handles. It also has information on how to access Trump administration records.

In a statement, the National Archives said that presidential libraries “promote understanding of the Presidency and the American experience. They preserve and provide access to historical materials, support research, and create interactive programs and exhibits that educate and inspire.”

During his presidency, Trump was a prolific tweeter at all times of the day. However, his tweets were largely from his personal account, @realdonaldtrump, which was permanently suspended by Twitter as a consequence of his role in the Capitol riots on Jan. 6. Although personal accounts have not been archived, the National Archives is working to make such accounts of administration officials, including the former president, “publicly available as soon as possible,” according to the website.

That’s a start on memorializing Trump’s presidency. I’m sure the former president will have plans for a presidential library in the near future. Why wouldn’t he? It’s one traditional he will probably want to carry forward.

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