With 132 rooms, 35 bathrooms and six levels, the decadent White House has been a home to Head of States since President John Adams and his wife Abigail moved into it in 1800. From a fire in 1814 that nearly destroyed it, to major renovations made by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1902, the White House is no stranger to a change in season or a change in presidency.
The most recent White House inhabitant, President Donald Trump, may bring the biggest change of all. Trump created concern among many when a debate on whether or not the family would live in the White House was discussed in February. Since then, it has recently been decided the family will be living there but has raised the question as to why the family was thinking about not residing there in the first place.
Melania and her son, Barron Trump, are currently in New York City and it is said they will not move to the White House until June, after Barron Trump is done with school. Why should they wait until then to move to the place where each family before them lived?
The White House is one of the foundation symbols of the presidency and without moving in until potentially June, it does not feel as official as past presidencies. Although he may be president, bending the rules about living in the White House could only give insight to other rules that might be bent and manipulated in his favor.
The president should respect the timeless tradition of having the family move into the White House upon inauguration. Melania Trump and her son do not have an official move in date, but President Trump insists the date is inching closer. However, without an official date people are left to wonder if and when the moving will happen.
On top of the moral dilemma, there is a significant cost associated with housing the Trumps in New York City compared to Washington D.C. The New York Police Department (NYPD) and Fire Department (FDNY) purportedly spend $150,000 per day in payroll fees for security purposes. That averages to around $4.5 million per year, when both Melania and Barron Trump could be living in the White House at a much cheaper rate.
This is on top of the $24 million that New York City already spent between election day and inauguration to secure Trump Tower, plus the $305,000 per day may need to be spent to protect the President if and when he visits his family.
Both instances are mainly funded through taxpayer dollars. It has been clear from the beginning that Trump would live out his days as President very different from the lives of those who came before him. Under the Trump Administration, it seems as though almost anything is possible. Who is to say other traditional aspects of the presidency will not change?