Why Trump Can’t Get Enough of the Rose Garden

The Rose Garden has been a key tool for White House communications operations for decades, often used as the backdrop for the signing of major pieces of legislation.

“It’s not as formal as a statement from the East Room or behind the desk of the Oval Office,” said Lori Cox Han, a political-science professor at Chapman University, who wrote a paper about how presidents use the Rose Garden and other public activities. “But it’s one of those traditional, very presidential, settings that can work to the president’s advantage. You sign a bill that doesn’t have a lot of support in Congress, and it says, ‘I’m still the president,’ in this iconic setting. The perception is very important.”

For Mr. Trump, it has also served as a venue for declaring victory prematurely. After the House voted to repeal most of the Affordable Care Act in May 2017, Mr. Trump staged a Rose Garden celebration with about 100 Republican lawmakers in attendance. The measure failed in the Senate two months later.

Since he entered office, Mr. Trump has favored backdrops that portray strength. He pushed for a military parade down Pennsylvania Avenue that was ultimately scratched. More recently, he has explored putting himself at the center of the nationally televised fireworks display on July 4, and addressing the nation from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. That plan, however, is running into resistance from Mayor Muriel Bowser of Washington.

But the Rose Garden is one of the few outdoor venues he controls unilaterally.

“He’s an indoor creature, but he wants to be seen outdoors,” said Douglas Brinkley, a presidential historian. “He likes the Oval Office because he could do the big signature and show power. But after a while, it becomes an image of a guy who is locked in a room. This is a deeply image-driven president. In the Rose Garden, he’s able to project that he’s outside and enjoying the compound.”

Former aides said Mr. Trump loved how his complexion looked in the Rose Garden’s natural light, as well as its proximity to the Oval Office and that it felt like a “tourist destination” he could show off while hosting an event.

Source

more recommended stories

  • Trump Aides Slam French for Focusing on ‘Niche Issues’ at G7

    At their impromptu lunch on Saturday,.

  • Ahead of G7, Trump Asserts He Can Force U.S. Companies to Leave China

    Mr. Trump’s threat to invoke the.

  • Democratic Field Shrinks to 21: This Week in the 2020 Race

    “I’m not going to be the.

  • California Is the ‘Popular Boy or Girl at the Dance’ in 2020

    LOS ANGELES — At an auditorium.

  • With Time Running Short, Patriots Unlikely to Make White House Visit

    The New England Patriots won the.

  • Joe Biden Asks Audience to Imagine Obama’s Assassination

    He recalled his early support for.

  • Trolling Trump, Joe Walsh Tries to Recruit George Conway for Nascent Challenge

    WASHINGTON — Joe Walsh, a conservative.

  • David Koch on Free Markets and Taxes in 2009 Speech – Video

    By C-SPAN | Aug. 23, 2019.

  • American Jailed in Moscow on Spy Charges Says Guards Injured Him

    MOSCOW — Paul N. Whelan, a.

  • On Politics: Biden’s Enthusiasm Challenge

    There are signs of a disconnect.

  • Electoral College Members Can Defy Voters’ Wishes, Court Rules

    In a ruling that kicks at.

  • On Politics With Lisa Lerer: Andrew Yang’s Bipartisan Bet

    Hi. Welcome to On Politics, your.

  • How to Rebound After a Disaster: Move, Don’t Rebuild, Research Suggests

    Want climate news in your inbox?.

  • Joe Biden’s Poll Numbers Mask an Enthusiasm Gap

    There are signs of a disconnect.

  • Bernie Sanders Unveils $16 Trillion ‘Green New Deal’ Plan

    WASHINGTON — Senator Bernie Sanders on.

  • A Former Congressman and Tea Party Republican Considers a Challenge to Trump

    Mr. Kristol said Mr. Walsh’s comfort.

  • Jay Inslee Ends Campaign for President

    Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington, who.

  • Bernie Sanders Sets a Goal: Double Union Membership in 4 Years

    ALTOONA, Iowa — Senator Bernie Sanders.

  • American Military Drone Shot Down Over Yemen

    WASHINGTON — An American military drone.

  • In Denmark, Bewilderment and Anger Over Trump’s Canceled Visit

    ODENSE, Denmark — The astonishment in.

  • Putting a Positive Spin on Oil Exploration in the Arctic Refuge

    When the Trump administration first pushed.

  • On Politics: Trump Returns to N.R.A.’s Side

    Gun rights advocates have waged an.

  • President Trump Cancels Trip to Denmark After Greenland Spat

    WASHINGTON — President Trump on Tuesday.

  • Why the 2020 Criminal Justice Debate Is Completely Different

    Marijuana would be decriminalized, mass incarceration.

  • As Wildfires Get Worse, Insurers Pull Back From Riskiest Areas

    “It’s not necessarily the property that’s.

  • Julián Castro Qualifies for the Next Democratic Debate

    The former housing secretary Julián Castro.

  • Trump’s Rollback of Auto Pollution Rules Shows Signs of Disarray

    That means the process is now.

  • On Politics: Trump Prepares for Economic Trouble

    • Justice Department lawyers told the.

  • Jill Biden, Stressing Trump Matchup, Makes a Blunt Case for Her Husband

    Jill Biden laid out the political.

  • Apologies and Scorn Greet News of a Book by Mark Halperin

    Reports of a new book deal.

  • ‘I Am Sorry for Harm I Have Caused,’ Warren Tells Native American Forum – Video

    Channels & Shows Home Search U.S..

  • Elizabeth Warren to Appear at Native American Forum

    SIOUX CITY, Iowa — Senator Elizabeth.