Donald Trump seems to be going through some things. The outgoing president — who has yet to formally concede an election he lost almost two months ago — whimsically bailed on the White House holiday party, which was populated by maskless (and, alas, Trump-less) revelers. And on New Year’s Eve, he did the same thing, stranding supporters who’d paid four figures for his end-of-2020 soiree with the likes of Rudy Giuliani, Vanilla Ice, and much-hated Beach Boys member Mike Love.
As per CNN, Trump made the last-minute decision to leave Mar-a-Lago, his lavish home base in Florida, return to Washington, possibly the spend more time trying to clumsily overturn the election (and avoid an avalanche of legal and economic woes). That meant people who paid top dollar to hang with him instead had to brush shoulders with Trump family members, including sons Donald Jr. and Eric, as well as associates like Rudy Giuliani and media cheerleaders like Jeanine Pirro.
And there was music. Granted, few name performers would ever perform for Trump, so the event had to contend with has-beens, like Vanilla Ice and Berlin, the one-hit wonders responsible for the Top Gun staple “Take My Breath Away.” The Beach Boys were there, too — or at least Mike Love, the group’s most controversial member, who gained legal rights to the band’s name years ago, despite outcry from other surviving members Brian Wilson and Al Jardine.
Few wore masks and there was no social distancing.
Some 500 tickets were sold for this year’s event — a bit less than in previous years, but not by much. Bookings escalated when it appeared Trump would be in attendance. Then, on Wednesday, he reported he was bailing. Early in the pandemic, another Mar-a-Lago event, celebrating the birthday of Jr.’s girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle, became a COVID-19 spreader.