President Trump’s love for all things gold apparently doesn’t extend to the Golden State.
Trump is about to become the first president since Dwight D. Eisenhower 64 years ago to skip a visit to California during his first calendar year in office. And he doesn’t appear to have any plans to take Air Force One to the country’s most populous and economically powerful state before he marks his first full year in office Jan. 20.
Even past presidents who, like Trump, didn’t win the state’s electoral votes made it a destination, if only for California’s allure as the Golden State of campaign cash.
For Trump, it’s ground zero for “the resistance.”
A president as fixated on the 2016 election results as Trump may not want to be reminded that just 31 percent of California’s voters chose him while 61 percent decided “I’m with her” — giving Hillary Clinton over 4 million more votes and the state’s 55 electoral votes.
A few weeks afterward, President-elect Trump alleged on Twitter that there was “serious voter fraud” in California, as well as in Virginia and New Hampshire, claims for which he never suggested evidence.
Since then, California has been at the forefront of those states and organizations pushing back against Trump’s policies to vastly scale back federal health care subsidies, environmental protections and safety regulations, and to crack down on legal as well as illegal immigration.
Trump noticed early on. California is “out of control,” he told Fox News in February.
“It’s hard to imagine an environment less alluring to him right now than deep-blue California,” said Dan Schnur, a professor of political communications at USC’s Annenberg School of Communications and a former Republican.
“He’ll get here eventually, but we probably shouldn’t hold our breath that it’s coming any time soon,” Schnur added.
Of the 29 states Trump has visited since taking office, just eight are west of the Mississippi River. He’s mostly visited friendly red states in the Southeast and the Northern industrial belt that he won, often holding political rallies indistinguishable from his campaign events. Of the 20 states that went to Clinton, Trump has been to eight.
The devastating wildfires that hit the state prompted a few sympathetic messages from Trump, and support for some disaster aid. But Trump did not visit, even as he traveled to Florida, Louisiana, Texas and Puerto Rico following devastating hurricanes this year.
Jim Brulte, chairman of the California Republican Party, said he was fine with Trump not traveling to the state.
“The president has a lot of things he has to do. We Californians are OK. We are used to being on the far end,” Brulte said.
“He’s the first president that’s got significant tax reform and restructured the federal courts in his first year. We’ll trade that for a visit to California any time,” he added.
Trump has made four foreign trips this year, but when he is in the United States, he doesn’t like staying away from the White House, the presidential retreat of Camp David, or one of his resort properties, typically in New Jersey, Virginia or Palm Beach, Florida.
If and when Trump does visit California, he would have one of his own places to visit. The Trump National Golf Club in Los Angeles, on the bluffs of Palos Verdes overlooking the Pacific Ocean, describes itself as the “ultimate Southern California destination.”