As is standard custom for state funerals, the family of former President George H.W. Bush stayed at the Blair House—also known as the President's Guest House—in Washington D.C. while the family patriarch lies in state at the Capitol Rotunda. The Blair House is made up of four separate homes combined into one large guest accomodation for visiting dignitaries.
The Blair house sits kitty corner across the street from the White House, which prompted the United States government to purchase the four houses—Blair House, Lee House, Peter Parker House, and 704 Jackson Place—beginning in 1942 and merge them into one facility in the 1980s.
On Tuesday, President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump paid a visit to former President George W. and First Lady Laura Bush at Blair House. But rather than walk the 0.1 mile to the President's Guest House, the Trumps took a stretch limousine as part of an eight vehicle motorcade.
Blair House to White House route. (Google maps)
People took note of the motorcade immediately given the close proximity of the two residences.
Trump’s heading — by motorcade— to Blair House, the presidential guesthouse across Pennsylvania Avenue from the Whi… https://t.co/akvjRrTvkX— Jennifer Jacobs (@Jennifer Jacobs)1543959199.0
After about 20 minutes at Blair House, Trump’s back at the White House, via the Beast.— Jennifer Jacobs (@Jennifer Jacobs)1543960779.0
Trump took a motorcade to travel 0.1 mile https://t.co/DTzDNnDIQy— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar)1543967606.0
But some wondered if other Presidents walked there. It turns out they did and it was the primary reason for having the guest house be so close to the White House.
@jordandickerson @GeorgeTakei Obama did multiple times... as have other presidents... here's a map for reference, i… https://t.co/5qBqTNPnoe— Karen Hunter (@Karen Hunter)1544027779.0
The choice to not take a 2 minute, 0.1 mile walk raised eyebrows and questions.
@JenniferJJacobs Yet Bob Dole struggle and stood to salute President Bush. Surely Trump could cross the street😳— VA Cat Lady (@VA Cat Lady)1543964327.0
@JenniferJJacobs What, he can't walk across the street?— StPaulSue (@StPaulSue)1543976028.0
@JenniferJJacobs The distsnce from the White House to Blair House is probably shorter than the length of his motorcade.— Lisa Bridges (@Lisa Bridges)1543981180.0
People wondered if the aversion to walking indicated poor health.
@Bridoc10 @JenniferJJacobs that's assuming he could make the walk.— Brian (@Brian)1543962412.0
@MrBearMarshall @Bridoc10 @JenniferJJacobs No. He can't. He'd get lost!— RLewis 🔥#Kamala2020 (@RLewis 🔥#Kamala2020)1543979992.0
@ShihadehJohn @JenniferJJacobs He'd probably wander off and get lost if he tried walking it. (We should be so lucky.)— 🕸️🕷️ Azure Ghost 🕷️🕸️ (@🕸️🕷️ Azure Ghost 🕷️🕸️)1543967289.0
@JenniferJJacobs “239 pounds”— we got some asshole in the fucking white house (@we got some asshole in the fucking white house)1543963257.0
@JOHNFORELLI @JenniferJJacobs At Trump's sluggish pace, maybe 5 minutes. For anyone else, 2 minutes walk.— Susan W. (@Susan W.)1543962542.0
@PolicialCrazies @JenniferJJacobs But didn't Dr. Johnny say he was the healthiest man alive ?. .that he would live 100 years .— Judith Lombardi (@Judith Lombardi)1543974929.0
And this was not a singular event.
At another world gathering, the President skipped a walk to take a golf cart and drew criticism for the decision.
As Trump took a golf cart, Angela Merkel walked that shit in heels. https://t.co/LYDjirHSFa— shauna (@shauna)1495915382.0
@realDonaldTrump Super nice of Merkel to help you out when your golf cart wasn't available. https://t.co/koclKIOVbo— Holly Figueroa O'Reilly (@Holly Figueroa O'Reilly)1496279825.0
While in France for the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI, the President skipped a symbolic walk down the Champs-Élysées with French President Emmanuel Macron, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, British Prime Minister Theresa May and German Chancellor Angela Merkel as well as other world leaders.
That choice also drew anger from people in the United States and around the world.
Trump, Putin absent for leaders' symbolic walk in the rain up the Champs-Elysees to mark a century since the end of… https://t.co/nCKRhYxc0a— AFP news agency (@AFP news agency)1541998905.0
@Kitastep1 @MichaelWitschel @realDonaldTrump @VoteBradRaff He was scheduled to visit two American cemeteries, and t… https://t.co/NcEsIKjwKh— Craig Welch (@Craig Welch)1543937603.0
@NRATV @OliverLNorth When you refuse to honor fallen American heroes on Armistace Day in Paris because of a little… https://t.co/I20ciwPEat— Hannah's Meemaw 🆘 #ThisIsNotNormal #EndTheGOP (@Hannah's Meemaw 🆘 #ThisIsNotNormal #EndTheGOP)1543781993.0
The expense of the use of a motorcade over walking also drew ire.
@essenviews @HillBeverlyhill It’s a stones throw away for pity’s sake!! The walk would have been a beautiful humble… https://t.co/qFuS6CEBV8— Heather T. Lynn (@Heather T. Lynn)1543976019.0
@essenviews @HillBeverlyhill In addition this seems to be a pattern the last month. Trump was a no show at the Fren… https://t.co/JPYg4iLrQE— Heather T. Lynn (@Heather T. Lynn)1544021645.0
@JenniferJJacobs A 5 minute walk, but we don’t pay if he walks. Probably cost us $25,000 to give him a ride to the Blair House.— John Shihadeh (@John Shihadeh)1543966600.0
One Twitter user offered an alternate means of transportation.
@JenniferJJacobs can’t we just use a trebuchet??— Ann Ducommun (@Ann Ducommun)1543974250.0
President George H.W. Bush's state funeral is Wednesday at the National Cathedral, followed by a memorial service in Houston before he is laid to rest next to his beloved wife at his presidential library in College Station, Texas.