On Monday, December 7, 2020, Ivanka Trump shared a photo from July 2020 on Twitter of her father, President Donald J. Trump, posing by Mount Rushmore which caused quite the outrage. Mount Rushmore is a famous landmark in South Dakota which showcases the faces of four previous presidents, George Washington, Theodore Roosevelt, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln. Ivanka captioned the photo as “simply amazon.” The tweet was seen in poor taste by many who felt that President Trump and his administration should be focusing more on stopping the spread of Covid-19 instead of posting old photo-ops. Considering all things equally, it is not surprising that many took to Twitter to voice their frustration of America being in the middle of a global Coronavirus pandemic and seemingly lagging behind other countries when it comes to approving a vaccine for its citizens including Canada, The United Kingdom, and the President’s daughter posting old photo-ops while Americans are waiting for a vaccine.
It is worth noting that President Trump has been previously reported to have indicated a desire to be added to the sculpture of American History. Then congresswoman and current Governor of South Dakota Kristi Noem recalls inviting President Trump to South Dakota to see Mount Rushmore, and the President informing her that it was his dream to have his face added to the monument. When asked about the Governor’s assertions, President Trump does admit that he has made the statement before, however, he insures that it was made in jest. Governor Noem, however, recalls the conversation differently and believes that the President was completely serious. It is worth noting that Governor Kristi Noem also has her own controversy with Mount Rushmore tying back to when she orchestrated an event at Mount Rushmore during the Coronavirus Pandemic that had travelers driving through the Lakota Sioux reservation against their objections.
Maureen McGee-Ballinger is a public relations officer for Mount Rushmore. She recalls receiving daily requests to add President Trump’s likeness to Mount Rushmore, though she admits that even if they were so inclined to do so, there simply is not enough available stone left to add anything else to the monument. According to her when visitors look at Mount Rushmore from afar there seems to be available space on the left of George Washington or to the right of Abraham Lincoln. This is somewhat of an illusion though. The space to the right is actually a completely separate rock and the space to the left is not carvable. Maureen McGee-Ballinger also admits that in addition to receiving frequent requests to add President Trump to the monument, they have also had calls to add President Ronald Reagan and President Barack Obama, but alas there is simply no space.