Trump's Vs. Obama's Easter Egg Roll Speeches Are Not On The Same Page

Chip Somodevilla; Win McNamee/Getty Images News/Getty Images

On Monday, the White House will hold one of its most time-honored traditions: The Easter Egg Roll. With a couple of wartime exceptions, the event has been held every year since 1878, and it usually features a speech by the incumbent president. It's probably no surprise that so far, Donald Trump's and Barack Obama's Easter Egg Roll speeches have been wildly different from one another — in more ways than one.

For instance, Obama's speeches were generally much shorter than Trump's. In most years, Obama only gave brief introductory remarks before handing the mic off to Michelle Obama, who then spoke for longer than the president had. Trump, by contrast, has given slightly longer speeches, and while Melania Trump did speak at the 2017 event, her comments were briefer than the president's. In 2018, Melania didn't say anything during the speech portion.

Just as notable is what the two men talked about. Obama rarely did more than thank attendees and staff, praise his wife and the military band present, and talk about how fun the event is. Trump's Easter Egg Roll speeches, meanwhile, occasionally veer into political territory or discuss topics unrelated to Easter, such as military funding or the physical condition of the White House building. Let's take a look at how the two presidents' Easter Egg Roll speeches have differed over the years.

Obama, 2014

Well, hello everybody. Is everybody having fun? Happy Easter. This is the biggest event that we have at the White House all year long, and it is our most fun event, because we have a chance to see families from all across the country coming through here. My main and only job, other than officiating over the roll at some point, is to introduce, alongside the Easter Bunny, the person who makes this all possible — we love her dearly — my wife, the First Lady, Michelle Obama.

Obama, 2015

We are so blessed to have this beautiful day and to have so many friends in our backyard! And Malia and Sasha, they had a little school stuff going on today, but they want to send their love. Bo and Sunny are here, along with the Easter Bunny. And this is always one of our favorite events. We hope you guys are having fun.

Obama, 2016

How's everybody doing today? Happy Easter! You guys brought the sun out, so we appreciate that so much. This is always one of our favorite events of the year. It's so much fun. And I don’t want to talk too long, but I do want to make sure that everybody thanks our outstanding Marine band, who does such a great job. I want to thank all the volunteers who have helped to make this day possible. Give them a huge round of applause. And I want to thank the First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama!

Trump, 2017

This is the 139th Easter Egg Roll. Think of it — 139. It began a long time ago — 1878. And we will be stronger and bigger and better as a nation than ever before. We’re right on track. You see what’s happening, and we’re right on track. So thank you, everybody, for being here.
... We’re going to do cards for soldiers in a little bit, Melania and Barron and myself. We’re going downstairs, we’re going to sign some cards to our great troops — they’re cards for troops — and we look forward to that. And then we’re going to come out and join you, and enjoy your company for a roll, a great Easter Egg Roll. And I don’t know if we’re going to be successful, but I know a lot of people down there are going to be successful. I’ve seen those kids, and they’re highly, highly competitive. That I can tell you.

Trump, 2018

I want to thank the White House Historical Association and all of the people that work so hard with Melania, with everybody, to keep this incredible house or building, or whatever you want to call it — because there really is no name for it; it is special — and we keep it in tip-top shape. We call it sometimes tippy-top shape. And it’s a great, great place.
... You look at the economy; you look at what’s happening. Nothing is ever easy, but we have never had an economy like we have right now. And we’re going to make it bigger and better and stronger. Our military is now at a level — will soon be at a level that it’s never been before. It’s a — you see what’s happening, and you see what’s happening with funding. The funding of our military was so important. And so many military people are with us today. So just think of $700 billion, because that’s all going into our military this year.

It's worth noting, of course, that Trump has only given two Easter Egg Roll speeches so far, compared with Obama's eight. But despite the relatively small sample size, it's clear that the two presidents, as with so many other things, have approached the event very differently.