“By all accounts,” Joshua Green reports at Bloomberg, former President Donald Trump’s post–White House life in Southern Florida “doesn’t resemble that of a typical ex-president so much as a foreign monarch cast into exile — like Napoleon at Elba, but with golf and a bigger buffet.” Trump isn’t just holding court at Mar-a-Lago, which he’s transformed into the new center of gravity for the Republican Party, Green writes. He’s also created “his own economy, providing livelihoods for his former aides,” who in turn “trumpet his gospel of stolen elections and Democratic conspiracies.”
“As Comic-Con does for actors past their prime, South Florida offers hardcore Trump fans a way to indulge their nostalgia and fawn over their favorite characters from the extended Trump Universe,” Green reports. And Trump himself is constantly “bathed in adulation. When he enters the dining room, people stand and applaud. When he returns from golf, he’s met with squeals and selfie requests. When he leaves Mar-a-Lago, he often encounters flag-waving throngs.”
Inside Mar-a-Lago, Trump will “show up for anything,” Green adds. “In recent weeks, Trump has popped into engagement parties and memorial services. A Mar-a-Lago member who recently attended a club gathering for a deceased friend was surprised when Trump sauntered in to deliver remarks and then hung around, apparently enjoying himself.”
Some Trump courtiers have moved to the Palm Beach area because they want to — Fox News hosts Sean Hannity and Neil Cavuto recently bought homes near Mar-a-Lago. Others, like former White House staffers who have been unable to get jobs after the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, “have nowhere else to go,” former Trump campaign aide Sam Nunberg told Bloomberg. “What else are they going to do?”
There are also signs the Trump adulation may not extend too far beyond the “Trump Coast,” however. The name “Donald” fell 55 places on the Social Security Administration’s 2020 list of popular baby names, coming in at a record-low 610th place, below Axton, Dariel, Marvin, and Brycen. Read more about Trump’s new realm at Bloomberg.