Any major holiday is a call for festivities in the White House and St. Patrick’s Day is no exception. Although the rest of country is celebrating with parades and parties, the responsibilities of the office are heavy on this holiday. For every year, the Irish Ambassador to the US presents the president with a crystal bowl of shamrocks to represent the strong relationship between Ireland and the US.
Started in 1952, this yearly tradition has a unique history. As such, it’s expected that White House staff, the president's cabinet and the president himself would all be on their best behavior and perhaps weigh their words a little more heavily than normal.
Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case this St. Patrick’s Day as the ceremony and rest of the day’s themed activities were littered with poorly done accents, hideous green ties and stereotypical jokes.
Below are some of the noteworthy blunders made by President Trump and his staff over the holiday.
1. The Proverb
In an attempt to impress the Irish Prime Minister as a “Friends of Ireland” lunch, President Trump used a proverb in his speech. “Always remember to forget the friends that proved untrue. But never forget to remember those that have stuck by you,” he said. However, many Irish Twitter users expressed confusion and said they had never heard the proverb before.
A quick search online revealed that the line was eerily similar to a line of a poem written by a Nigerian man, Albasheer Adam Alhassan. The White House apologized soon after and explained that the proverb was provided as a “building block” by the State Department.
2. Paul Ryan And His Pint
At the same “Friends of Ireland” lunch, Paul Ryan went viral after supplying Twitter users with an image of him toasting with a Guinness beer. Characterized by its thick and foamy head, Ryan’s Guinness beer was sufficiently lacking and Twitter users had a field day with it.
"To what our forefathers have started and our children will continue, may the light always shine upon them. Sláinte," he said.
Though he delivered the final toast well and even included the proper pronunciation, it seems people are not too forgiving of that pint.
3. Sean Spicer’s Tie
In an attempt to appear festive for St. Patrick’s Day, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer wore a green tie for his daily press briefing on Thursday. While this isn’t unusual in itself, Spicer’s tie was apparently the same shade of green that is used for green screens and the internet figured it out. BuzzFeed’s Jesse McLaren used this to create a video that has since gone viral with over a million views.
4. Mike Pence
While questionable cultural jokes were present throughout all the St. Patrick’s Day events, Mike Pence started the day off with a particular cliché that deserves special attention. While hosting Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny for breakfast on Thursday, Pence started the affair with a questionable “top of the morning,” complete with a fake accent.
While Kenny simply laughed it off, Twitter users weren’t as forgiving.
5. “Make America Great Again” Hats
Featured in this Fresh U article, Trump stopped the sale of his St. Patrick’s Day-themed hats after critics pointed out the hats were embroidered with four-leaf clovers instead of shamrocks.
All in all, though the holiday wasn’t completed with as much finesse as one may hope, it seems all the politicians and their countries survived. Irish Prime Minister Kenny appeared quite forgiving of the various blunders and the rest of the day seemed to go off without a hitch.
Cheers to St. Patrick’s Day 2018 — hopefully we will learn from our mistakes.
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