Trump and Obama: A tale of two presidents’ very different holiday messages
President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and daughters Sasha and Malia wait with former President George W. Bush, former First Lady Laura Bush prior to the walking across the he Edmund Pettus Bridge to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery civil rights marches, in Selma, Alabama, March 7, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

President Donald Trump posted his Thanksgiving message to Twitter Thursday morning. It was a photo of the President and First Lady earlier in the week, pardoning the turkeys in front of an audience in the Rose Garden of the White House.


“Melania and I wish all Americans a very Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving!” in a graphic. “HAPPY THANKSGIVING!” in all-caps was the text of the tweet.

Trump clearly is targeting only Americans – his message is not intended to apply to all people living in America. Advancing his self-professed policy of “nationalism” – some say, in general, white nationalism – non-citizen immigrants, regardless of legal status, are not included in his well-wishes.

The President also very intentionally injected a note of religious importance into his message: “a very Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving!”

Meanwhile, also on Thursday morning, former President Barack Obama sent the nation a Thanksgiving message, far different from the Oval Office’s current occupant.

It includes a photo of the Obama family helping to feed the needy and the homeless on the day before Thanksgiving, 2014.

The message: “Today, we give thanks for our blessings, give back to those around us, and enjoy some time — and turkey, and maybe a little football — with the ones we love. From the Obama family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving.”

It’s a much more active message, inspiring participation and the giving of thanks. He is leading by example. The message is one of service to others, an embrace of diversity, and caring for all, especially those in need.

The caption from the White House’s page for that photo reads: “Ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, the First Family continued their annual tradition by participating in a service project. This year’s project was at Bread for the City — a Southeast Washington, D.C. charity dedicated to providing Washington’s most vulnerable residents with food, clothing, and other services.”

And while Obama used the word “blessings,” it is far more secular, as in something to be grateful for, as opposed to a “blessed Thanksgiving,” which is more religious and more passive.

Dressed in a sweater, President Obama is shaking the hand of a young girl.

Dressed in a suit and coat, President Trump is separated from the people, by the trappings of the presidency.

President Obama signs his message, “From the Obama family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving.”

President Trump signs his message, “President Donald J. Trump.” The presidential seal is lightly watermarked on the tweet.

The response to their messages is also of note.

As of this writing President Trump’s tweet has nearly 75,000 likes and 13,900 retweets.

President Obama’s tweet has nearly 153,000 likes and 17,600 retweets.