When the Queen of England died on Sept. 8, CNN did what it usually does in response to such milestones: It hauled out pundits to blather endlessly while saying nothing of substance. But even by these modest standards, Jeff Zeleny, the network’s chief national affairs correspondent, posited a scenario that stands out for its vapidity. He used the occasion to mount one of his ilk’s most prized hobbyhorses: The idea of a lost utopia of bipartisan comity that could be resurrected—if only Democratic politicians took an extra step and were kinder to their foes.
A CNN correspondent just suggested that President Biden should invite Trump to Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral. “Maybe in the spirit of forgiving and giving, President Biden will invite Donald Trump on the Air Force One.” pic.twitter.com/JI2BTynoUu
— No Lie with Brian Tyler Cohen (@NoLieWithBTC) September 10, 2022
While he was president, Zeleny noted, Barack Obama invited his living predecessors to travel to South Africa with him to attend the funeral of Nelson Mandela. Wouldn’t it be nice, Zeleny mused, if “in the spirit of forgiving and giving,” President Joe Biden were to reprise Obama’s presidential gesture and invite Donald Trump to join him on an Air Force One, to cross the Atlantic to mourn the fallen monarch. Zeleny did not mention the remarkably awkward stroll Trump once took with Queen Elizabeth.
Here’s the cringe worthy moment when worldwide embarrassment, Donald Trump, walked in front of Queen Elizabeth. 🤦🏻 pic.twitter.com/OocRhA2mjZ
— cαηα∂α нαтεs тя☭мρ (@Trump_Detester) September 8, 2022
Even as he aired the proposal, Zeleny seemed to acknowledge how preposterous it was. Furrowing his brow, Zeleny allowed, “I doubt it will happen.” Still, he’s left us to imagine the rhetorical (and perhaps physical) bare-knuckled septuagenarian cage match at 40,000 feet that would ensue if Biden and Trump were trapped on a trans-Atlantic flight.