“News that US President Donald Trump will not be coming here in November met with a range of reactions from bewilderment to joy.”
That is how The Journal, Ireland’s leading online news platform, described the White House U-turn on a planned trip to the Emerald Isle by the US president.
Arguably the most interesting aspect of the story, however, is how the Irish government was thrown into confusion as it “scrambled to find details from their US counterparts as to whether the trip was postponed or cancelled.”
There was no clear answer from the White House on the subject. And that has led some to speculate that Trump himself likely cancelled the trip, having got wind of strong anti-Trump Irish sentiment. That may also explain why his his staff appeared to hastily place the blame for the cancellation on “scheduling issues” without explaining what those scheduling issues were exactly.
Whilst anti-Trump sentiment in the UK is not exactly what one might call negligible, Americans who look across the water essentially see the British as a mirror image of themselves. British hostility to Trump, then, is largely seen as a natural extension of the same hostility that Trump enjoys at home.
Ireland, on the other hand, appears in what is arguably a different light for Americans – a historical underdog of affable Guinness drinkers that enjoys a near flawless reputation on the international stage. There appears to be a strong argument that Trump simply wouldn’t want his own core support to be exposed to what would likely be lavish, confusing waves of green opposition to a Trump visit to Dublin.
And in that context, Paddy Power’s current odds of a Trump no-show in Ireland for the remainder of his first term seems particularly generous at 6/4 – equating to a 40% probability for such an outcome which, if the speculation is correct, seems grossly under-stated.