Ah, springtime in Bedminster, NJ. Winter horse blankets have been cleaned and stowed. Peekytoe crab and sauteed ramps are in season in the town’s finest restaurant. Over at the golf course, the flower beds are planted, the greens brushed and rolled.
And the Secret Service snipers have scoped out their positions around the clubhouse and Presidential Villa.
With the leader of the free world poised to turn the posh Trump National Golf Club-Bedminster into his “Summer White House,” neighbors and members are bracing for an onslaught of news trucks, security checkpoints, traffic jams and rifle-toting dudes with earpieces.
Don’t get them wrong — many here love President Trump.
They’re proud that he’s chosen their leafy, horsey, pricey burg as his weekend getaway. They’re honored that world events may be determined within the confines of their 26-square-mile community.
But this is Bedminster — overwhelmingly Republican, privileged and so deep in horse country that it’s not uncommon in the fall months to see fox hounds bounding through the newly mown hayfields, pursued by riders in jaunty red dressage coats.
So if crowds of liberal protesters start crowding the hedgerows, the Trump-love could fade quickly.
“I have a message for the president: We are extremely flattered that he chose Bedminster as his Camp David,” longtime resident Zaheer Jan, 86, said.
“But please, please, think of the people,” the retired engineer said.
“I wouldn’t want anybody to have this conversation: ‘I have to get home. I have to go shopping. My mother is sick,’ and hear in reply, ‘Sorry, the president is here. You can’t go.’ ”
Back when he was merely “The Donald,” members of Trump’s 500-acre golf club were used to the billionaire developer’s jovial presence. They say Trump, who has owned it since 2002, would call to say hello — and to remind them to renew their memberships.
Even during Trump’s candidacy, the security vibe was mellow.