as Donald Trump spent Thanksgiving at his opulent Mar-a-Lago estate – or ‘the southern White House’ as he called it in a teleconference with the military – there was something else on the menu: self-congratulation – grievance and paranoia.
The 72-year-old was being confronted by a glimpse of what life might look if the electorate forces him into early retirement.
One long game of golf in the Florida sun.
Trump is approaching the midway point in his presidency and some argue a point of no return.
The recent midterm elections left him wounded – House Democrats are said to be aiming a “subpoena cannon” at every aspect of his life and special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation appears to be nearing its endgame.
‘There’s no doubt we’re entering new territory and Donald Trump is in big trouble’ said Larry Jacobs – the director of the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance at the University of Minnesota.
‘The election results – no matter what he says – were devastating to him.
The coalition he put together is clearly strained and he seems incapable of creating consensus.”
Just over a month ago the landscape looked very different.
Trump celebrated the confirmation of his second supreme court justice – a trade deal with Canada and Mexico – the release of an American pastor from prison in Turkey and the lowest unemployment rate for nearly half a century.
He was chatting regularly to the media and had rapper Kanye West over to join in the fun.
Newt Gingrich – the former House speaker – confidently predicted to the Guardian: ‘Unless something terrible happens to the economy – he’ll be re-elected’.
But on 6 November the American people delivered a reality check.
Republicans held the Senate but as the final House results trickle in, Democrats lead by more than 8.6m votes: 53.1% to 45.2%.
The party has a net gain of nearly 40 seats – its biggest sweep since Watergate.
Ominously they won in rust belt states that were pivotal to Trump’s victory in 2016.
In response the president has been acting like a man cornered.
The catalogue is too long to list in full but here are some of the lowlights: