Thursday, August 4, 2016

Trump by one who knows him

My good friend Alan Marcus, an astute political analyst for decades, a successful public relations guru, a former Nixon advisor and a former PR firm for Donald Trump has written a post about DJT that should be read by all. I have his permission to repost on this blog.

“A quick review of events of the past 48 hours will show why Donald Trump can never be President.  And, I won’t even address the idiocy of his attacks on the Khan family.  They speak for themselves.  Suffice it to say, if Khan versus Trump was a prize fight it could never be licensed by boxing officials in New Jersey.  Mismatch.  I’m not going to raise his draft status and ridiculous remarks while accepting the gift of a purple heart.  They, too, speak for themselves and, anyway, the VFW has spoken clearly.  And, I’m not going to dissect DJT’s ridiculous attacks on Republican candidates and officials who he has singled out for vitriol because they have offended him by, frankly, not being as offensive as him.  That conduct would get a 12 year old a “time out.”

No, this goes beyond DJT’s inability to stop digging even though the hole is impossible to escape.  Many months – seems like an eternity ago – I posted on Facebook Joseph Welch’s infamous, eight minute entreaty to Joseph McCarthy,  best known by “…at long last…have you no shame?” We’re long past the Welch analogy.

So what’s happened in the past two days to trigger this rant?  Warren Buffett and Ivanka Trump.  First, Buffett.

Buffett correctly states that Trump’s publicly traded company (Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts/New York Stock Exchange) lost money for ten years, that investors got killed (at a time when the stock market was at its hottest).  In full disclosure, I was a “friends and family” holder of “Trump” stock and, fortunately, only lost my shirt (i.e., did better than the $.10 on the dollar Buffet noted).  But the real issue is what Trump says about it,  paraphrasing,  “I (emphasis on I) did very well in Atlantic City.”  Yes, he did.  But what about the shareholders and bondholders (to say nothing of the vendors who got stiffed or were forced to take huge financial haircuts)?  Trump only sees the casino company through the prism of Trump and fails to address his role as Chairman of a publicly traded company.  Shouldn’t that make one wonder how he’d lead a nation? 

Yes, “Trump” was saddled with debt which contributed significantly to the company’s poor results.  But that debt was the result of transactions which bailed out Trump personally.  Coupled with money upstreamed to Trump and the shareholders and bond holders never had a chance.  As DJT might say, “it was a rigged system.”

Incredibly, he is never called on this.  In the very first debate last August Chris Wallace questioned Trump on his four bankruptcies.  After disputing whether he was ever bankrupt and taking credit for being smart and playing the system to his advantage he browbeat Wallace to the point that he missed the obvious follow-up:  Mr. Trump, if you did so well, what happened to the shareholders and bondholders?”  My granddaughter, Peyton, a very promising communications major at USC asked the question that Wallace should have drilled in on,  “PopPop” she asked, “isn’t there a disconnect between the company being bankrupt and the ‘owner’ claiming he made lots of money?” Bingo, Peyton.  You got it.  The national media must have missed their class in Finance 101.

Trump doesn’t care about Buffett.  Well, here’s an exercise for the financial press.  Why not track the stock price of “Trump” casinos versus Buffett’s (Berkshire Hathaway’s) holdings in publicly traded companies he controls?  Donald, here’s a hint.  Buffett may not be as sympathetic but he’s as tough as Khan.  It’s a fight you don’t want.

What does this have to do with Ivanka Trump?  Plenty.  First, Ivanka has always been sophisticated beyond her years, bright and “the favored one.”  Growing up in the crucible of her parents highly public divorce in a city which thrives on gossip and celebrity she’s become something of a model citizen.  So it comes as no surprise that the media spoke directly to her after her father suggested that victims of sexual harassment should resolve the issue by leaving their jobs.  Ivanka noted that she was in fact the victim of harassment while visiting construction sites (not a very unusual occurrence for any experienced in passing by construction sites in New York).  But what Ivanka then said is astonishing and proves that she is in fact her father’s daughter.  “…they apologized profusely once they found out I was the boss’s daughter…”  Ok, Ivanka.  So there are two standards, one for the boss’s daughter and one for everyone else?  How Trumpian!  While I don’t really care to pick on Ivanka her carefree statement is too important to gloss over.  In the world of Trump there’s “Trump” and then there’s everyone else. 

Have voters in the United States ever been confronted by a candidate who puts his self interest above the national interest?  Have voters ever had a worse choice? Two deeply flawed candidates in a race to the bottom. 

In the few minutes it’s taken to draft this essay there have probably been additional eruptions that make these examples seem minor. That’s the essence of the problem.  The good news is that the media appears to have recovered from being under DJT’s “ether” (a term he loved) and has finally started to report rather than simply repeat his outrageous, baseless claims.  Actually, there’s one claim that isn’t baseless.  He did receive more votes than any other Republican has ever scored in a presidential primary season.   G_d save us.”

Alan C. Marcus
President & CEOOverlook At Great Notch,150 Clove Road, Little Falls, NJ 07424Phone: 973-890-9590  l  Fax: 973-890-9130E-mail  I   Website  I   LinkedIn  I  Facebook  I  Twitter

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