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"The Patented Trump Palaver": Time to Reread Singer!

Filed under: Looked Into   Tagged: , , , , ,

Emily Gordon writes:

Anyone who’s surprised by reports about Donald Trump’s wiggly business sense—and anyone who’ll enjoy a little extra schadenfreude and outrage in this crazy-making political season—need only read Marc Singer’s classic 1997 Profile of the three-card-monte king. A sample:
Months earlier, I’d asked Trump whom he customarily confided in during moments of tribulation. “Nobody,” he said. “It’s just not my thing”—a reply that didn’t surprise me a bit. Salesmen, and Trump is nothing if not a brilliant salesman, specialize in simulated intimacy rather than the real thing. His modus operandi had a sharp focus: fly the flag, never budge from the premise that the universe revolves around you, and, above all, stay in character. The Trump tour de force—his evolution from rough-edged rich kid with Brooklyn and Queens political-clubhouse connections to an international name-brand commodity—remains, unmistakably, the most rewarding accomplishment of his ingenious career. The patented Trump palaver, a gaseous blather of “fantastic”s and “amazing”s and “terrific”s and “incredible”s and various synonyms for “biggest,” is an indispensable ingredient of the name brand. In addition to connoting a certain quality of construction, service, and security—perhaps only Trump can explicate the meaningful distinctions between “super luxury” and “super super luxury”—his eponym subliminally suggests that a building belongs to him even after it’s been sold off as condominiums.
Here’s the rest. Enjoy.

And related, in Salon today: “The biggest political lesson of the Trump ‘campaign.’” As Alex Pareene writes, “Trump realized that even though his ego was pushing him further and further into politics, he is much better at cashing checks from NBC for playing a billionaire than actually being a billionaire real estate mogul.”

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2008 Webby Awards Official Honoree