Trump’s Damaged Brand

Donald Trump is losing something much more important to him that an election.

donald-trump-hotels

I have long wondered whether Donald Trump was really running for president. His undisciplined, unconventional style seemed more designed to garner him publicity than votes. Regardless, it seems pretty clear that he will not only not win the presidency, but lose in rather spectacular fashion. And, while his name ID is almost certainly higher than ever, his brand is permanently damaged.

A new report in Travel & Leisure:

Amidst reports that occupancy rates at Trump Hotels have slipped this election season, the company has announced that new brand hotels will no longer bear the Trump name.

The newest line of luxury hotels, geared towards millennials, will be called Scion, the company said.

“We wanted a name that would be a nod to the Trump family and to the tremendous success it has had with its businesses, including Trump Hotels, while allowing for a clear distinction between our luxury and lifestyle brands,” Trump Hotels CEO Eric Danziger said in a statement.

Although Trump Hotels has said the new name has nothing to do with the eponymous businessman’s presidential campaign, empty rooms at the hotels have caused officials “to reduce rates during the peak season,” according to New York Magazine.

Nightly rates at the newly-opened Trump International Hotel in D.C. plummeted below $500 while practically every other five-star property was sold out for the International Monetary Fund conference two weeks ago. And after his remarks about Mexican immigrants, two celebrity chefs backed out of their contracts to open a restaurant in the hotel.

According to Hipmunk, bookings at Trump Hotels plummeted 59 percent during the first half of 2016 and data from Foursquare shows a 17 percent drop in foot traffic at Trump properties since June 2015, when the reality TV star announced his presidential bid.

While I suppose Trump is more popular than ever with a large swath of the population, they’re mostly from segments unlikely to stay in luxury hotels. Beyond that, his anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, and anti-women comments and actions have made him radioactive. There’s no way NBC could get away with reviving the “Apprentice” franchise. Or that the PGA can go back to Doral and any other Trump golf course.

Before his presidential run, the “Trump” brand connoted a certain Vegas-Jersey style of gauche luxury. Now, it’s something worse than merely tacky.

It’s going to get worse rather than better. Not only is he likely to further damage his image in the closing days of the campaign as he gets even nastier out of desperation but losing far worse than Mitt Romney or John McCain will replace whatever “winning” connotation was associated with the “Trump” name.

FILED UNDER: *FEATURED, Campaign 2016, US Politics
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Mu says:

    Makes you wonder how long until Priceline’s mystery hotel adds will get a line “not a Trump property”.

  2. Mark Ivey says:

    Trump Tower in Las Vegas becomes Scion Tower.. :))

  3. MBunge says:

    The latest Reuters/Ipsos poll has Trump cutting Hillary’s lead in half, trailing her 44-40. And while Hillary is likely going to win, Trump probably won’t lose any worse than McCain did in 2008. As for damaging his brand, ye olde apology tour will take care of a good bit of that…presuming Trump doesn’t plan an “I told you so” rematch in 2020.

    Mike

  4. Tony W says:

    @MBunge:

    ye olde apology tour will take care of a good bit of that

    Where do you get the idea that Trump is capable of self-reflection and apology?

  5. CSK says:

    There are no circumstances under which Trump would apologize for anything, ever, because nothing is ever his fault or responsibility. When he loses the election on November 8, it won’t be because he was a buffoon/charlatan/vulgarian/dullard who ran an incompetent campaign, it will be because the media made him look bad, because establishment Republicans betrayed him, and because Hillary cheated and the DNC rigged the voting system.

    And his moronic fan club will believe him.

  6. MarkedMan says:

    The Scion thing may be a desperation move. We don’t know how much of any of those hotels Trump actually owns. They could be just renting his name. That name might have been worth something once, but Scion?

    If their hotel business is different from the condo business and they actually build, manage and run the hotels, it begs the question: who is fronting the money? It’s been widely reported that Trump hasn’t been able to get a construction loan from a bank since before the turn of the century. So who is it? Russian mafia? Is that why he goes so far out of his way to kiss up to the Russian regime?

  7. CarolDuhart2 says:

    I’m just waiting for the inevitable sell-off and renaming of his properties. Trump may never apologize, but his future (not all that future-he’s 70 with hidden issues) heirs may see their only way to actually have something to inherit is to sell off as much as they can. And the sharks will, or already probably are, swimming around Trump’s sinking boat. They are just waiting to see what happens 11/8 before making offers and if he actually creates that toxic channel of his.

  8. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Tony W:

    I’ve known the man professionally now for over a decade, and based on that I feel comfortable saying with certainty that he’s incapable of either.

    Not unwilling. Incapable.

  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Karma, thou art a cold heartless beach.

  10. @MBunge:

    The latest Reuters/Ipsos poll has Trump cutting Hillary’s lead in half, trailing her 44-40. And while Hillary is likely going to win, Trump probably won’t lose any worse than McCain did in 2008.

    Perhaps. But I would not predicate predictions on one poll. At the moment, the panoply of polling indicates a worse loss. If anything, if he loses Arizona or some other “red” state, the narrative will be dire.

    As for damaging his brand, ye olde apology tour will take care of a good bit of that…presuming Trump doesn’t plan an “I told you so” rematch in 2020.

    I suspect that the institutional GOP will attempt to move heaven and earth in regards to the primary rules and candidate recruitment to do whatever they can to forestall that. Plus, loser tend, historically, to very poorly in rematches.

    I suspect the Trump TV route is a more likely next step, as it is a way to monetize his following.

  11. CSK says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Naming a hotel chain “Scion” is exactly what tacky people would think of as “classy.”

  12. Liberal Capitalist says:

    When a ball is thrown, there is an expected trajectory.

    We’ve learned a lot about Donald and the Trump family. And it comes as no surprise that the brand is “damaged”, as it became obvious that it was damaged from the start.

    I ran across this yesterday, and believe that it would be germane: Richard Branson discussing his meetings with Donald Trump and later comparing that to a meeting with Hillary Clinton:

    Branson meeting Trump

    So, we know the outcome, as the ball continues further and further in its trajectory.

    Following the election, the Trump family should find a nice island for him, and leave it there so that they can potentially repair their brand and effectively leave Donald out of the picture. However, Trump’s Razor (to use a TPM term – implying doing the absolute dumbest possible thing in a situation) will result in Trump making a massive ass of himself after the election, blaming the American voters for their lack of turnout for him.

    Poor Richie Rich.

  13. CSK says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    The thing about the Trump Television Network is that it’s going to be fantastically expensive to set up, and Trump doesn’t like to spend his own money. So he’ll have to find some major backers, but will anyone with serious money want to front such a dubious proposition?

    He could go the way of Sarah Palin, and charge $9.99 a month for a subscription to an Internet tv channel–but then again, the Sarah Palin Channel on Tapp TV flopped miserably after only a few months. And remember what a big fan base she had once? Apparently not big enough or flush enough to spend $9.99 a month.

  14. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @MBunge:

    I can’t help but notice that you’ve pivoted from citing 2012 to 2008. I suppose that pointing out the narrow polling margin versus the results in 2012 got through the fog of CDS.

    Obama won in 2008 by a popular vote margin of 7.2%, and an electoral vote margin of 35.7%.

    Oh, and we picked up 8 seats in the Senate & 21 in the House in that election (and control of both).

    You’re moving in the wrong direction

  15. Pch101 says:

    @MarkedMan:

    New trendy hotel brands are all the rage. Boutique hotels have gone mainstream and the established players are trying to create their own niche brands in order to capture that audience, a bit like major breweries getting into the (faux-)craft beer business.

    Now that Trump’s name is toxic, his team will need to play catch-up, as it has an additional motive to get into that game. And now that the part of his real estate business that is centered around licensing his name is imploding, he’ll have no choice but to start Trump TV or whatever other media plan that he has.

  16. Franklin says:

    The newest line of luxury hotels, geared towards millennials, will be called Scion, the company said.

    After the discontinued cheap Toyota brand? Bwaahahaha … sorry, but that sounds like about the worst name for a line of luxury hotels that I can think of right now.

    Everybody associated with Trump seems to be completely tone deaf.

  17. EddieInCA says:

    @MBunge:

    Mike,

    Don’t fight math. You sound like a Bernie Bro, hanging on to whatever shred of an argument you can make to show Clinton in a negative light. Stop it, man.

    We get that you don’t like her. We. Get. It.

    She’s the Devil incarnate in your eyes. I understand that. But the fact remains that she’s probably going to win more than 350 electoral votes, and win going away. And if she wins Georgia, they’re going to call the race very early on Nov. 8th.

  18. humanoid.panda says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    The latest Reuters/Ipsos poll has Trump cutting Hillary’s lead in half, trailing her 44-40. And while Hillary is likely going to win, Trump probably won’t lose any worse than McCain did in 2008.

    If you look at the daily breakdown of that poll on 538, you will see its 4 days samples move from Hillary +2 on October 14-18, Hillary +6 on October 15-19, to Hillary +9 on October 16-20. In other words, all this movement is nothing but flotsam.

  19. michael reynolds says:

    The Trump brand was always tacky. If you want a luxury hotel chain you go Peninsula, Four Seasons, Ritz Carlton or Mandarin. In Vegas there are many better choices than Trump. No one but a midwestern lottery winner would deliberately pick Trump.

  20. CSK says:

    @Pch101:

    Again, if Trump’s name is toxic–and I believe it has become so–what smart investor is going to want to throw money at the Trump Television Network?

    It would be like investing in a restaurant chain that insists on calling itself “Lousy Food.”

  21. michael reynolds says:

    Oh, and if you have the choice, go Sofitel. 90% of what you get at a Peninsula but for only 70% of the price.

  22. humanoid.panda says:

    @humanoid.panda: And as for branding: the problem for Trump is that his hotels/housing developments charge premium prices. His supporters can’t pay those prices, and people who used to will now suffer reputational damages if they do. (Imagine being a corporate group holding an event in a Trump hotel now, unless you are in the gun industry..)

  23. CSK says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Yep. The people who’d want to stay in a Trump Hotel can’t afford it, and those who can afford it wouldn’t be caught dead in a Trump Hotel.

  24. Pch101 says:

    @CSK:

    Just as long as Trump can lose the election without looking like a loser among his fans, Trump will have a great name to lend to a right-wing cable channel. But it won’t be a name that will have value on a hotel or condo tower.

    So you can expect the “stolen election” rhetoric to be on the front burner. He didn’t lose, he was ripped off by evil pinko commie libtards!

  25. MBunge says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    Dude, you need to spend as little time thinking about me as I do about you. I reference 2008 because it looks like Trump is going to lose worse than Romney, the last Republican who was so terrible no one could possibly vote for him, and instead lose like McCain, the Republican before that who was so terrible no one could possibly vote for him. But the evidence indicates that he isn’t going to lose as badly as Dole, who I don’t believe was ever characterized as “so terrible no one could possibly vote for him” because he was so far behind that assassinating his character wasn’t necessary. And even if Trump helps flip the Senate to the Democrats, he still won’t have done as poorly as Goldwater, who was the original Republican who was so terrible no one could possibly vote for him.

    And I think it’s pretty funny that anyone thinks Trump, who spent most of his adult life having good relationships with people throughout our political/media elite, is somehow beyond rehabilitation. But let’s go with that idea. Donald Trump is forced to retire/is bought out. His name is stripped from buildings and he is relegated to the status of social pariah, fit only to be mocked and insulted by comedians with low-rated cable TV shows.

    So, we’ll have a man of great drive, ambition and ego who has seen his life’s work ruined and is facing the end of his days with nothing but rage and bitterness in his heart and several billion dollars to play with. Congratulations! We’ve just created a super-villain!

    Mike

  26. CSK says:

    @Pch101:

    Oh, well, of course we know he’s going to be ripped off by libtards and their evil minions in the press. That goes without saying. Right?

    And yes, I can see the Trump TV network offering a safe haven for those who now think that Fox News is an arm of the Clinton campaign. But again, it’s very expensive to set up and run something like this, and since Trump’s name appears to be mud among U.S. bankers, who’s going to subsidize it? The First National Bank of Moscow?

  27. MBunge says:

    @EddieInCA:

    You guys need to stop worrying about me and start thinking about the fact that the world is not going to blow up 5 minutes after they call the race and declare Hillary Clinton is going to be the next President.

    Is a new era of peace and real prosperity about to descend on the United States? Unlikely.
    Is Hillary as good a politician as Obama? No. Is she as good as her husband? Is she as good as George W. Bush? Probably not.
    Are the clear majority of Americans who’ve been saying for over a year they don’t want Hillary to be President suddenly going to fall in love with her when she takes the oath of office? No.
    Are there going to be scandals aplenty during the Clinton Restoration? Almost certainly.
    Does Hillary still fundamentally accept the foreign policy consensus that helped make Libya, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan such resounding “successes” and midwifed the birth of one increasingly radical Islamic terror movement after another? Yep.

    I hope I’m wrong. I’d rather things go well and I have to swallow my personal aggravation. I will confess, though, that there will be a great deal of petty satisfaction in seeing the long-delayed karma of the late 90s come full circle.

    Mike

  28. Pch101 says:
  29. Jen says:

    If Trump is forced to sell his properties, I think there is a rather long line of banks waiting to get their money back. I do wonder how much Deutche Bank has sunk into this Master of Debt.

    Much of his purported wealth has been propped up by his own personal assessment of his brand’s worth. If his brand isn’t worth much of anything, AND he has to service all of that debt he’s accumulated, I think it’s a stretch to imagine he’s going to have billions of dollars stacked up to wreak havoc.

    If he did enter the race thinking he’d be able to coast a few months, build a following and then retreat to create a cash cow media empire, he has really bitten off way more than he could chew. And he’s alienated a good chunk of the people who apparently did go to his properties. Talk about the world’s worst read of a situation.

  30. CSK says:

    @Pch101:

    Interesting. Thanks for providing the link. What’s in it for these people pouring so much money into what they must know is a losing campaign, though? They could have waited til November 9, bought Trump then, and saved themselves a substantial chunk of change.

  31. dxq says:

    No one but a midwestern lottery winner would deliberately pick Trump.

    Elitist!

  32. John McCain was trying win a Third Consecutive Presidential election for his own party – it´s very difficult for a party to win three consecutive Presidential Elections(Both Clinton and Eisenhower did not manage to make their successors). And that during a Financial Crisis.

    Mitt Romney was trying to unseat a incumbent President, and most Presidents are reelected.

    Trump is running against a Democratic Candidate trying to win a Third Consecutive President for his own party, the economy is OK, but not booming. Under normal circumstances the Republicans should be favored to win, you can´t compare Trump to McCain and Romney, that faced much tougher circumstances.

  33. JKB says:

    What is amusing is all the previous lamenting of the tone of this campaign and the apparent fact that there won’t be a coming together when it is decided. Yet, here we see it is the DemProgs who not only won’t deign to step foot in a Trump property, but also run a brownshirt operation to ensure no one else does.

    So which party is the party of irreconcilable animosity?

  34. wr says:

    @MBunge: “So, we’ll have a man of great drive, ambition and ego who has seen his life’s work ruined and is facing the end of his days with nothing but rage and bitterness in his heart and several billion dollars to play with. Congratulations! We’ve just created a super-villain!”

    What, are we now supposed to feel sorry for this thug who has spent his life stealing from his workers and investors? Are we supposed to be so impressed by his drive and ambition that we ignore all the harm he’s been willing to do to satisfy him?

    What you’re giving us is a variation on the speech at the end of The Caine Mutiny defending Queeg. Only the defense of Queeg was that crazy and paranoid as he was, he’d devoted his life to keeping the country safe in a time of war. Trump has ducked any kind of service to anyone but himself. If he choked to death on a wad of cash, the world would be no less good a place.

    Look, as has been said many times before, no one cares that you’re going to vote for Trump. You can stop trying to find ways to rationalize it.

  35. Pch101 says:

    @Jen:

    The hotels can be rebranded. There actually has never been a better time to do that, given what is happening in the hotel industry.

    The greatest challenge is Trump allowing his ego to prevent the effort, as seeing his name on display seems to be personal with him, not just business.

    @CSK:

    Wealthy people like to have influence, and tend to throw money behind causes that they support. I would presume that Mercer invested in Breitbart in order to influence public opinion, not just to make a buck.

    The fact that Fox News is profitable doesn’t hurt, either. Money can be made from shrill right-wing ideology.

  36. Jen says:

    @JKB:

    Yet, here we see it is the DemProgs who not only won’t deign to step foot in a Trump property, but also run a brownshirt operation to ensure no one else does.

    You are familiar with the #NeverTrump movement, I presume?

    If you think that progressive Democrats find Trump distasteful, you might want to check out what many Republicans are saying about him. And these aren’t “just” the establishment types–there are plenty of Ted Cruz supporters who remain convinced their candidate would have won had Trump not destroyed the party. Don’t throw this candidate’s business problems at the feet of Dems, when there are so many Republicans furious at him.

  37. JKB says:

    I would also point out the absurdity of believing that people aren’t misleading the pollsters while at the same time reveling in the fact that there is such a significant threat to people’s business and social lives they avoid anything with Trump’s name on it.

    Of course, DemProgs are big on intellectual inconsistencies, such believing taxing soda, i.e., raising the price, will reduce the consumption of soda, but mandating higher minimum wages, i.e., raising the price of unskilled labor, won’t reduce the use of unskilled labor.

  38. JKB says:

    @Jen:

    Well, so far, we don’t have a vide of Republican #NeverTrumpers planning to hire individuals to attack Trump supporters and provoke violence at Trump rallies.

    But we do have that for the Democrat/Progressives. And the man who fell on his sword for that operation is the husband of a Democratic Congresswoman and visited the White House a few hundred times. Oh, and while no smoking gun, there are indications of direct linkage to Hillary’s campaign.

  39. wr says:

    @JKB: I’m glad you posted this, because there’s something I’ve always wondered: Are people like you actually stupid enough to believe anything in O’Keefe’s obviously doctored videos or do you understand they’re frauds but use them to annoy people anyway?

  40. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @JKB:

    I can’t help but find amusing this sort of Uncle Tom defense you have going on for a guy who wouldn’t deign to speak to you on the street unless he wanted something from you.

  41. anjin-san says:

    @MBunge:

    who has seen his life’s work ruined

    If Trump’s life work has been “ruined” is is by his own hand. An utter inability to restrain one’s ego and word can do that..

  42. CSK says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    This. Trump supporters have no idea of how contemptuous their savior is of them.

    Sad, as Trump himself would say.

  43. michael reynolds says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    What do you expect from people who think the way to fix the economy is to give you and me big tax cuts on the theory that if we have extra money lying around we’ll hire JKB.

  44. Gustopher says:

    @MBunge:

    Does Hillary still fundamentally accept the foreign policy consensus that helped make Libya, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan such resounding “successes” and midwifed the birth of one increasingly radical Islamic terror movement after another? Yep

    What policy should we have in the Middle East that would reduce the chaos? Note that I am not asking what mistakes have been made, as we would just keep going back further and further in time — but, going forward, what should we be doing?

    Is there a policy that smooths over the internal conflicts in Afghanistan? Something that makes the tribal areas and the government controlled cities become a seemless society?

    What do we do with Syria, and a many way civil war with the Russians backing a brutal dictator, our good friends the Kurds being bombed by our NATO ally Turkey, and ISIS going around beheading people?

  45. gVOR08 says:

    @Franklin: Yeah, It worked so well for Toyota, and nobody knows how to pronounce it. Brilliant.

  46. JKB says:

    As opposed to your support for a woman who wouldn’t deign to speak to you in your own home unless you slip her foundation a little lot of cash?

  47. gVOR08 says:

    @JKB: This stuff works just like the First Amendment. You can say almost anything you want and the government can’t throw you in jail for it. But the public are allowed to draw the obvious conclusion that you’re an odious, short-fingered vulgarian and punish you as they wish.

  48. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @JKB: @JKB:

    You’re starting to get it. I can write that check. You can’t. You’ve mistaken pandering for concern. I have no such illusions about the pay to play nature of politics.

    But I’m a member of the club. You aren’t. I’m supporting someone who wants to tax me more in order to try to help persons like yourself. You’re supporting someone who wants to tax himself (and me, and Reynolds) less so that we don’t have to help persons like yourself.

    That’s mostly sad, because the middle class has legitimately had the shit kicked out of it. For utterly predictable reasons, to be sure, but that doesn’t lessen the impact of it. For reasons passing understanding, you seem to be more concerned with “I’m not like THOSE people. They’re the problem, not me”, when your actual problem is that both of you are in the same sinking boat and think the guy holding the insurance policy on it sinking has any interest at all in saving you.

  49. Ratufa says:

    @Gustopher:

    What policy should we have in the Middle East that would reduce the chaos? Note that I am not asking what mistakes have been made, as we would just keep going back further and further in time — but, going forward, what should we be doing?

    One answer might to stop abetting Saudi war crimes in Yemen. Another question would be, “What has Hillary learned from our foreign policy mistakes over the past years that would help her avoid making such mistakes if she is President?”

  50. Tlaloc says:

    And, while his name ID is almost certainly higher than ever, his brand is permanently damaged.

    The perfect punishment for a malignant narcissist.

  51. Tlaloc says:

    @Gustopher:

    What policy should we have in the Middle East that would reduce the chaos?

    Stop interfering. Let them sort it out for themselves, which in the short term will be brutal and ugly but is fundamentally not any of our business.

  52. michael reynolds says:

    @Tlaloc:

    Stop interfering. Let them sort it out for themselves, which in the short term will be brutal and ugly but is fundamentally not any of our business.

    Pretty much verbatim what Americans said before WW1, and then again before WW2, neither of which wars managed to avoid becoming our business. Had we intervened early and with the kind of force of which we were obviously capable, the likelihood is that WW1 would have ended much more quickly, might not have given rise to the Bolshevik revolution, and might not have resulted in a bitter corporal deciding to take over the world.

    Isolationism does not work any more reliably than intervention. And it is absurd to imagine that the world’s sole superpower can adopt a strict, “Hey, that’s your problem,” position. We are involved in just about everything simply by virtue of our size and power. Shall we shut the west off to all MENA refugees? Shall we ignore human disasters like flood, famines, etc…? How far do we take this hands-off approach? Our absence is not a lack of intervention, it’s simply a different type of intervention.

    Put it this way: you see a man bleeding by the side of the road. If you drive on by and ignore the man you have not simply not intervened, you have actively withheld assistance.

  53. JKB says:

    @gVOR08:

    I said nothing about an individuals choice. I did say a bit about others bringing pressure upon them but then the individual is also free to succumb to such pressure if they fear repercussions in the social or business sphere or desire the advantages.

    What I did point out is that those who are creating the deep divide in the country can best be identified not by their rhetoric, but by their acts of blending their political spheres with their business and social spheres and being intolerant of those without similar beliefs they hold in their religious/ideological sphere. Or more simply, those who turn their back on modernity and seek to restore tribal society where those who are different are shunned, i.e. Democrats and Progressives with some #NeverTrumpers for this campaign.

    Economist David Henderson offers an anecdote on how free markets breakdown discrimination, even in that most virulently prejudiced arena of sports team rivalry

  54. Blue Galangal says:

    @JKB: Actually I think she would. My student worker’s partner is in catering and his company worked a private fundraiser for Hillary in the spring. After the event and the photos with the attendees, she insisted on the catering staff having the opportunity to also meet her and get their picture taken with her if they wanted. My student worker was over the moon at how thoughtful she was, and his partner was ecstatic. Great play by Hillary: it took very little extra time, and this story was circulated throughout at least two people’s social network following (more, I’m sure). No one would have known if she’d just gotten into her limo and left, and the catering staff certainly expects that, since that’s how it usually works. In other words, no one was watching her, and this was how she chose to behave: she was gracious and thoughtful.

  55. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @JKB:

    I wondered when that “free market” nonsense would rear its head.

    No market is truly free, and if they’re honest with themselves, even devoted free marketers don’t want for them to be. They want them to be as free as is necessary for them to prosper & prevail.

    Want truly free markets? Examine the period from roughly 1870 through 1910. Net result? Some 50 people controlled roughly 70% of US GDP while the rest of the country eked out a subsistence living. The one trait I’ve always noticed with you guys is that you’re fine with returning to that – because you all assume you’d be Vanderbilt. 99.999999% of you are wrong …

  56. anjin-san says:

    @Tlaloc:

    fundamentally not any of our business

    I’m pretty sure that the world economy still depends on the free flow of oil from the middle east. Until we innovate our way out of that trap, it is, unfortunately, our business.

  57. Blue Galangal says:

    @MBunge:

    So, we’ll have a man of great drive, ambition and ego who has seen his life’s work ruined and is facing the end of his days with nothing but rage and bitterness in his heart and several billion dollars to play with.

    Assumes facts not in evidence.

  58. Rafer Janders says:

    @MBunge:

    But the evidence indicates that he isn’t going to lose as badly as Dole, who I don’t believe was ever characterized as “so terrible no one could possibly vote for him” because he was so far behind that assassinating his character wasn’t necessary. And even if Trump helps flip the Senate to the Democrats, he still won’t have done as poorly as Goldwater, who was the original Republican who was so terrible no one could possibly vote for him.

    But there’s a very simple reason for that: certainly since the 1990s, and much more so than the 1960s, the two parties have sorted themselves much more into a liberal/centrist camp for the Dems and a conservative/hard right camp for the GOP. There’s not nearly as much cross-over voting as there used to be in the past — which also means, however, that each party now has a hard floor of 40% of the vote below which it can’t sink.

  59. Rafer Janders says:

    @MBunge:

    So, we’ll have a man of great drive, ambition and ego who has seen his life’s work ruined and is facing the end of his days with nothing but rage and bitterness in his heart and several billion dollars to play with.

    It’s cute that you actually believe he has several billion dollars.

  60. MarkedMan says:

    @Blue Galangal:

    In other words, no one was watching her, and this was how she chose to behave: she was gracious and thoughtful.

    My wife had a long talk with a DC limo driver who was a couple of weeks from retirement. This was 15 or 20 years ago. She asked him who was the nicest, most thoughtful rpolitician he had driven. Believe it or not it was Mary Matalin, and he told a number of anecdotes that demonstrated a genuine level of basic human interaction I wouldn’t have expected from her. The worst? Jack Kemp, who enjoyed the popular reputation as the thinking mans athlete and team player.

    I’ll offer another Clinton anecdote. When she was my Senator in NY state she used to do these barn storms East to west, north to south, meeting and greeting and doing town halls. A friend’s daughter was a junior junior staffer, and ended up going on one of these. After a few weeks of early mornings and late nights they were done for the day early and the staffer was looking forward to a relaxing night. But Hillary said, “Let’s do the suitcase tonight”. It turns out they carried an extra suitcase around and it got filled with letters and notes, petitions, whatever paper had been pressed upon them as they went around. Every so often they would pull everything out, sort through them, and decide what to do about each one. Not just the ones from important constituents ( those wouldn’t have gone into the suitcase in the first place) but every single one.

  61. dxq says:

    So, we’ll have a man of great drive, ambition and ego who has seen his life’s work ruined We have a guy with a huge ego who has mishandled his inheritance and is facing the end of his days with nothing but rage and bitterness in his heart and several billion dollars to play with maybe is still cash-flow positive with the business his dad left him.

  62. michael reynolds says:

    @MBunge:

    So, we’ll have a man of great drive, ambition and ego who has seen his life’s work ruined and is facing the end of his days with nothing but rage and bitterness in his heart and several billion dollars to play with. Congratulations! We’ve just created a super-villain!

    Oh, the poor baby! Did someone put a gun to Trump’s head and force him to run?

    I wrote right here, many months ago, that the political world would end up humiliating Trump. The alternative is Trump destroying American democracy by trying to become his idol, Vladimir Putin. So I want him humiliated. He’s a bad human being doing everything he can to harm the United States of America and the greater cause of freedom.

    It’s fascinating to me, Mike, how much tender affection you have for this pig of a man, this molester, this pervert, this woman-hating creep, this fraud, this rip-off artist, this racist goon, this lazy ignoramus, while at the same time you mindlessly regurgitate the decades of lies about Hillary.

    Your pity is all for the utterly incompetent, asshole of a male; and nothing but contempt for the infinitely more qualified woman.

    You really need to do some self-examination. I don’t know what your issue is with strong, capable women, but at the point where you can convince yourself that Trump is the better candidate, your underlying misogyny is showing. And yes: it is misogyny. You’re the HR worker quietly sliding all the women’s applications into the trash. You are the proof that misogyny remains a string force.

  63. dxq says:

    @MarkedMan:

    The worst? Jack Kemp, who enjoyed the popular reputation as the thinking mans athlete and team player.

    That doesn’t surprise me. George Will used to sing Kemp’s praises, with the same enthusiasm and vigor that he wrote about Jack Ryan’s upstanding morality and religious virtues, a few months before it came out that Ryan was pressuring his wife into sex acts at underground clubs.

  64. gVOR08 says:

    @dxq: Years ago I saw a pundit identify Kemp as the leading intellectual light of the Republican Party. Funny, the pundits earlier writing had not led me to expect him to slam Republicans like that.

  65. dxq says:

    Kemp was a big promoter of Supply-Side Economics, which means I have zero intellectual respect for him.

  66. PJ says:

    @MBunge:

    The latest Reuters/Ipsos poll has Trump cutting Hillary’s lead in half, trailing her 44-40. And while Hillary is likely going to win, Trump probably won’t lose any worse than McCain did in 2008. As for damaging his brand, ye olde apology tour will take care of a good bit of that…presuming Trump doesn’t plan an “I told you so” rematch in 2020.

    Mike

    Since you are so in love with this poll by Reuters/Ipsos that you had to post about it in two different threads, have you seen the latest from Reuters/Ipsos?

    Reuters projects Clinton to win with 326 electoral votes

    Hillary Clinton is on pace for a big win over Donald Trump on Election Day, according to the Reuters/Ipsos States of the Nation study released Saturday.

    The study projects Clinton to win 326 electoral votes to Trump’s 212, and says she would have a 95 percent chance of winning if the election were held this week.

    A candidate needs 270 electoral votes to win the presidency.

    Reuters/Ipsos projected Clinton winning key battleground states including North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Florida and Nevada. It left Arizona and Ohio as too close to call.

    I bet you won’t be posting about this.

    Also, are you having a sad now? Maybe you should lie down? Take some time off until the next national poll that shows Clinton with only a 4 point lead?

  67. gVOR08 says:

    All of which demonstrates that anyone associated with Trump comes away diminished. Even himself and his family. Must really suck to be Mike Pence right now. But Pence’s current situation is certainly well deserved.

  68. R.Dave says:

    @HarvardLaw92: I’m supporting someone who wants to tax me more in order to try to help persons like yourself. You’re supporting someone who wants to tax himself (and me, and Reynolds) less so that we don’t have to help persons like yourself.

    So, you’re both men of principle, voting against your own self-interest in order to advance what you each consider to be the morally correct value system. Kudos to both of you! 😉

  69. Tim says:

    @mbunge:

    So, we’ll have a man of great drive, ambition and ego who has seen his life’s work ruined and is facing the end of his days with nothing but rage and bitterness in his heart and several probably much less than a billion dollars to play with.

    I felt it necessary to correct that for you since I am pretty sure we will find that his net worth is nowhere near what he claims it to be.

    Also. It couldn’t happen to a more deserving guy!

  70. michael reynolds says:

    @R.Dave:

    However, I do reserve my right, come April 15, to whine like a baby.

  71. PJ says:

    So, Ivanka, Donald Jr., and Eric are about to stage an intervention to make sure that The Donald isn’t squandering all of their inheritance by burning the Trump brand to the ground.

    If that doesn’t work, they plan to have him declared mentally incompetent.

  72. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @michael reynolds: I was wondering about that question. It seemed to me that Trump got into the hotel business relatively late in the game to become a “first choice,” but I wouldn’t know about it at all. I’m one of the guys Tom Bodett used to talk about in the Motel 6 ads, so, because my eyes are closed about 80% of the time I’m in the room, I like to spend as little as possible. Stayed in a Sofitel once (no other reasonable choice)–nice room, worth the money, but still more than I prefer to spend. In Korea, I sometimes sleep in a yeogwan–traditional Korean inn with a mat on the floor to sleep on. Very inexpensive, and because I only sleep and shower there, I don’t miss the mint on the pillow, honor bar, view, room service, or whatever else people spend more for.

  73. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @MBunge:

    And I think it’s pretty funny that anyone thinks Trump, who spent most of his adult life having good relationships with people throughout our political/media elite,

    I believe this is called “assuming a fact not in evidence,” but IANAL and I don’t portray one on TV.

  74. Tim says:

    @PJ:

    If that doesn’t work, they plan to have him declared mentally incompetent.

    Should be easy since most of us think you’d have to be absolutely crazy to run for President in this country!

  75. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @CSK: It’s the same as Dr. Joyner believing that Hillary is dishonest beyond all former meaning of the word (note: I may have been hyperbolic for effect in the former statement): It’s an Article of Faith for them and they really don’t believe that their party or philosophy or anything else about them as far as that goes is actually a minority position.

    That and the fact that they were born to lead.

  76. JKB says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    Of course, you are against the free market. You are a Democrat. Democrats for more than a century (1865-1965) used the threat of government violence, along with their paramilitary arm, the KKK, to prevent free market transactions from overcoming the discrimination against African-Americans and other minorities. When finally thwarted, Democrats set their sights on destroying the fabric of African-American society.

  77. R. Dave says:

    @michael reynolds: Oh absolutely.

  78. NW-Steve says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    No market is truly free, and if they’re honest with themselves, even devoted free marketers don’t want for them to be.

    I think that this is one of the most basic misunderstandings that prevails on the right. They believe that markets are free except when government interferes. The reality is closer to the opposite. Markets not infrequently become unfree because of concentrations of power in the private sector. There is then no force that can correct that except government.

  79. dxq says:

    1) free markets tend toward monopoly (semester 1 Econ)
    2) monopolies are bad for consumers (ditto)

    Both are true, both are disputed by modern conservatives.

    I know, not a huge shock.

  80. Barry says:

    @MBunge: “Dude, you need to spend as little time thinking about me as I do about you.”

    I first heard that argument back in the previous millenium. You’ll have to try harder than that.

    ” I reference 2008 because it looks like Trump is going to lose worse than Romney, the last Republican who was so terrible no one could possibly vote for him, and instead lose like McCain, the Republican before that who was so terrible no one could possibly vote for him. But the evidence indicates that he isn’t going to lose as badly as Dole, who I don’t believe was ever characterized as “so terrible no one could possibly vote for him” because he was so far behind that assassinating his character wasn’t necessary. And even if Trump helps flip the Senate to the Democrats, he still won’t have done as poorly as Goldwater, who was the original Republican who was so terrible no one could possibly vote for him.”

    The current question is how many red states will flip, not battleground states. That tells you everthing.

  81. Barry says:

    @MBunge: “Is a new era of peace and real prosperity about to descend on the United States? Unlikely.”

    Every decrease in GOP power is directly beneficial to the US, and to the world.

    “Is Hillary as good a politician as Obama? No. Is she as good as her husband? Is she as good as George W. Bush? Probably not.”

    She does seem to be kicking your guy’s *ss, and is working her way through your Senators.

  82. Barry says:

    @JKB: “As opposed to your support for a woman who wouldn’t deign to speak to you in your own home unless you slip her foundation a little lot of cash?”

    You mean the A-rated charity she runs, which has helped millions?

    As opposed to the bribe-fund that Trump runs.

  83. Barry says:

    @JKB: ” Democrats for more than a century (1865-1965)….”

    Dude, we actually know US history.

  84. Mikey says:

    @JKB:

    Democrats for more than a century (1865-1965)

    If you want to dwell in the past, look up what were the only states Goldwater won in 1964, and why.

    When you return to the present, look at what the racists who define today’s GOP are doing this minute, rather than what Democrats in one part of the country stopped doing over 50 years ago.

  85. gVOR08 says:

    @NW-Steve:

    I think that this is one of the most basic misunderstandings that prevails on the right. They believe that markets are free except when government interferes.

    Quite right. In Saving Capitalism Robert Reich makes quite a point that “free” markets exist only because of government. Government sets the rules required for markets to operate, currency, contract enforcement, intellectual property protection, bankruptcy. Even such basics as weights and measures and definition and protection of property ownership. To speak of markets without government interference is nonsense.

  86. gVOR08 says:

    @Mikey:

    When you return to the present, look at what the racists who define today’s GOP are doing this minute, rather than what Democrats in one part of the country stopped doing over 50 years ago.

    I see Trump got another newspapaer endorsement, I think his fourth. The Crusader, the official newspaper of the KKK has endorsed Trump.

    “What made America great in the first place?” The short answer to that is simple. America was great not because of what our forefathers did — but because of who are forefathers were, America was founded as a White Christian Republic. And as a White Christian Republic it became great.

  87. gVOR08 says:

    @gVOR08: Sorry Dr. Taylor. I forgot you had posted that. Seemed appropriate here.

  88. CSK says:

    @gVOR08:

    I think this may be Trump’s first newspaper endorsement. Even the papers that reflexively endorse Republicans can’t bring themselves to come out for Trump.

  89. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Jen:

    I do wonder how much Deutche Bank has sunk into this Master of Debt.

    Trump is persona non grata at Deutsche’s investment banking segment. Most all of the financing he has been able to obtain from them since the battle of the lawsuits has been from their private banking group (who are so desperate to build a footing that they’ll deal with just about anybody).

    Citi, JPM, Morgan, etc. won’t go anywhere near him, and the read at Goldman among their guys is “don’t even bother suggesting a deal with Trump if you value your job”.

    Part of the reason that he’s shifted to this licensing his name model of late is that nobody will lend him money to actually build anything. For this most recent DC hotel (which he doesn’t actually own), Trump had to fund it out of pocket and post a $40 million personal guaranty because even private equity balked at the deal. Now he’s left with $250,000 per month (and increasing) lease payments, costs of operations and a taxable possessory interest bill for a hotel which has seen bookings plummet.

    He’s essentially out of the construction business.

  90. michael reynolds says:

    @JKB:
    You are just getting weirder and weirder. You don’t even try to make sense anymore. The Trump effect – making dumb dumber.

  91. michael reynolds says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker:

    I hasten to point out that at one time in my life I slept under a freeway overpass adjacent to a Motel 6 where, every few days I’d have enough to spend a night and shower. Those were the days when you had to put 75 cents in a slot to turn on the TV. Good times.

    However, I have been afflicted with expensive tastes, developed largely during years of working in upscale restaurants. In other words, I became a snob before I had the cash to back it up. Sort of chicken and egg. But if anyone wants to break me just lock me in a moldy Red Roof Inn for a couple of hours. Poverty was my childhood into adulthood trauma. Still not over it.

    That said I no longer do the Ritz Carlton zone so much as the Sofitel-Andaz zone.

  92. Kylopod says:

    @MBunge:

    And while Hillary is likely going to win, Trump probably won’t lose any worse than McCain did in 2008.

    This is a type of argument I like to call “Numbers Play-Dough.” It happens when you try to minimize a candidate’s victory by arguing that they “should have” won by a larger margin. You typically hear it from political operatives when their favored candidate doesn’t win. For example, right after the 2012 election Romney advisor Stuart Stevens wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post in which he argued that Romney didn’t do so badly, since after all “we came a little more than 320,000 votes short of winning the electoral college.” He offered no evidence that 320,000 votes is a minimal amount for a candidate to lose by; he simply implied it in the way he phrased the sentence.

    That’s why I call this argument “Numbers Play-Dough”–because it’s infinitely flexible. You can always find some arbitrary threshold a winning candidate failed to reach and argue that their failure to reach that threshold is somehow a big deal. I suppose Obama was a terrible candidate in 2008 because even faced against a cranky old man in the wake of the biggest economic crisis since the Depression he only won by by 7%. If he’d been a good candidate, he would have won by 20%!

    And Ronald Reagan couldn’t manage to beat Mondale in Minnesota and DC. Loooooooser!

    With regard to 2016, one major fact needs to be kept in mind: according to most of the “fundamentals” models of political scientists (that is, without considering the candidates at all and simply looking at factors such as economic growth and how long the incumbent party has been in power), 2016 was forecast to be either a very close race or one favoring Republicans. In light of that fact, the idea that Clinton might win in the territory of 350 electoral votes and that states like Arizona, Georgia, even Utah for god sake are in play, is absolutely flabbergasting. “Numbers Play-Dough” isn’t going to be able to conjure away this reality, because it’s ridiculous to think that a victory of this level is in any way less than one should expect.

  93. @Kylopod:

    With regard to 2016, one major fact needs to be kept in mind: according to most of the “fundamentals” models of political scientists (that is, without considering the candidates at all and simply looking at factors such as economic growth and how long the incumbent party has been in power), 2016 was forecast to be either a very close race or one favoring Republicans. In light of that fact, the idea that Clinton might win in the territory of 350 electoral votes and that states like Arizona, Georgia, even Utah for god sake are in play, is absolutely flabbergasting.

    So much this.

  94. @JKB:

    I would also point out the absurdity of believing that people aren’t misleading the pollsters while at the same time reveling in the fact that there is such a significant threat to people’s business and social lives they avoid anything with Trump’s name on it.

    I am not sure what this sentence means, but I do know this:

    1) There is zero reason to believe that respondents are systematically trying to mislead pollsters (every cycle we have to go through this). While one might hypothesis a “shy Trump” phenomenon, the truth is that the primary polls were pretty accurate in terms of Trump support, so why should that be different now? Is it not rather obvious that a lot of Reps are, in fact, rationalizing a vote for Trump?

    2) There is empirical evidence that Trump’s businesses are suffering.

  95. barbintheboonies says:

    Maybe he will some day feel what most of us feel like everyday POOR. Maybe it will be the best thing that ever happens to him.

  96. barbintheboonies says:

    @CarolDuhart2: I expect a divorce in the future when the money dwindles. She deserves it, I am sure she has put up with a lot.

  97. CSK says:

    @barbintheboonies:

    Trump may dump Melania before she dumps him. He said back in 2004 (the year they were married) that of course it wouldn’t last. And, Good Lawd, the woman is forty-six. Forty-six. That’s way too old for a geriatric teenager.

    He admits to having the hots for Paris Hilton. Is she taken? She’s only 35.

  98. michael reynolds says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    2) There is empirical evidence that Trump’s businesses are suffering.

    Yeah, that’ll turn JKB around. He’s known for his devotion to facts.

  99. @michael reynolds: I know. But the day I utterly give up on trying to persuade with facts is the day the JKB’s of the world win and so much else is lost. So, I keep trying.

  100. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @michael reynolds: JKB already commented on that on one of these posts noting how unfair it was for the Dems and Progs to run a “brownshirt” operation against Trump’s businesses just because he embarrassed their candidate as he has done.

    I don’t see him turning around any time soon.

  101. barbintheboonies says:

    @CSK: I bet Paris is saying EW.

  102. Emanuel says:

    At least he did not sell them a hefty share in uranium like the hag did, who prides herself having been to the inner inner sanctum with Putin. Pathetic incompetent hag with private Servers discussing confidential matters that had people around the world losing their lives amongst whom an Iranian nuclear physicist. The arrogant idiot.

  103. PJ says:

    @CSK:

    He admits to having the hots for Paris Hilton. Is she taken? She’s only 35.

    The Hiltons would never sully their brand and their companies by marrying down.

  104. An Interested Party says:

    @Emanuel: That will be Madame President Hag to you…

  105. Mikey says:

    @Emanuel: Every word you wrote was bullshit, including “and” and “the.”

  106. DrDaveT says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    Part of the reason that he’s shifted to this licensing his name model of late is that nobody will lend him money to actually build anything.

    This is why it’s so delicious that he has managed, via this presidential campaign, to completely trash the value of the only asset he had left — the market value of his name.

    Unfortunately, I doubt he will live long enough to outlive all of his cash/credit and have to give up the lifestyle. That much karma requires multiple lifetimes.

  107. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @DrDaveT:

    At the risk of seeming uncharitable, his kids are abject morons with respect to running a business. Nice people to be sure, which given their childhoods is in itself amazing, but they’re in the positions that they occupy based much more on who they are rather than how competent they are. Don’t even get me started on Kushner, who is a walking disaster and a duplicate of his father …

    I give it 10 years, tops, after he dies until it all comes crashing down.

  108. MarkedMan says:

    @HarvardLaw92: ten years? Whoa. I think that is way too long. I think it is highly unlikely that Trump has a solid will in order. We’ve seen what an undisciplined manager he is, with a ten minute attention span and no ability to focus. If he’s made any attempt at a will I assume he changes it or (partially changes it or leaves a paper trail stating his intent to change it) every month or so. Ten years? I think ten days until assets are frozen and the courts are controlling the funds.

  109. al-Alameda says:

    @CSK:

    He admits to having the hots for Paris Hilton. Is she taken? She’s only 35.

    Would Paris be willing to trade down to ‘date’ Trump?

  110. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @MarkedMan: I’ll go farther than that. I’m not sure that there are any actual funds in this venture. Once the estate goes into probate and debts are sorted and resolved; it possible that we will see the whole thing was all leverage all the time.