President Trump: The Brand


President Trump: The Brand

Last Thursday, Donald Trump’s acceptance speech in Cleveland was supposed to finally outline the policies and particulars he would implement if elected. It didn’t.

So how would President Trump govern? We found out recently when the New York Times reported that, back in May, Donnie Trump Jr. approached a Kasich senior staffer about making the Ohio governor The Donald’s running mate and “the most powerful vice president in history.”

“When Kasich’s adviser asked how this would be the case, Donald Jr. explained that his father’s vice president would be in charge of domestic and foreign policy.

Then what, the adviser asked, would Trump be in charge of?

‘Making America great again’ was the casual reply.”

That’s in keeping with the current Trump business model. He doesn’t build anything; people pay him to put his name on things they build. The candidate even told us he saw image-building as the president’s chief role last September:

“Our country needs to be glamorized. The branding of our country is at an all-time low. Now, ‘branding’ might not be the most beautiful word to use, but the fact is the country has been labeled so badly.”

‘The thing about branding,” Bill Clinton reminds us, “is … you can be fact-free.”

So if the Republican ticket wins in November, President Trump will subcontract the real work of governing to VP Mike Pence, who should have spoken to all the subcontractors Donald Trump has screwed  before signing up.


“Report: Trump Plans to License His Name to His Administration, Not to Run It,” Eric Levitz, New York Magazine


“Trump’s Brand Bonanza,” Jennifer Rooney, Forbes

“Brand Trump: How the developer-cum-TV star-cum-presidential candidate became a living product,” Robert Klara, Adweek [2011!]


“Kasich: Trump Jr. called aide to float VP offer,” Will Cadigan, CNN


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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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