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Thursday, May 31, 2018

“The sentiment was that Americans wanted a royal family.”

by digby

Vanity Fair has an excerpt of a new book about the Trumps. Ivanka believes America wanted the Trumps to be their royal family. When it comes to their deluded voters, she's probably right. They seem to yearn to be subjects:
On the morning of January 20, 2017, Donald Trump’s five children formed a veritable wall around their father as he stood in the gallery on the West Front of the Capitol Building and placed his left hand atop two Bibles—one used by Abraham Lincoln at his inauguration, in 1861; the other a gift from Trump’s mother just before his ninth birthday—to recite the presidential oath of office.

It was an unprecedented political moment for America, but the scene also represented something of a domestic triumph. Trump, who had five children with three women over the course of four decades, had never quite been the Platonic ideal of a paterfamilias. As the years passed, Trump and his kids underwent various stages of entrenchment and estrangement as his empire, and personal life, oscillated between booms and busts—the divorces, the Plaza acquisition and refinancing, the Atlantic City bankruptcies, The Apprentice, the birther nonsense, 2016. “He did not know,” as his ex-wife Ivana Trump once put it, “how to speak the children’s language.” Trump had even insinuated the limits of his own capacity as a nurturer. “I want five children, like in my own family,” he once told a friend, according to a September 1990 article in this magazine. “Because with five, then I will know that one will be guaranteed to turn out like me.”

The Trumps have somewhat fancied themselves as a modern version of the Kennedys, but the inauguration brought to mind the dynamic of another sort of American first family: the Kardashians. The Trump kids had become famous, in some ways, simply for being famous—a preternatural and occasionally nauseating talent that they learned from their father. As Trump took the oath of office, Barron Trump, the president’s middle-school-aged son with Melania Trump, as well as Tiffany, his young-adult daughter with Marla Maples, fixed their eyes on Supreme Court chief justice John Roberts, who administered it. Meanwhile, Trump’s eldest three children—Don Jr., Ivanka, and Eric—stood like a phalanx, their eyes fixed on their father.
The family also started preparing for the inaugural celebration. Donald Trump had appointed Tom Barrack, a private-equity billionaire who had negotiated the sale of the Plaza to Trump in 1988, to run what the family hoped would be an outsize affair. Marquee performers, from Elton John to Kiss, distanced themselves as soon as their names were floated, and organizers ended up settling for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the Rockettes, minus some dancers in the troupe who refused to participate. Barrack spun the situation by noting that the inauguration already had its star power—“the greatest celebrity in the world,” as he put it—in the form of the incoming president.

Ivanka Trump seemed particularly attuned to the stagecraft. When Melania Trump opened the White House residence to all of her husband’s children for the weekend following the inauguration, the president’s elder daughter put in a request to stay in the Lincoln Bedroom. (Permission granted.) When Melania wavered over the idea of the customary parade down Pennsylvania Avenue after the swearing-in ceremony, citing security concerns, Ivanka dug in. “It’s happening,” she told an organizer. She worked with a stylist and told friends that she wanted a “princess moment.” “I told her it’s an inauguration, not a coronation,” one friend recalled. “The sentiment was that Americans wanted a royal family.”

And get this about that feckless git, Ivanka's post election loss plan:
The week before the election, she had submitted the manuscript for her book Women Who Work and anticipated the editing process. Executives at Portfolio, her publisher, felt that the manuscript was largely devoid of emotion. They solicited her to add personal, engaging details about her relationship with her parents—”to make her seem like she had a pulse,” one person involved with the book explained. “Like she was a human.”
I'm guessing she probably had to hire a ghost writer for that.