by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Kevin Williamson explains the connection in his latest column for National Review Online.
Donald Trump’s admirers, like those of Ross Perot in an earlier epoch, cite his business success as his main qualification and believe that the acumen that he has demonstrated in making himself rich enough to do incredibly vulgar things like gold-plating the seatbelt buckles in his airplane is a skill that’s transferable to things like trade policy and immigration law. There may be something to that line of thinking, but Ross Perot is not the entrepreneur whom Trump most closely resembles.
You heard it here first: Paris Hilton 2016.
Trump has a great deal in common with Hilton, much more than a famous blond hair-do. Hilton is — or was, more on that in a bit — an heiress to a splendid fortune based in part on real estate. Trump, despite his eternal posturing as novus homo, is a New York City trust-fund brat who inherited a vast real-estate portfolio from his father. Hilton used her standing as a figure of public interest to create a career for herself as a celebrity, as someone who is “famous for being famous,” as the saying goes. Trump still owns a great deal of real estate, but his largest asset, according to his own financial statements, is his celebrity: He values his personal brand at many billions of dollars, more than any building or golf course or property he owns.
Which is to say, Trump and Hilton are in the same racket.