Why hasn’t there been much ink spilled on the parallels between Donald Trump and Arnold Schwarzenegger?
Both of these guys came out of the celebrity word to upend politics. Make no mistake, Donald Trump has not been in the real estate business for years. Ever since he started putting his name on buildings he has been in the celebrity business. By his own reckoning, the vast majority of his $10 billion in wealth is related to the brand he has created: Trump.
The best – and really only – way to keep that brand valuable is to be famous. Trump has been working at this since the 1980s and has over 30 years of experience in working the press. How many times has he been in the NY Post’s Page 6 celebrity column? He was regularly featured in Spy magazine 25 years ago. He has been honing his celebrity status and his interactions with the press before most of the folks covering him were out of grade school.
Arnold also spent a lot of time and effort crafting his celebrity status. When he declared for the governor of California, the political press were blindsided. The celebrity press in LA had his number but they were no longer on the story. To the political press, he was celebrity royalty who all of the sudden deigned them access.And Arnold knew how to work it. By they time the political press got their feet back on the ground, Arnold was the Governator.
Is the Trump situation similar? The celebrity press would know when to give him ink and when to ignore him. The political press has no clue. Trump says something and the more outlandish it is is the quicker they are to give him some ink. They are thinking to themselves, “Wow. This stuff is great. All of the other politicians are so carefully crafted and the stuff out of Trump’s mouth will get my story on the front page for sure.” Do you think Trump doesn’t know this? He works it just like Arnold did.
The only difference is the timing. Arnold declared 8 weeks before the election (it was a special recall election). Trump has to keep the political press off balance almost 10 times as long. If he can do it, how do you like the sound of Kongresswoman Kardashian?.