Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Trump's in front row for Hillary 2017

  • Print

WASHINGTON -- No one is going to have a better view of Hillary Clinton's inaugural parade in 2017 than one of the lunatic Republicans who might blow a billion bucks to run against her.

That would be Donald John Trump Sr., the periodically bankrupt zillionaire who has leased the gorgeous Old Post Office Pavilion on Pennsylvania Avenue between the Capitol and the White House, directly overlooking the quadrennial presidential walkathon. The Donald's intention is to turn this Romanesque masterpiece into a luxury hotel for tourists willing to pay about $500 for a room just so they can see his name on the towels they steal.

Trump and his daughter, Ivanka, have pledged to spend $200 million to refurbish the building, which was constructed, according to an inscription on its northern facade, in MDCCCXCVII. Their lease will not expire until MMLXXV, by which time Washington may or may not have run out of Clintons.

The conversion of the Old Post Office from a charming yet tired souvenir mall and food court will create what Ivanka Trump calls "the past meeting the future in a seamless pairing that will result in a level of luxury previously unseen in this market." But it comes at the expense of a few dozen shopkeepers and immigrant stir-fryers who were turfed out of the atrium in January.

Since then, while awaiting its Trumpification, the pavilion has exuded a melancholy air, being occupied only by a security guard named Kahil Britt from Ithaca, N.Y., and his partner, a Nigerian who passes the afternoons playing Candy Crush Saga on his cellphone and shooing tourists away from the deadened plaza.

"You just missed Trump and his daughter," Britt told me when I wandered into the Pharaonic lobby one wintry afternoon. "His head is SO big! And his daughter is GORGEOUS! I was like, 'Here ya go, babe.' "

"Did The Donald offer you guys a job in his new hotel?" I asked.

"He can't afford us," said Britt.

Britt, a well-informed young man already casting an eye toward the 2016 elections, noted it will be nearly impossible for any Republican, orange-haired or otherwise, to carry all four of the vital states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana and Virginia. In support, I cited a recent opinion survey that gave Clinton a 10-point lead over Chris Christie, the gibbous (but waning) Governor of New Jersey -- not only in pivotal Virginia, but in Christie's home riding as well.

At this, the Nigerian looked up from his video game and warned, "American politics are very unpredictable."

Donald John Trump Sr. did not even register in the poll. But no matter who loses to Hillary 32 months from now, Trump "père et fille" will have a fine view of her march to the White House from the apex of their hotel's 96-metre clock tower and belfry.

In the meantime, The Donald continues to tease us with hints that, as he surveys the Republican field, the most superior and best-dressed potential candidate he espies is he himself.

This week, thousands of us flocked to the Conservative Political Action Conference, eager to hear the impresario declare himself a candidate for the Republican nomination in 2016.

"Our country is in serious, serious trouble," he testified to a ballroom filled with the sort of people who wear T-shirts that say FIGHT CRIME -- SHOOT BACK.

"Our leadership is so weak and so pathetic," he went on, noting Barack Obama's approval rating had tanked at a new nadir of 38 per cent.

"I'd love to see him do a great job, but it's not gonna happen," predicted Donald Trump.

China, he said "is really ripping us off big-time." Ripping off everyone but the Donald, that is.

"What do the Chinese want?" he asked. And then he answered: "Everything Trump!"

"We're becoming a Third World country," he said. (Except in Washington, of course, where he is building what he called "perhaps the most luxurious hotel anywhere in the world and creating TREMENDOUS numbers of jobs.")

"We have so many issues, we have so many problems, and it's all about the leadership," we heard him say yet again, building to his crescendo. And then, speaking of himself in the second-person plural.

"In 2016, you're probably running against Hillary."

We stood on our chairs in anticipation of The Announcement and envisioned the 45th president marching down Pennsylvania Avenue while Ivanka and her children waved from the bell tower of the Old Post Office Pavilion.

"Whoever's president," said Donald Trump, bursting our balloon, "good luck!"

Allen Abel is a Brooklyn-born Canadian journalist based in Washington, D.C.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 10, 2014 A9

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Jaws of life used to free two people after two-car collision

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • An American White Pelican takes flight from the banks of the Red River in Lockport, MB. A group of pelicans is referred to as a ‘pod’ and the American White Pelican is the only pelican species to have a horn on its bill. May 16, 2012. SARAH O. SWENSON / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
  • JOE BRYKSA/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Local- A large osprey lands in it's nest in a hydro pole on Hyw 59  near the Hillside Beach turnoff turn off. Osprey a large narrow winged hawk which can have a wingspan of over 54 inches are making a incredible recovery since pesticide use of the 1950's and  1960's- For the last two decades these fish hawks have been reappearing in the Lake Winnipeg area- Aug 03, 2005

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

What should the city do with the 102-year-old Arlington Street bridge?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google