Here’s why the Trumps aren’t going anywhere anytime soon
President Trump is all about building his political legacy, and his children, like Ivanka and Don Jr., are a big part of that. Chris Cillizza explains why the Trumps are probably not going to disappear once the President’s time in office is over.
On Monday night at a campaign rally in New Hampshire in support of his reelection bid, President Donald Trump signaled out his two eldest children for praise.
Of his daughter Ivanka, Trump said this while bringing her to the stage: “A woman that not too many people know, very powerful, very smart, very beautiful even though I’m not allowed to say that because she’s my daughter.”
Then when Trump asked the crowd whether his eldest son, Don Jr., had delivered a “good speech” to warm up the New Hampshire crowd, the audience responded with chants of “46! 46!”
As in, they’d like for Don Jr. to follow directly in his father’s footsteps — becoming the 46th president of the United States, presumably in 2024 when Trump senior would be term-limited out of office.
If you think that’s implausible, ask yourself whether it’s any less plausible than businessman and reality TV star Donald Trump being elected president in the first place.
And if you think that Trumpworld isn’t already thinking about the building the next generation in a political dynasty, let me point you too this quote from Trump 2020 campaign manager Brad Parscale: “The Trumps will be a dynasty that lasts for decades.”
Or this one from White House senior counselor Kellyanne Conway regarding Trump’s children:
“They’re undeniably adaptable. When the family business was real estate, they learned contracts and building approvals and architecture. Then it was television, and they learned that industry. Now, a decade later, they’ve turned around and learned politics.”
“And if you think Trump will retire to the countryside to let his children make their own way in the world, then you have not paid any attention, at all, to the history of this family.”
To expand on that point, Trump’s inner circle — long before he got into politics — has largely been limited to his family, with a few longtime sycophants added into the mix. All three of his eldest children — Don Jr., Ivanka and Eric — were employed in the family business. (Don Jr. and Eric Trump now run the Trump Organization, with their father in the White House.) They were also featured in his various reality TV projects — often literally at the right hand of their father.
That’s carried over into the White House with Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner, playing prominent official roles within the White House and his sons — especially Don Jr. — emerging as preferred campaign surrogates for their dad.
Trump himself has never been shy about promoting the possible political futures of his scions. (Let’s be honest: Trump isn’t shy about anything.)
Of Ivanka, the President told The Atlantic in 2019: “If she ever wanted to run for president, I think she’d be very, very hard to beat.” Trump added of Ivanka: “She went into the whole helping-people-with-jobs, and I wasn’t sure that was going to be the best use of her time, but I didn’t know how successful she’d be. She’s created millions of jobs, and I had no idea she’d be that successful.”
(Quick fact-check: There’s no evidence that Ivanka Trump has created “millions of jobs.”)
Of Don Jr., Trump, while watching his son on Fox News in 2018, said: “Don’s gotten really good. My people love him.”
In 2018, Don Jr. wound up doing more than 60 events across the country for GOP candidates, according to The New York Times — for candidates from West Virginia to North Dakota. He was, aside from his dad, the single most sought-after Republican surrogate in the country.
And while Ivanka has played coy on her own interest in running for office, Don Jr., well, hasn’t.
“I definitely enjoy the fight,” he told Bloomberg News in 2019. “I definitely like being out there and I love being able to see the impact and the difference that it makes on these people’s lives that I get to see all over the country.” Added Trump Jr: “We have a lot of time. My father decided to get into politics at 68. I’m 41, I’ve got plenty of time.”
And here’s the thing: Whether Trump wins or loses in 2020, there will absolutely be a contingent of dedicated Trump fans who, in 2024, will be looking for the heir to his political kingdom. While Vice President Mike Pence would undoubtedly like to be that person — and has been angling to be that person since he signed on as VP in 2016 — wouldn’t it make more sense for the heir to be, well, an actual heir?
In short: The Trumps are going nowhere anytime soon.