The Public Eye
Some people, love ’em or hate ’em, have remarkable branding ability. During a historic week when President Barack Obama was dealing with serious international issues and the subsequent capture and killing of our nation’s number-one enemy, Osama bin Laden, Donald Trump was cashing in on all the free press he could muster. He did this by appearing in print, on TV, radio and anywhere else possible to attack the President’s citizenship with demands to see his birth certificate.
The President, in front of the press core, laughingly broke out the paperwork. Perhaps, (unbeknownst to the American public at the time) with all the heavy issues at hand, it was levity he was looking for and Trump’s ridiculous politicized poking and prodding offered just that. In 30 seconds flat, his birthplace was no longer an issue and he was able to get back to the serious business of the presidency. Meanwhile, Trump moved on to the next issue he deemed worthy of ranting about—Obama’s school grades.
But something else in this week’s passage came to mind, at least for me, with regard to Donald Trump. Like other high profile personalities (e.g., Madonna or Michael Jackson), Trump has had an awesome ability to turn the spotlight on himself and over the course of decades, he has incredibly kept it there. Maintaining relevance and building a brand comes down to enduring presence. How is this accomplished? With a budget and personality. Trump clearly has both.
And so the old adage, “There is no such thing as bad press” (at least for “the Donald”) is true. With all of his egotistical fits, his equally well-branded and never-changing bad hair, the public marriage failures and bankruptcies, Trump is currently tied as a front runner for the GOP nomination for the 2012 presidential race. In a sea of noise and banter, he has found a way to be many decibels above the rest and have his voice be heard.