Tags: Trump | leadership | brand | Old Post Office

Trump Triumphs at National Press Club

By    |   Wednesday, 11 June 2014 07:52 AM

Donald Trump, chairman and president of The Trump Organization, appeared, along with his daughter Ivanka, executive vice president for development and acquisition and a star in her own right, as the keynote speakers at the National Press Club recently. Such an appearance is a milestone for any public figure, especially for a potential presidential candidate. This writer was especially eager to see Trump in action, having been an undergraduate classmate at Wharton, where he was already a legend.

The overriding impression was the friendly reception Trump received from an audience of professional reporters, Wharton alums and others who wanted to see for themselves. When Myron Belkind, president of the National Press Club, introduced him as "the most famous businessman in the world," Trump chided him that the club missed an opportunity to raise the standard luncheon price and make some extra money for the club.

Trump moved easily though the themes of his speech — branding, winning and leadership — with all of the themes connected to the state of this country under current circumstances and with its current leadership, and he then answered questions that had been submitted by reporters on cards.

According to Trump, everyone is the steward of their own brand, and the best way to enhance one's brand is to establish a pattern of winning, so that both the principal and the counterparties expect this outcome. Against this standard, Trump declared that the United States has not had any identifiable success in years. He surveyed the world and listed failures in war and foreign policy, along with their costs. Further, he questioned why the United States has fared so poorly in trade negotiations that result in countries like Japan being able to export vehicles to this country while denying entry to American agricultural goods. He wondered aloud who is doing the negotiating.

As one who is constantly traveling the world to oversee his projects, Trump sees holes in the infrastructure and compares American airports with those in the third world, where floors were constructed with terrazzo 40 years ago, then filled with asphalt as they developed holes. He spoke at length about the lack of respect for the president, who has repeatedly drawn lines in the sand that he should not have drawn, and then fails to enforce them.

Trump served notice that he will protect his brand against people who question his authenticity, and he pointed to his real hair, then cited the fact that he was selected over other bidders to overhaul the Old Post Office in Washington, D.C., in part because he has the financial capacity to bring the Old Post Office to fruition as a landmark hotel by 2016.

Belkind remarked that this would be in time for a presidential inauguration.

Ivanka spoke briefly about the plans to build a 272-room hotel with the finest amenities.

Trump told of working with New York Mayor Ed Koch to get the Wollman skating rink open, which had been dormant for eight years, and noted he is equally confident of being able to do the same with the Old Post Office.

In response to the inevitable question as to his intentions for 2016, Trump said he would rather continue to do what he loves best, which is to continue to build his global business. However, he was forthright in leaving the door open to a run for the White House, the logical product of his views on leadership, which he finds lacking the qualities to engage foreign leaders and earn their respect.

As for what he does for relaxation, Trump said work is his relaxation.

Belkind allowed the suspense to build as the audience anticipated what the final question would be. Trump was asked, "Who is the one person to whom you would want to say, 'You're fired!'?" He simply smiled and savored the moment as the audience cheered.

(Archived video can be found here.)

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Donald Trump, chairman and president of The Trump Organization, appeared as the keynote speakers at the National Press Club recently. Such an appearance is a milestone for any public figure, especially for a potential presidential candidate.
Trump, leadership, brand, Old Post Office
Wednesday, 11 June 2014 07:52 AM
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