For the Trump kids, it may be time for another meeting with dad. A previous one resulted in the canning of Corey Lewandowski and his exiling to CNN. Since then, the plight of the Trump campaign has become even more dire: Donald Trump has fallen in the polls and he made a perfect fool of himself in Scotland, possibly a personal best. Now, though, more than just the fate of the Republican Party or the nation is at stake: For the Trump Empire, business is sure to suffer.

Already this appears to be the case. The campaign has issued jolly income reports, but since the company is privately held, these are mere assertions. Assertions of a different kind have been bandied about Manhattan real estate circles, where the talk is of corporations preferring non-Trump venues for meetings. Some companies don’t approve of Trump’s politics; some think he’s lent his properties an air of tackiness.

You can envision the ad: Who’s arriving at a Trump hotel? Is it a slim young couple, their golf bags adorned with their college insignias, or is it Archie and Edith Bunker out for a weekend, wondering who to tip and — not that they would ever ask — what the second contraption is in the bathroom. A foot wash?

Donald Trump and his children run a substantial company with great name recognition. Of their scores of properties, they own only a handful. To the rest, they lend (rent) their name, which to many Americans has suggested luxury of the type Trump supposedly personified. That is no longer the case. He now has a following largely consisting of what he himself has proclaimed as the “poorly educated,” mostly white males. Women — white or otherwise — might prefer to stay somewhere else.

This characterization does not come from some oppo research but from the utterly pristine polling of news and academic organizations that tell you that Trump’s typical supporter is an aging white man who has not gone past high school.

This is not the clientele a luxury brand wants. But it is the one indelibly stamped onto the Trump logo. You might have suspected it before, but now the campaign has certified it: Trump ain’t got no class. Trump may or may not lose; his brand already has.


Somewhat as important — although nothing is as important as the business — is the state of Trump’s presidential campaign itself. It is a mess. It has raised very little money. Hillary Clinton began June with $42.5 million on hand, while Trump had $1.3 million, possibly just enough to establish a line of credit at one of his casinos. His state-by-state operation hardly exists and he is only now adding coordinators in key states where he must win or he will surely lose. He continues to slip in the national polls, down by double digits in the latest Washington Post/ABC News survey. He is facing a landslide loss.

Trump has no expertise or experience in government or politics. His sole claim to fame is his self-proclaimed genius as a businessman. Never mind whether that is true or not — his father helped some — the fact remains he is running a business now. The campaign and its books, its profits and losses are largely open to the public and the feds. As anyone can see, it’s a failure. As the kids surely consider, Dad will have spent a considerable amount of his (their) own money, tarnished the brand and not merely lost the presidential election, but lost it in such a way that the meaning of “trumped” will be stood on its head. It will come to mean cataclysmic loss.

This looming prospect may account for why Trump spent so much time last week proclaiming the glories of his Scotland golf course — what with its awesome watering system (“the highest level”) — and how, as luck would have it, the horrendous collapse of the British pound made it cheaper for non-Brits to play there. Still … maybe I’ll pass.

Trump has the capacity to surprise. But the calendar is fast narrowing. There is little room to maneuver. He needs to get out his vote, but he has a ground game only when his helicopter lands. He stood on that golf course as the pound was plummeting and the U.S. markets were spilling their guts and he talked some about that and then switched to the glories of his golf course — a huckster selling a Veg-o-Matic of his own.

It is time, kids, for another meeting.

Richard Cohen is a columnist with The Washington Post. His email address is:

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