The Problem With Ivanka Trump’s Attempt at a Heartwarming RNC Anecdote


    With the energy of the late Billy Mays, Ivanka Trump sold her father (“my father”) to the American people on Thursday night at the Republic National Convention. Amid the camera’s wide pans of the White House, a place where you’re not legally allowed to hold campaign rallies, she spoke of his track record, his vision, how he cut drug prices.

    But first, she opened with a fun little anecdote about her son. He built a Lego model of the White House, she said, that the president keeps in the Oval Office to show heads of state. It’s a great story about a family of builders and of a grandfather who is able to love anyone but himself.

    Andrea Bernstein of WYNC did, however, point out that Legos feature pretty heavily in family lore. Seems like every Trump kid has a building story, as a lot of kids who’ve seen a Lego do. For them, it’s a childhood hobby portending a future in the old real estate biz. Their biggest thing, though, is accusing the others of misremembering it: 

    She had told this story of gluing together Lego version of the Trump Tower as a six year old. But Ivanka’s brothers, according to her own book, The Trump Card, as recounted in Bernstein’s forthcoming book American Oligarchs, countered her tale of the glue and the Legos as apocrypha. The boys did the Lego building. Her own father said that they all “had it all wrong,” per Bernstein recounting Ivanka’s book, and the building story was his. In his own book, The Art of the Deal, his ghost writer described how he asked to borrow his brother Robert’s blocks to build a building, which he liked so much that he glued it together. He never gave his brother’s toy back to him.

    So Legos! And building models with them, and using these stories about model buildings to say something about family, and then accusing your family members of getting it twisted. Sounds like a metaphor. But of what?? 

    She eventually handed the mic over to her father (“my father”), who arrived with the first lady Melania Trump. For all those who read the excerpt of Melania’s former friend Stephanie Winston Wolkoff’s new memoir in New York Magazine on Thursday before the RNC, there is a long Russian novel of a tale going on in this very brief clip:

    All told, the major takeaway from the speech is also the one true thing she said during the night: “The results speaks for themselves.” 

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