President Trump has said at least four times this year that he may consider staying in the Oval Office beyond his constitutionally allotted two terms, whether it’s because his supporters won’t accept an Electoral College loss or because the United States will be enticed by the idea of his presidency-for-life and want to “give that a shot.”
Perhaps to get ahead of that unprecedented crisis, and certainly to further endear himself to a man addicted to praise, Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale showered the president’s family with some high admiration this weekend. At a convention of Republican Party delegates outside of Palm Springs, California, Parscale predicted that “the Trumps will be a dynasty that lasts for decades,” adding that the whole family has “amazing capabilities.”
“I think you see that from Don Jr.,” added Parscale, “I think you see that from Ivanka. You see it from Jared. You see it from all.” One can’t help but wonder what Eric Trump — who recently learned how journalism works — might think of not making the cut.
Once you get past the obsequiousness of the comment, Parscale’s forecast does carry some weight. Trump has said that his eldest daughter would be “very, very hard to beat” if she ran for the presidency, and according to the New York Times, she is “seen by West Wing aides and people who have worked with the family as harboring ambitions of her own for elected office.” Donald Trump Jr. is leaning in heavily to the 2020 campaign, and as the Times gently puts it, he is “most naturally fluent in the language of the Republican base” despite his time in elite prep schools, spending his childhood summers in Europe, and posing in forlorn repose on one of his father’s many estates. Then there’s Jared Kushner, already in charge of solving the opioid crisis, peace in the Middle East, and other “innovations.” If Parscale is worried about the longevity it takes to achieve a true dynasty, there’s always Barron, if the 13-year-old becomes so inclined in 22 years or so.
Two questions remain: What kind of dynasty will the Trumps be? Though Trump, in calling Melania “our own Jackie O.,” may think of his family as a cross-aisle mirror of the Kennedys, the Bushes might be more in line, considering the incompetence of the families’ adult sons. (Add a heavy pour of the French Le Pen dynasty’s xenophobia, and you might have a ringer for the Trumps.) The next question might be a little more practical: When will Trump abide to the next generation? It’s hard to imagine Donald Trump, post-presidency, ceding time to his successor, whether it’s Jared, Ivanka, Junior, or Eric — in that relative order of his politically involved kin.