If you have ever visited the official presidential website, Whitehouse.gov, you may have run across the presidential biographies that are posted there. There is a brief thumbnail sketch of each person who has held the office, going all the way back to George Washington.
The biographies are pretty basic. Four or five paragraphs that talk about each president’s background and some of his accomplishments. The bulk of them, through Bush 43, were taken from the book Presidents of the United States Of America by Frank Freidel and Hugh Sidey. There’s no author credit for President Obama’s bio on the site, but it follows the same form as the others. And now we get the official presidential biography of Donald J. Trump.
Trump’s bio is a pathetic cesspool of half-truths and self-aggrandizement. It starts with this:
Donald J. Trump is the very definition of the American success story. Throughout his life he has continually set the standards of business and entrepreneurial excellence, especially with his interests in real estate, sports, and entertainment. Likewise, his entry into politics and public service resulted in the Presidential victory in, miraculously, his first ever run for office.
“The very definition of the American success story?” There are probably a lot of people who could be successful if their fathers were able to give them millions of dollars to get started, as Trump’s did. And this “success story” has filed for bankruptcy protection six times.
Next, the bio mentions Trump’s experience as a real estate mogul as well as an author, referring to his “over fourteen bestsellers.” He singles out his first book, The Art Of the Deal, calling it a “business classic.” But Tony Schwartz, the real author, recently described the experience of working with Trump, and said he regretted doing the book. “I put lipstick on a pig,” he told The New Yorker.
And those 142 words are all the reader gets about the experience and background of Donald Trump. But, as the carnival barker says, wait, there’s more!
Those 142 words are followed by 236 words about Trump’s election victory. It’s a pathetic attempt at self-promotion and it’s completely misleading.
Mr. Trump won the election on November 8 of 2016 in the largest electoral college landslide for a Republican in 28 years.
In other words, he got more electoral votes than George W. Bush.
Additionally, he won over 62 million votes in the popular vote, the highest all-time for a Republican nominee.
And Hillary Clinton got almost three million more votes than he did.
After mentioning his electoral vote total again, the bio has this to say about Trump’s election victory:
Donald J. Trump campaigned in places he knew Republicans have had difficulty winning—Flint, Michigan, charter schools in inner-city Cleveland, and Hispanic churches in Florida—because he wanted to bring his message of economic empowerment to all Americans. Millions of new Republicans trusted Mr. Trump with their vote because of his focus on delivering prosperity through better trade deals, and as a result there were healthy margins of victory in newly red areas.
“Healthy margins of victory?” He won Michigan by around 11,000 votes out of about 4.8 million cast, Wisconsin by about 23,000 votes out of almost 3 million, and Pennsylvania by 44,000 out of 6.1 million votes. Not exactly the landslide he wants everybody to think he got. With less than 100,000 votes going in the Democratic direction in those three states we would be talking about President Hillary Clinton today.
Trump’s official bio was obviously written with his input — nobody is better at talking about Donald Trump than Donald Trump. Hopefully, after he leaves office someone will replace it with a more objective portrait of our new God-Emperor. If there’s a White House website after he leaves office. Or a United States Of America.