Donald Trump is so ingrained in America’s celebrity culture that few remember exactly what catapulted him there in the first place. I do. It was his bodacious offer and successful effort to re-build an ice skating rink in NYC’s Central Park on time and under budget after the city failed to do so over a period of seven years. Mr. Trump’s triumph was the tipping point that almost made his hint at a U.S. Presidential run plausible.
Yesterday’s news conference to build a new World Trade Center was an attempt by Mr. Trump to re-create his moment of true glory. (I don’t consider “The Apprentice,” his three wives, or his bankrupt businesses as reputation-building achievements.)
As a brash young real estate developer with everything to gain, the Wollman Rink project was a win-win all around. The Donald we all know today will not gain the positive PR spin he seeks from yesterday’s media fest. He will, however, get plenty of ink and airtime — not all of it good.