Donald Trump’s letters
But for two things I am an unabashed admirer of Oprah Winfrey. Those two things are her taste in books and her taste in people. She’s advocated for (and thereby instantly transformed into a bestseller) that most egregious piece of trash, “The Secret.” She has single-handedly launched the careers of such awful charlatans as Mehmet Oz, Deepak Chopra and the world’s most inexcusably rude physician, a man who, it amuses me to say, attended the University of North Texas and has the coffee cup to prove it, “Dr. Phil.”
Apart from all that, Oprah Winfrey is a woman of grace, intelligence and superb yet harmless business acumen. She’s also brilliant for what she hasn’t done. For example, despite the fact that, for a nod she could be governor and a wink she could be senator from Illinois, and, for the price of a few beads of sweat, she could probably even be President of the United States, she has chosen instead to stay home. Would that the same could be said of other celebrities. But, as Clint Eastwood might say, Oprah is a woman who knows her limitations.
One thing that she did for which she has received far too little credit. Last October she came out for John Fetterman for Senator from Pennsylvania and, significantly, against her old friend Mehmet Oz. Her timing was impeccable. Too early and people might have forgotten. Too late and the word wouldn’t have time to do damage. Her’s was the Goldilocks endorsement — and it was just right. She may well have made all the difference all by herself.
Another thing she’s good at is knowing when she is joking. Apparently, years ago, Oprah once told Donald Trump in a letter, “too bad we’re not running for office. What a team!” It’s a throwaway line that she clearly had no intention of following through on. Donald Trump, of course, doesn’t know a joke when he sees it, especially when his ego is at stake. “Sadly, once I announced for President, she never spoke to me again,” Trump writes, according to Axios.
But Trump was never a man reluctant to show what a whore he is and how desperate he is for money. Donald Trump is selling that letter — and others — in book form. The new book, due out on April 25th (and, talk about missed opportunities, just five days after Hitler’s birthday!) is to be called, with typical absent imagination, “Letters to Trump.”
The book can be bought for, I hope you’re sitting down, $99. A signed edition goes for a whopping $399. Both priced for MAGA suckers who will let the kids starve and sell the old truck for it, no doubt.
“Letters to Trump” includes messages from presidents, royals, celebrities, business leaders and Kim Jung Un. He picked them out after having saved more than four decades worth of letters stored (some illegally) at his properties. The publisher is the ostentatiously named Winning Team Publishing, the same publishing house that released Trump’s coffee table book last year called “Our Journey Together.” That book made the grifter $20 million in sales in its first two months.
Some of the letters (according to Axios) came from such people as Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, Princess Diana, Hillary Clinton, Ted Kennedy, Mario Cuomo, Arnold Palmer, Jay Leno, Liza Minnelli, and Regis Philbin. Sold wherever cloyingly egotistical books are to be found.
Ms Winfrey’s message to Trump came after he sent her a copy of his 2000 book, “The America We Deserve,” in which he wrote that Ms Winfrey would be his “first choice for Vice President.” Instead of the clearly wished for endorsement, Oprah penned her less-than-sincere reply.
“Americans respect and admire Oprah for her intelligence and caring,” Trump sycophantically gushed at the time. “She has provided inspiration for millions of women to improve their lives, go back to school, learn to read, and take responsibility for themselves. If I can’t get Oprah, I’d like someone like her.” Thankfully his trick didn’t work.
This new book announcement spawned expected mockery from Twitter users. Examples included, “good lord his grifting is endless.” “I wonder if he’ll publish letters from any of his special prosecutors?” Greg Kueterman said. Ljupka Todorovic said Trump was “fighting so hard to remain relevant. Sad.” “Another zero effort money grab. Dude is broke. A coloring book is next,” Hal Sparks tweeted. Not even Elon Musk could rescue his friend from taunting derision.
There are eight million stories in the naked city of Donald Trump’s naked and desperate greed. This has been one of them. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.
Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.