Real-estate mogul Donald Trump offered entrepreneurialism as a salve for what he said were America’s economic and diplomatic ills at a May 27 Club luncheon.
“I love this country and I hate to see what’s happening,” Trump told a packed-to-the-rafters ballroom, which included four Wharton alums at the head table (including Mr. Trump and his daughter, Ivanka) and many in the audience.
In a speech on the power of branding, whether commercial or otherwise, Trump argued that the American brand has lost its luster in the last decade. As an example, he said Afghan President Hamid Karzai did not meet Barack Obama during the American president's trip to Afghanistan over the weekend.
For Trump, who has repeatedly attracted attention by saying he would consider seeking the Republican presidential nomination, the signs of waning American power are everywhere, from Russian President Vladimir Putin’s assertiveness to China’s alleged currency manipulation, to high tariffs on U.S. agricultural exports to Japan.
“We are in very, very serious trouble, and I just ask you, what positive thing has happened in this country in the last 10 years?” Trump said. But he followed that with a positive, if vague, hope about the “tremendous potential” of the country.
Trump offered his biography as a lesson to would-be entrepreneurs. He credited his original business partner, his father, for teaching him to negotiate and to be wary of scheming contractors.
Forbes estimates Trump's net worth at $3.9 billion, and the developer puts his names on his properties.
“Leadership and branding and all of that kind of success, to a large extent, it’s about winning,'' he said ``If you don’t win, people aren’t going to follow you.''
Citing of Wharton School and Wharton Club
At the start of the luncheon, the Press Club President, Myron Belkind, named those at the head table. He began by recognizing "Alan Schlaifer, President of the Wharton School Club of DC" and thanked Alan for bringing "so many Wharton alumni to the luncheon, including four at the head table."
During his remarks, Mr. Trump called Wharton "the greatest business school in the world," and, pointing to Club President Alan Schlaifer at the head table described the Wharton Club as "a great club."
Trump Hotel Being Developed at Old Post Office
Mr. Trump asked his daughter and Executive Vice President Ivanka to describe the status of the Trump Organization's new DC project. She called it “a landmark building on Pennsylvania Avenue (between 11th and 12th Streets) at one of the great addresses of all time. Its full potential hasn’t been realized for a long time, and we're going to change that.”
She added, “We're going to develop a super luxury hotel, 272 rooms, the largest ballroom of any luxury hotel in D.C., with unbelievable meeting space, spas, and restaurants to give tremendous life and vitality to Pennsylvania Avenue and to the hotel itself.”
She concluded, “We love D.C., we have loved this building for many years. For decades, my father’s been looking and waiting and exploring various opportunities in D.C. But when he came here, he wanted to do it the right way, with the right location, with the right development, and that's the Old Post Office building.”