Sometime during this codeine-addled horserace of an election cycle, I lost the ability to distinguish between Donald Trump and John F. Kennedy. Last week, after a particularly stressful day, I came home around 7 p.m.,
But this wasn't Camelot. The man was Donald Trump, who, according to the New York Daily News, sees a lot of similarities between himself and Kennedy. On Wednesday, the New York Daily News reported that Trump is grooming his Mar-A-Lago mansion in Palm Beach to serve as a new version of Kennedy’s famed “Winter White House,” which was also located in Palm Beach. Trump, the story said, has also allegedly hired image consultants who are helping his wife, Melania, transition into the second coming of Jacqueline Kennedy.
Given President Trump’s impending reign, allow us to parse out the rest of the obvious similarities between the two men.
1. Men of style...
John F. Kennedy’s wardrobe has come to define classic, New England style. He managed to look dignified in clothes that would have made lesser men appear dweebish and weak: Sweaters tied around the neck, tight-fitting polo shirts, khaki pants, loafers. Despite the fact that there does not appear to be a single photo of JFK with unkempt hair in existence, the quality the man exuded, above all else, was effortlessness. If he put on a suit, it just so happened that it fit perfectly and perhaps matched his car’s upholstery.
Trump too exudes that same sort of effortless air. His pants, which tend to fit like nurse’s scrubs, hang there as if he's never once thought about the way they look at all. He doesn't seem to care that his ties are made of so much polyester that they could catch fire in indirect sunlight. Where Kennedy tended to pose for photos with his shoulders back, his head tilted confidently to the sky, Trump seems to always be photographed hunched over, with his arms outstretched, like a large baby stumbling toward chocolates. But this is, clearly, because he is just reaching out hard for our votes.
2. ... Married to women of style.
Jackie Kennedy, much like her husband, came to define style and poise for women of a certain generation. She set fashion trends while still managing to appear timeless. She wore a pillbox hat better than almost any human in recorded history. She hosted poets and foreign dignitaries at the White House, restored many of the building’s pieces of antique furniture to their former glory, and hobnobbed with European dignitaries.
It might have taken Trump three tries to find his proper counterpart, but Melania Trump too is a woman of dignity, class, and neon-hued nail polish. She carries her signature look, "Being younger than Donald's first and second wives," with grace and humility.
And, in a move straight out of Jackie O's playbook, Melania once switched bodies with the Aflac duck.
3. They were both beloved in Palm Beach.
Ignoring the fact that Kennedy was likely sleeping with nearly any woman he laid eyes on in South Florida (more on that in a second), the Kennedys’ Palm Beach compound, situated on Millionaire’s Row, appeared to be nothing but a source of tranquility for the family throughout Kennedy’s presidency. In a photoset from Christmas 1962, Kennedy, doing his best to act out a Norman Rockwell painting, hangs stockings over his fireplace as his children run circles around him in their pajamas. In another video, the president is seen swimming in his backyard, tossing some balls to his dogs.
Trump, likewise, moved into the historic Mar-A-Lago mansion, in the very same neighborhood, in the 1990s. But according to the Washington Post, the Palm Beach Town Council handed Trump a “list of restrictions” that so greatly incensed Trump, his lawyer sent every member of the council copies of the films A Gentleman’s Agreement and Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, which exposed the anti-Semitism and racism of the film's respective time periods. Though the Town Council was incensed, its members eventually ceded that, yes, those films do show that "entitled billionaires who inherited all of their money" struggle just as hard as minorities do.
Trump now runs Mar-A-Lago as a private club and apparently charges a $100,000 “initiation fee” to gain access, along with $14,000 in annual dues. It’s a worthy price to pay for relaxation, sure — the planes taking off from Palm Beach International Airport, which sits a handful of miles away, vibrate some calming waves into the central pool.
4. Women love them both....
Though Kennedy wasn’t exactly a beacon of fidelity and marital trust (he was, after all, sleeping with so many women that Jackie was apparently set to divorce him), his reputation doesn’t seem to have taken too much of a hit in the years since, likely due to his slick public persona (See: Clinton, Bill) and the, erm, unfortunate way his presidency ended.
Trump, meanwhile, is so beloved, he has been married three times. His advice for dealing with one's spouse — like being sure not to give a wife jewelry, lest she own "negotiable assets" in a divorce — seems to have done him well over the years. He's also an astute poet, who once said women and "buildings" can have the same "beauty and elegance."
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While @BetteMidler is an extremely unattractive woman, I refuse to say that because I always insist on being politically correct.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 28, 2012
5. Powerful, racist dads....
Donald Trump's father, Fred, ran an apartment complex in Queens, New York, and was reportedly so averse to selling homes to black people that Woody Guthrie wrote an entire song about it. The elder Trump then gifted most of his accrued wealth to his son.
JFK's father, Joseph, was a powerful political boss and, apparently, a "grotesque and paranoid" anti-Semite who relentlessly groomed his children for elected office from a young age.
Conclusion: The same exact guy, with a few minor exceptions.