It has been quite a week for Donald Trump. The real estate mogul, combover icon, and current Republican Presidential candidate has had a laundry list of companies part ways with him—Macy’s, NBCUniversal, Univision, and Serta Mattresses, to name a few. When combined, all of this results in tens of millions in lost business, plus even more from deals for which financial terms are unknown.
And yet, politically speaking, Trump is riding high. In a recent national poll from CNN, Trump is second only to Jeb Bush among potential Republican candidates. He is tied for second with Ben Carson, behind Scott Walker in the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses, and second in the all-important New Hampshire primary polls.
So, even as brands abandon Trump one after the other on account of his comments about Mexican immigrants in his presidential kick-off speech last month—in which he said many of those that cross the border are criminals and rapists—it’s possible that The Donald is actually going to see a net gain from this, no matter how much money he loses in the short-term.
Donald Trump is a mass media phoenix, always finding a way to rise from the ashes. After nearing bankruptcy in the late 1980s, he found his way out. With his star fading early in the last decade, he somehow turned “The Apprentice,” a show in which primarily snoozy contestants fight to see who can kiss Trump’s posterior with the most force, into a mega-hit. And when people grew tired of watching normals, he drew them back in by capitalizing on the “celeb-reality” trend, bringing on D-listers (and sub-D-listers) to his show.
Even as “The Celebrity Apprentice” was airing, though, Trump started to cultivate what may be his most successful career change yet—right wing agitator. Trump has become a consistent presence on Fox News. He led the charge to get President Obama to release his long-form birth certificate, even as most commentators on the right said the effort was both ineffective and intellectually dishonest. He’s given speeches at the Conservative Political Action Conference. And though his comments about immigration may not sit well with some in the business world, they’re red meat to members of the conservative movement. Now that he can claim he’s the victim of politically correct liberals who don’t want to hear the truth, some on the right will love him even more.
So, despite losing his $13.5 million deal with Univision, his licensing deal with Serta mattresses, and missing out on the millions of dollars he would have brought in from future seasons of “The Apprentice,” do not weep for Donald Trump. The man always has a plan, and he’s just getting started with his latest act.