Inside the Book Launch Party for Anthony Scaramucci’s ‘Trump: The Blue Collar President’
It was only a matter of time, but a memoir about Anthony Scaramucci’s experience with Donald Trump is upon us.
To celebrate, SkyBridge Capital, the global investment firm that Scaramucci co-managed and from which he initially separated himself in order to resolve any conflicts of interest with the hopes of landing a plum gig in the Trump administration, hosted a lively fête in Midtown Manhattan on Monday night.
The setting was Hunt & Fish Club, self-described on its website as the “the best steakhouse and seafood” in New York City, with a standard throwback power lunch menu featuring chopped iceberg wedge salad, Porterhouse for two, jumbo crab cakes, and a 2.5-pound Maine lobster.
The doors were scheduled to open at 6:30 p.m., but by the time I arrived at 6:20 p.m., the house was already roaring under the gilded ceiling, adorned with chandelier lights from the front of the room to the back. The open bar was already overwhelmed by 7 p.m. Wine, beer, and cocktails were all readily available, but the house did have a special cocktail for the event, dubbed “When Life Gives You Lemons,” comprised of Tito’s vodka, club soda, and a splash of lemonade. When I asked the bartender why that cocktail, she replied that she didn’t know, surmising that the events coordinator came up with it.
On sale as of October 23, Trump: The Blue Collar President is being published by Center Street, an imprint of Hachette Book Group focusing on nonfiction “in such categories as Conservative Political and Military.” Scaramucci’s tome is just the latest penned by a former White House official, now on the outside and (somewhat) free to tell all. Many readers will likely be curious to get another take at the now-infamous short tenure that the former Goldman Sachs executive spent as White House Communications Director.
But the book is described to offer the “inside story of how Donald J. Trump, a billionaire living on Fifth Avenue, identified the struggle of blue-collar Americans, and won the Presidency.” That’s at least according to the publisher’s description next to the pre-order button on Amazon.com. (Curiously, there’s still a discrepancy on the book jacket, describing that Scaramucci, often referred to in the press as “the Mooch,” worked in the White House for 11 days, while virtually all news reports tally it at 10 days.)
“I wanted to call it that because of the relationship he has with blue collar people,” Scaramucci said earlier in the day about the title of the book while on NBC’s TODAY show. “He hijacked the base of the democratic party, a traditionally blue collar, union-base constituency.” (Although Scaramucci did acknowledge with a laugh to interviewer Savannah Guthrie about Trump once being offered a “golden toilet.” He also thanked Guthrie for describing his tenure for lasting 11 days, saying he had to correct Chuck Todd on Meet the Press the previous day for saying 10 days.)
Yet given the title and sales description of the book as well as Scaramucci’s repeated appearances on Fox News and MSNBC as one of the rotating outside talking heads speaking on the president’s behalf, there likely won’t be as many juicy bits (or anything painting Trump in a negative light) as seen in other White House books that have been published this year, such as Omarosa Manigault Newman’s explosive release in August, Unhinged.
Even the previews in the New York Post over the weekend ranges from glowing about Trump (the “adoring fans” packed into the Trump Tower atrium when Trump announced his run for the presidency in 2015) to gossip about in-house feuds we already knew about (Trump’s apparent dislike for his chief of staff, John Kelly, who coincidentally also fired Scaramucci after that fateful week and a half in July 2017).
This is Scaramucci’s fourth book, following The Little Book of Hedge Funds, Goodbye, Gordon Gekko, and Hopping Over the Rabbit Hole.
Copies of Trump: The Blue Collar President were stacked in virtually every corner of Hunt & Fish Club that you could imagine, with a curious piece of swag flying around: An actual blue collar with the book’s title imprinted on the inside. (Coincidentally, there was a stripe going down the back that when flipped over resembles the French flag’s tricolor.) Attendees were handed these blue collars upon arrival, but some guests didn’t take them. The gentleman in front of me when walking in just looked at it in disgust. When I was studying one at a table later in the evening, a man picked one up, noticed I was looking, grinned to himself, and then promptly dropped it and walked off without one.
A plentiful cheese and charcuterie board was laid out. Passed appetizers included meatballs, chicken egg rolls, arancini balls, and pigs in a blanket. A hot buffet for dinner rolled out shortly after, including pasta, grilled meats, and soft but gigantic popovers.
Getting to the food—or around the dining room in general—became difficult shortly after arrival as the room was so packed, you had to wonder if they either invited too many people or invited so many people not expecting this number to show up. Lots of bumping into Henri Bendel and Dolce & Gabbana handbags. No dress code had been set, and while the bar started at business casual, most men wore suits (many with pink ties—to the point where I lost count).
The only blue collars were on the table.
Meanwhile, Scaramucci was holding court in the photo line the entire night, giving time, photos, and autographs to any of his many guests who wanted them.
Some of the murmurs overheard near the meet-and-greet queue: “Oh, he loves this.” “He’s a hard worker.” “He’s taller than I expected. 6’1″?” “I had so many appetizers I’m ready to go home.” “I’m going to grab a copy of the book. Do you guys need a copy?” And this last one, in an English accent: “Let’s get a photo with the Mooch, and go home to our kids.”