Trump: How New York City Real Estate Helped Shape the Presidential Candidate

Trump Tower FBN

Trump has maintained his frontrunner status of the Republican field since his announcement speech at Trump Tower all the way back in June, despite relentless attacks from both the Democratic and Republican establishments.  Now he’s back in New York poised for a commanding win in the New York Republican Primary on Tuesday.  It is Trump’s New York roots that have given him the chutzpah to command the lead, and perhaps capture the nomination, go on to win the presidency, and ultimately make America great again.

Many of Donald Trump’s harshest critics have characterized him as rude, obnoxious, arrogant, dismissive, and at times uncivil. They question his ability to be “presidential” and are baffled at how a real estate mogul who never held political office could spark a revolution, winning decisive primaries in key states, rallying millions of workaday Americans behind him, and taking on both political establishments.

What his critics fail to realize is that Trump has tapped into a geyser of anger and frustration that has been years in the making and his ability to channel that anger can be traced directly back to his real estate roots.

He cut his teeth in the rough and tumble world of New York City real estate and his career has been publically chronicled by many ups and downs which put him on this solid path as a contender for Commander-in-Chief.

He turned an outer borough residential portfolio into a trophy building Manhattan portfolio which has included the Plaza Hotel and the General Motors building. He’s developed Hyatt hotels, Trump Tower, and renovated Wollman Rink in Central Park.    

Deal-making in this town is known to be cutthroat and unforgiving.  I can tell you from personal experience that it’s not for the faint of heart. Trump knows first-hand about clawing your way back when the chips are down.

In order to be a successful developer, dealmaker, and investor in the Manhattan real estate market you need to have solid instincts and guts, a stomach for taking on tremendous risk, and you need to be a world-class negotiator. Trump embodies all of these qualities but most importantly he expresses himself like a true New Yorker; forcefully and directly. This is one of the reasons I am supporting Trump.

For the first time, we have a candidate that is speaking to the American people not at them.  Trump speaks his mind just as he did when dealing with some of the toughest unions in the real estate business.  He has a rough edge to him and is certainly far from a policy wonk.

For decade’s politicians on both sides of the aisle drove us deeper and deeper into debt, passed massive regulations, created crushing debt and made questionable trade deals. As Trump has argued; millions of manufacturing jobs have left the country and our borders have opened to illegal immigrants who in turn have taken jobs from American workers and have put intense strain on an already over-burdened middle class.  This is the most important decision our country will make in a decade.

Trump’s New York brashness – his refusal to be politically correct – is thus seen by many as uniquely qualifying him to accomplish the immense change we now require to set our country back on track. In other words, Trump is seen as the means by which to change the existing political order.

Decades down the road, this election could one day be seen as the beginning of a new political order.

Jason D. Meister is a Senior Director at real estate firm Ackman Ziff and is also Co-Chair, Trump New York State Campaign of 12th Congressional District.