February 07, 2018
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Bills Small and Large: On Competing Performances

Now anything is possible in American politics. But you still have to pay for it.

by Christopher Brauchli

To compare great things with small.
— Milton, Paradise Lost

What a coincidence-the activities of two great performers in the very same week! Of course, the activity of one of the performers was, as all of his performances are, fake, whereas the activities of the other performer were completely genuine, although not as all-encompassing as when viewed in movies.

One of the performances took place on January 26, 2018, in Davos, Switzerland, at the World Economic Forum. It was there that D.J. Trump, known professionally as “President Trump,” distinguished himself by not making a fool of himself or embarrassing the country he came to represent. He reaffirmed that America was great, letting the attendees know that he has been successful in making America “great again,” while saying, in response to a shouted question that “everyone’s great.”

The other performance took place four days earlier in Greenville, South Carolina, at The Trophy Club, where Stephanie Clifford, known professionally as “Stormy Daniels,” staged her own performance. Her performance was the beginning of a tour that was not in furtherance of making America Great Again. It was a tour that was called: “Make America Horny Again.” It was a somewhat different performance from the one given by Mr. Trump, although the performance revealed Ms. Clifford’s attributes that not only caused her and Mr. Trump to become friends, but demonstrated what qualities she possessed that had contributed to her success in the world of adult entertainment. There were a number of similarities in the presence and presentations of the two celebrities in their respective venues.

According to reports, Mr. Trump was the hottest ticket in Davos at an event attended by luminaries from around the world. One viewer said Mr. Trump was very successful in presenting his accomplishments. Another commentator said the speech had a very strong domestic focus. Like Mr. Trump, Ms. Clifford was very successful in presenting her successes to those in attendance at The Trophy Club, and, of course, her presence reminded viewers that her encounters with Mr. Trump had a strong domestic focus, having taken place while his wife was at home caring for their youngest who had been born a few short months before Mr. Trump’s tryst with Ms. Clifford took place.

Unlike Mr. Trump’s performance, Ms. Clifford’s performance was not marked by a crowd of distinguished diplomats and people of great wealth. It had a folksier appeal. According to one description of those attending Ms. Clifford’s performance, the attendees were “large men with small bills.” Attendees at Davos were people who all had large bills. Many of the men in attendance at Ms. Clifford’s performance wanted to have their pictures taken with her, and she gladly acquiesced. She even graciously removed her top and permitted the man standing next to her to “grab her front,” as the New York Times reporter in attendance delicately put it. She permitted other men to nestle their heads between what were described as her basketball-sized breasts. Those wanting to have their pictures taken with Mr. Trump were not afforded the same courtesy, even if they presented him with large bills.

The cost of attending the two events was markedly different. Davos, when the home of the Economic Forum, is a place only the very wealthy can afford to attend. The Trophy Club upped its prices to take advantage of the appearance of Ms. Clifford. The cover charge went from $10 to $20. Although that was a 100% increase over the normal rate, Jay Levy, who owns the Trophy Club said: “I’ve got to take care of my people. I’ll take advantage of the situation, but not my people.”

The performance at the Trophy Club by Ms. Clifford, was somewhat different from the performance given by Mr. Trump in Davos. Although Mr. Trump strolled imperiously among the guests bestowing occasional, but supercilious smiles and gestures on observers, and ending his appearance with a speech attended by a full house, Ms. Clifford’s appearance, while more revealing, was less imperious. It let the world see what it was that had attracted Mr. Trump to her. In addition to her exposures, she also gave two five-minute burlesque shows. Those shows were, of course, shorter than Mr. Trump’s performance, though probably more entertaining since they were real, whereas descriptions of Mr. Trump’s speech said he mixed fact and fiction. There was no fiction (other than perhaps the cause of the oversized breasts) in Ms. Clifford’s performance.

Running for political office is something Mr. Trump did, and something Ms. Clifford considered. A report in the New York Post that described Ms. Clifford’s appearance at The Trophy Club, concluded with the news that Ms. Clifford had considered running for the Senate against Louisiana’s David Vitter. The campaign slogan she considered was quite different from the “Make America Great Again” slogan used by Mr. Trump. Hers was very straightforward: “Stormy Daniels: Screwing people honestly.” Had Mr. Trump thought of it, with one minor modification, that slogan would have worked for him, too. The only change that would have been required was dropping the last word.

Originally appeared in Common Dreams

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