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    Friday, June 21, 2024

    Trump the dude? Not quite

    "Stormy Daniels Put Trump's Toxic Horniness on Full Display," read a Daily Beast headline. What has really been put on display is Donald Trump's desperate need to portray himself as a hunk with an awesome sex drive. He's done that his entire adult life. Now that he's an obese man of 77, the urgency to come off as a young buck has never been greater.

    As psychiatrist Peter Kramer wrote in his book "Should You Leave?", "We all know that older men need younger women not because the men still have it but because they don't; it takes something special to get them started."

    And for Trump it's not just younger women. They have to be models or porn stars or Playboy Playmates. Talk about requiring extra arousal.

    Even when he was still handsome and in his 30s, Trump would hang around Studio 54 to mix with the teen models. He later set up his own agency, Trump Models. Accused of cheating the models over matters of contracts and pay, the company was shut down in 2017.

    Since biblical times and before, insecure men have strived to put young beauties on their arm as evidence of their being very much in the game. And face it, many stunning women attach themselves to men with a lot of money, mainly to partake of the money.

    Which brings us to Melania. Trump's former fixer Michael Cohen testified in the Stormy Daniels hush-money trial that he asked his boss how the story of his tryst with a porn actress would "go upstairs," meaning with his wife. "Don't worry," Trump reportedly replied. "How long do you think I'll be on the market for? Not long."

    And that would be true. Trump could go out and find another, even younger babe highly interested in whatever wealth he has left. Setting the money part aside, an industrious beauty could find ways to monetize a relationship with such a famous man.

    Stormy Daniels testified that Trump told her that he and Melania were sleeping in separate beds. If true, then good for Melania.

    Women who have recently given birth are generally not keen to have sex for a while. And one could venture a further guess that the more Trump fools around with other women, the less he would bother her. She had already gotten what she wanted.

    Not to be too cynical about Melania's motives — she may think he's a wonderful mate — but she took all the right steps in nailing down a rich man. Once the ring was on her finger, she immediately got pregnant. That's right in the "manual."

    Melania's annoyance at the Stormy Daniels circus may reflect the nick it inflicted on her dignity more than the distress over how it could affect Donald's candidacy. But if self-respect were a big thing for her, she wouldn't have let Trump order her to stroll around Mar-a-Lago in a bikini. He did this, an Australian businessman and club member said, "so all the other guys could get a look at what they were missing."

    One assumes that Melania labors under a beast of a pre-nup agreement. (Trump's older children would not have it otherwise.) But should that marriage break up, Melania should know that she also has market value, despite her public humiliations.

    She's still good-looking, and men of means have been known to "buy" prestige by marrying a former first lady. The widowed Jackie Kennedy wasn't attracted to shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis based on looks alone.

    Meanwhile, probably no one knows better than Melania that Trump is not quite the dude he pretends to be. And what might be of greater concern, he's not as rich either.

    Froma Harrop covers the waterfront of politics, economics and culture with an unconventional approach. She can be reached at fharrop@gmail.com.

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