Last June, as dusk fell outside Tony Schwartz’s sprawling house, on a leafy back road in Riverdale, New York, he pulled out his laptop and caught up with the day’s big news: Donald J. Trump had declared his candidacy for President. As Schwartz watched a video of the speech, he began to feel personally implicated.
Trump, facing a crowd that had gathered in the lobby of Trump Tower, on Fifth Avenue, laid out his qualifications, saying, “We need a leader that wrote ‘The Art of the Deal.’ ” If that was so, Schwartz thought, then he, not Trump, should be running. Schwartz dashed off a tweet: “Many thanks Donald Trump for suggesting I run for President, based on the fact that I wrote ‘The Art of the Deal.’ ”
The question that arises here is: what’s the reason for this guy’s unhappiness? He IS listed as co-author, AND without Trump’s name as the main author, the sales would have been FAR lower. Implicitly, his revenue off writing the book would have been substantially lower. He is disgruntled because he got paid A LOT for a book which, solely under his name, would have made pathetic sales???
Schwartz had ghostwritten Trump’s 1987 breakthrough memoir, earning a joint byline on the cover, half of the book’s five-hundred-thousand-dollar advance, and half of the royalties. The book was a phenomenal success, spending forty-eight weeks on the Times best-seller list, thirteen of them at No. 1. More than a million copies have been bought, generating several million dollars in royalties. The book expanded Trump’s renown far beyond New York City, making him an emblem of the successful tycoon. Edward Kosner, the former editor and publisher of New York, where Schwartz worked as a writer at the time, says, “Tony created Trump. He’s Dr. Frankenstein.”
Esentially, one can estimate that Schwartz got a few millions out of this.
Schwartz thought about publishing an article describing his reservations about Trump, but he hesitated, knowing that, since he’d cashed in on the flattering “Art of the Deal,” his credibility and his motives would be seen as suspect. Yet watching the campaign was excruciating. Schwartz decided that if he kept mum and Trump was elected he’d never forgive himself. In June, he agreed to break his silence and give his first candid interview about the Trump he got to know while acting as his Boswell.
It is unclear what Mr. Schwartz wouldn’t forgive himself for. Given that, at the moment, the other candidate is Hillary Clinton, who is the person to illegally store state secrets in her basement, Trump’s guilt of hiring a ghostwriter doesn’t seem like a big deal anymore. Not to mention that last month, John Ashe, a former U.N. official, conveniently happened to be found dead, with his throat crushed, only a few days before testifying against Mrs. Clinton in court.
“I put lipstick on a pig,” Schwartz said. “I feel a deep sense of remorse that I contributed to presenting Trump in a way that brought him wider attention and made him more appealing than he is.” He went on, “I genuinely believe that if Trump wins and gets the nuclear codes there is an excellent possibility it will lead to the end of civilization.”
Who might the lipstick analogy have come from? It definitely sounds like something that a woman (wink-hint!) would consider. Trump may have made himself more appealing than he is, but none of his alleged mistresses was found dead. Remember Vince Foster (found dead in 1993)? At the time, his death was ruled a suicide. However, recent records show that he magnificently managed to commit suicide with TWO bullets, and even move his own body after death. As a coincidence, rumours had it that he was Mrs. Clinton’s “secret” affair. For the time being, it seems like this particular ghostwriter didn’t put lipstick on a pig, but merely a ribbon on a crooked cow.
What does Tony Schwartz stand to gain from all of this? By the looks of it, there are at least 3 options:
a) he may be looking for publicity for his new company
b) the Clintons happened to pay more in 2016 than Trump has paid in 1985, and, of course, 1985-2016 is quite a long time for the money to have dried out (plus, their Foundation really had their hands on huge money).
c) he’s been gently warned about a possible future suicide or accident he may have
d) he is such an honest character!
Paragraphs in italic source: NewYorker