Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Will The Donald Give Carrie Prejean a Second Chance?

Donald Trump, principal owner of the Miss USA Pageant, is expected to decide today the fate of Carrie Prejean, Miss California USA. Will he or won’t he strip her of her crown?

Tara Connor, Miss USA, presented him with a similar choice three years ago.

Allegedly, after Tara received her tiara, she partied, drank in public, used cocaine, snuck men into her apartment at Trump Place, and publicly kissed Miss Teen USA. These are, of course, acts that violate the morals clause signed by the beauty pageant contestants.

After a personal appearance by Tara, The Donald forgave her, explaining that “I’ve always been a believer in second chances.”

Will he show similar magnanimity with Carrie?

He loves the publicity. The Donald is a shameless self-promoter; he thrives on publicity and hyperbole. He once described Marla Maples, with whom he had an adulterous affair before divorcing Ivana, as “the best sex I ever had.”

The great sex did not stop him from dumping Marla one week before the end of the four year limitations period in their prenup. Marla received only $2 million in the settlement when trump’s estimated worth was $1.6 million. One week later, the divorce would have been very costly for him.

One hopes that wife number three, Melanie Knauss, had a better lawyer negotiating her prenup with the Donald. For what it’s worth, he’s 24 years older than her, but love springs eternal.

His show may be The Apprentice, but he is the ultimate Survivor in one of the world’s most Darwinian real estate markets, New York City.

Like many real estate developers, the Donald has made and lost fortunes many times.

Forget second chances, he had three chances with his Atlantic City casinos, which have entered bankruptcy three times. He once gambled on the law by suing the Massantucket Pequot Indians for the allegedly illegal Foxwoods Indian Casino. He lost that bet.

He’s doubling down with the law on the recent real estate collapse, which has cratered many of his development projects, by claiming the collapse is “An Act of God” which excuses him from performance. He will lose that one too. He, of course, will not give a second chance to the purchasers of his condos, denying them an Act of God release.

He made his first fortune converting the dilapidated Commodore Hotel in Manhattan into the Grand Hyatt in partnership with the Pritzkers. He lost his interest in the Grand Hyatt decades later.

Even his degree from Wharton was a second chance. He transferred to Wharton after two years at Fordham.

If he dismisses Carrie, which is clearly what the Miss California USA want, then he will make her a martyr for straight marriages. He may love publicity, but he doesn't need that publicity. Magnamity is the call of the day.

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