Entertainment

Jared Kushner’s Book Blitz Is Straight Out of the Donald Trump PR Playbook

The cameras went live in Fox headquarters in midtown Manhattan last week as Larry Kudlow introduced a special in-studio guest. Beside him was Jared Kushner, his former Trump administration colleague, there to plug his memoir, Breaking History. Who’s actually going to read this book? Kudlow asked.

“I wasn’t really a communicator when we were in Washington,” began Kushner, in his signature ultra-slim suit and starched spread collar. “I was behind the scenes…. It’s [for] people who want to know the truth, who want to know what the media wasn’t telling them…about what was actually happening inside the Trump White House.”

It is rare that on a book tour, an author undersells something. But Kushner saying that he was not really a communicator during his four years in Washington doesn’t quite capture the way he blended in with his surroundings. He almost never sat for interviews or talked to reporters on the record, which was unusual for such a high-ranking, long-lasting figure in a West Wing generally obsessed with cable news and navel-gazing gossip. Why would Kushner put himself out there? He had no need. His position and hard power had always been secure, the more quietly so the better.

In the first few days after Breaking History was released, Kushner did more interviews than he had in his collective six years in the public eye, by a long shot. For weeks ahead of its release, bits of the book’s newsiest details dripped out from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post, as well as Vanity Fair. Hope Hicks coordinated requests, with a little help from Kushner’s longtime right-hand man, Avi Berkowitz. Kushner enlivened his Instagram account to post behind-the-scenes photos of events he wrote about in the book, lauding his father-in-law and urging his followers to pick up copies. Same goes for his Twitter account, which, until now, had almost never been used (Kushner himself was not posting on either platform; it was tasked to staffers). He sent out several email blasts each day to his father-in-law’s email list, asking people to donate at least $75 dollars to receive a signed copy of the book.

“I’ve never reached out before,” went his initial email, which was followed by many more, plus some cameo correspondence by his wife, Ivanka Trump. “I’m very proud of this book and am humbled by the support I’ve received thus far. I want to thank you for always standing by my family and me by sending you a signed copy of my new book,” wrote Kushner. And “Just contribute $75 or more.” Kushner’s combo promo-stumping proceeds went to the PAC Trump founded after he lost the election, Save America Joint Fundraising Committee. Trump himself praised Breaking History in a post on Truth Social and yet another email to his supporters. The book’s release happens to come at a moment when Kushner and his wife’s father are the closest they’ve been in years, according to people familiar with their relationship. The last couple of months, the two men have lived in cottages 30 feet from each other in Bedminster, New Jersey, separated just by the entrance to the pool.

It’s not surprising that Kushner remained so under the radar until now. He enjoyed complete security within Trump’s notoriously insecure orbit and had Trump’s ear enough that he didn’t need to reach him by talking to the press, as many of his other aides felt they had to. He had a pretty nice life without all of this; he was wealthy by birth, made richer by connections formed during his time in the White House.

What is striking is that he’s decided to ratchet up his volume after so many years of intense scrutiny, when he could just continue to live the lower-key, by all accounts settled, life he’s set up for himself since leaving the White House. He and Ivanka moved to Florida, alongside people content to trade New York City for the tax break. His investment firm, Affinity Partners, raised more than $3 billion, including a $2 billion commitment from the Saudi sovereign-wealth fund. He’s received relatively little attention, beyond a few gossip items that included details about Ivanka nearly walking the family dog on a dog-free beach and the couple reportedly having a date night in Rochester, Minnesota, where the Mayo Clinic is located, on the night that FBI agents executed a search warrant on Mar-a-Lago. To upset that to sell books, particularly for a billionaire, seems to belie reason. I was initially surprised that, post White House, the Kushners wouldn’t try to at least publicly distance themselves from the Trump brand—particularly after January 6 and the January 6 committee hearings and polling that shows the American public is losing its taste for Trump—as they went on their merry way.



Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.