Donald Trump needed his big moment on the last night of the Republican National Convention to be spectacular. He needed it to be the moment he sold a very skeptical America on his ability to run the country. Instead, as he walked up to the podium he slid his hand down his own daughter’s backside on live television and grossed everyone out. Needless to say, more than a few people were too weirded out to actually pay attention to his rambling, hour-long speech.
Which, to be fair, might be a good thing for Trump. His speech was that bad:
This speech is a relentless, unyielding, humorless, hectoring appeal to fear and loathing.
— Bret Stephens (@StephensWSJ) July 22, 2016
Just before his speech, however, his daughter delivered a much less “hectoring appeal to fear and loathing.” Rather than seize the momentum his daughter had set up, Trump walked out on stage, grabbed her by the arms, then – for reasons known only to Trump – decided to slide his hand down to rest awkwardly on her hips, and began to gently pat. Ivanka, perhaps sensing the sheer lunacy of the situation, visibly recoiled.
Also, what on earth was this? pic.twitter.com/l62VBOM6xn
— Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) July 22, 2016
One might forgive Trump this particular transgression as a harmless – albeit awkward – mistake; however, Trump has spent years voicing weirdly sexualized ideas about his daughter. If the butt pat wasn’t awkward enough, the optics of the butt pat was truly awful.
Here’s what he freely told a Rolling Stone reporter last year:
At 69, he can still carry on like the teen who was yanked out of prep school and delivered to Col. Dobias, the take-no-shit instructor at the military academy. After I met Ivanka and praised her to her father, he said, “Yeah, she’s really something, and what a beauty, that one. If I weren’t happily married and, ya know, her father . . . ”
Way back in 2006, Trump was even more explicit when asked what his reaction would be if Ivanka decided to pose in Playboy:
It would be really disappointing — not really — but it would depend on what’s inside the magazine. I don’t think Ivanka would do that, although she does have a very nice figure. I’ve said if Ivanka weren’t my daughter, perhaps I’d be dating her.
It is perhaps with those memories flooding back that people watched Trump’s behavior at the RNC with a sense of nausea. And that was before he began his “relentless, unyielding, humorless, hectoring appeal” to be America’s next president.
Featured image via YouTube