Ivanka and Donald Trump scramble to protect their brands in wake of Naomi Klein book

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      This week, the Financial Times published a sympathetic article about the U.S. president's eldest daughter, painting her as the resident liberal in the White House.

      Of course, Ivanka Trump disagreed with Daddy Donald's decision to pull out of the Paris climate agreement, the newspaper reported. And she shared her concerns about the horror in Charlottesville.

      As for Trump's decision to expel trans people from the military, well, Ivanka didn't like that move, either.

      "When you're part of a team, you're part of a team," Ivanka told the Financial Times. "That doesn't mean everyone in the White House has homogenous views...."

      Trump was elected president because of Ivanka's relentless campaigning in 2016 to get female voters to vote for him.

      She must have known that her father was a bigot before then. She most certainly knew that he thought climate change wasn't worth worrying about.

      The recent hurricanes that hit Texas and Florida proved how terribly wrong he was on that score. 

      Now, Ivanka's brand is suffering the fallout because of its association with the blowhard in the White House. And this Financial Times article was an effort to stem the damage in a newspaper read by financial elites.

      It's not going to work because Trump's sharpest political opponents know that going after the family brand is going to inflict the most damage on the president's capacity to govern.

      Naomi Klein's recent book, No Is Not Enough: Resisting the New Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need, spelled out exactly how to jam the Trump brand.

      Constant protests, boycotts, and ridicule will undermine his family business. And because Trump defines himself by his wealth, attacking the brand will undermine his presidency.

      She noted in her book that when Trump's two eldest sons visited Vancouver for the grand opening of a hotel that bears their name, they were met with noisy protests, as well as boycotts from politicians.

      Mayor Gregor Robertson and members of Vancouver council were nowhere to be seen.

      "If these kind of protests spread," Klein wrote, "more developers could decide to de-Trump themselves. And it's a fair bet that if his golden name starts disappearing off giant phallic symbols from Vancouver to Manila, Trump would not take it well, nor would his sons, who are reportedly already worried about the damage that senior advisors like Steve Bannon may  have done to the family name."

      Naomi Klein's most recent book noted that Trump might modify his policies if he felt they were undermining the family brand.

      Since Klein wrote her book, Bannon has been fired. And Trump has been hobnobbing with top Democrats such as Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rep. Nancy Pelosi, which is driving Republicans nuts.

      With the Trumps, it's always about the brand. The Financial Times interview with Ivanka must be seen in this light, as should the photo ops with Trump beside Schumer and Pelosi.

      Trump doesn't give a damn about Republicans or Democrats. He's hoping that supporters of Schumer and Pelosi will hate him a little bit less—and perhaps scale back the protests—if he throws them a few political bones. Just by appearing beside Trump in photographs, Schumer and Pelosi are softening Trump's image.

      Trump has even backed off somewhat on building his notorious wall to keep out Mexicans. That's enraged the white nationalists at Breitbart News.

      "If his branding empire loses enough revenue, and his personal boss image is sufficiently battered, Trump might just course-correct on some of his more inflammatory policies," Klein wrote presciently in her book. "At the very least, jamming his central pitch to voters—'trust me, I'm a successful billionaire'—will hurt his chances in 2020."

      This appears to be unfolding, but that's not to suggest that Trump isn't capable of dastardly deeds if he thought this might improve his or his daughter's brand and the Trump Organization's bottom line. This is what makes Donald Trump the most dangerous president in American history.