One of the great political ironies of the Trump era is the fact that President Donald Trump, a native New Yorker who speaks with a heavy Queens accent, is wildly popular in the reddest of red states yet wildly unpopular in his home town. If only Mississippi, Idaho, Alabama and Wyoming voted in the 2020 presidential election, Trump would be reelected by a landslide; if only the five boroughs voted, his chances of winning a second term would be slim and none. Journalist Rebecca Liebson examines the president’s “contentious relationship” with his home town in an article published in the New York Times on Valentine’s Day, and she offers many examples of just how contentious it has become.
Since defeating Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election, Liebson explains, Trump “has become increasingly disillusioned with the state where he made his name.” The tension between Trump and New York State, according to Liebson, was evident on February 13 — when Trump met with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and discussed the “ban on New York-based applications” to the TrustedTraveler program and other subjects.
As Liebson notes, Trump is no longer a resident of New York State: he now claims Florida as his primary residence. The president tweeted, “I have been treated very badly by the political leaders of both the city and state. Few have been treated worse” — and Cuomo, on November 1, 2019, said of Trump’s decision, “Good riddance. It’s not like @realDonaldTrump paid taxes here anyway.”
According to Liebson, “No longer a Manhattan resident, Mr. Trump will most likely avoid New York State’s top tax rate of nearly 9 % and New York City’s top rate of nearly 4%. Florida does not have a personal income tax.”
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the White House, is the place I have come to love and will stay for, hopefully, another 5 years as we MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, but my family and I will be making Palm Beach, Florida, our Permanent Residence. I cherish New York, and the people of…..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 1, 2019
It’s not like @realDonaldTrump paid taxes here anyway…
He’s all yours, Florida. https://t.co/9AX0q1aBkQ
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) November 1, 2019
Cuomo is hardly the only prominent figure in New York State who Trump doesn’t get along with. New York State Attorney General Letitia James, a Brooklyn native, has made Trump-related investigations a high priority since her win in the 2018 midterms.
When Trump is holding a MAGA rally in a red state, there is no doubt that he knows how to fire up a right-wing crowd. But in his home town, as Liebson points out, he is so unpopular that even the name “Trump” has become less visible in Manhattan properties.
“For years,” Liebson observes, “Mr. Trump’s name was plastered on buildings across the city, but it has recently disappeared from several of them. The Trump SoHo hotel, for instance, is now called the Dominick. And tenants at two Trump-licensed apartment complexes on the Upper West Side voted to remove signage with the name.”
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