Five ways Donald Trump is different from his presidential predecessors

Five ways Donald Trump is different from his presidential predecessors
By Chris Harris
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In it for the money?

In it for the money?


It is not unusual for top-level politicians to leave office and make money on the after-dinner speech circuit, or as a consultant to big business.

But Donald Trump has thrown this model on its head, earning his fortune before taking up office. He will be the first billionaire to be elected to the White House.

Trump, however, is not the first president to come from a wealthy background. John F Kennedy, for example, was born into a rich, well-connected family. Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt were also not short of money.

Age over experience?

One of the key strands of Trump’s campaign, certainly early on at least, was to play on the rumours surrounding Hillary Clinton’s health. But he could hardly play the age card – he was 70 in June and is a year older than Clinton.

This also makes him the oldest person to be elected for the first time to the White House, pushing out fellow Republican Ronald Reagan, who was 69 when he came to office in 1980. Reagan, perhaps unsurprisingly, was also the oldest outgoing US president. He was nearly 78 when he left office in January 1989.

Trump will also be the first septuagenarian to move into the White House.

Building a reputation

The Washington Monument on The Mall; New York’s John F Kennedy International Airport; and the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC are all, as you may have guessed, places or monuments named after former US presidents.

Former presidents’ names are also used on a host of other buildings, from memorials to schools, libraries to heritage sites.

But Trump comes to office with a skyscraper already in his name. Trump Tower, located on Fifth Avenue in New York City, is home to the billionaire and his business empire. It was also the filming location for the US version of The Apprentice, which starred Trump.

Putting it down to experience

Much was made during campaigning about Clinton being the most-qualified candidate – she’s been a US senator since 2001.

That is in stark contrast to Trump, who will be first US president to take office having not had any significant prior political experience.

The relatively youthful Barack Obama had more than a decade in politics before assuming office in 2009.

And even Reagan, a former Hollywood actor, had a political career before becoming president.

Successful marriages

It’s claimed that Reagan is the only US president to have been divorced, even though that was well before his presidency.

But again, Trump is different to his predecessors in this regard.

Melania Trump, a former model, is Trump’s third wife after Ivana Zelníčková and actress Marla Maples.

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