Donald Trump began a new year Tuesday perched squarely on the junction of opulence and bluster that have come to define his personal and political persona, the clink of Champagne glasses wafting under his stern warning to Iran and a red carpet framing his flaming of Democrats.
He was ushering out a decade that began by crowning Bret Michaels the Celebrity Apprentice and ended with fresh risk for presiding over conflict on two continents. The now-familiar dichotomy between Trump the billionaire celebrity and Trump the commander in chief is never more apparent than at Mar-a-Lago, the South Florida estate where guests jockey to meet the proprietor who also happens to run the country.
Appearing before a bank of cameras he had invited onto his property, Trump warned Iran that the US would vanquish it quickly and deemed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi a “highly overrated person” as his wife looked on.
“We’re going to have a great year, I predict,” Trump said as he arrived to his party.