What if it was all planned this way? What if this conversation happened behind closed doors 18 months ago:
DONALD: I think I’m going to do it. I’m going to run for President.
IVANKA: Daddy, we’ve talked about this. You don’t have an angle, you don’t have a way to separate from the other dozen GOP candidates.
DONALD: That’s just it, darling. I have my angle. My campaign will fight “the war on political correctness.”
IVANKA: What are you talking about?
DONALD: It’s perfect. Everyone in the red states, that’s their number one issue. It’s the perfect way to be against cop-killing and trans kids and Hollywood all in the same breath. And it’s cross-over. I’ll get blue state votes. Nobody goes on TV and defends political correctness as such. The social justice warriors have gone too far, and I’m gonna pin everything they’ve said on Hillary, who won’t be able to disavow any of it.
IVANKA: I don’t like it. It makes you look small: “I’m fighting political correctness.” Doesn’t seem important enough.
DONALD: But it is!
IVANKA: And you’re already coming in as a dilettante candidate, a reality-TV star. You can’t afford to look like you’re obsessed with trivia.
DONALD: Hm, maybe I should go to Plan B.
IVANKA: Retire and give me the empire?
DONALD: No, darling, same campaign, but I don’t actually say I’m fighting a war on political correctness. Instead I’ll make a bunch of crazy un-PC statements and let the media act all shocked. The free publicity will drive up my numbers, like it did with the “birther” thing. And everyone will know I’m the true anti-PC candidate.
IVANKA: That’s still too trivial. You’ll sound like one of the gamergate trolls running for office.
DONALD: I’m going to tie the statements to issues.
IVANKA: Oh, well, that’s different. Tell me more.
DONALD: First, Melania, you want to weigh in here?
DONALD: Right. You know, I want to start with illegal immigrants. Mexicans, mostly.
IVANKA: What do you mean “start with”?
DONALD: So, on the day I announce my candidacy, I’m thinking I talk about the huge wall I’m going to build between here and Mexico, and then I call Mexicans rapists and criminals.
IVANKA: Oh, Daddy.
DONALD: I’ll make it look like I went off-script. The press will go nuts.
IVANKA: Why would you demean Mexicans? Don’t we have thousands working for us?
DONALD: Free publicity. Then I wait a week or so, and say that Muslims shouldn’t be allowed into the country.
IVANKA: America doesn’t have religious tests for immigrants.
DONALD: Exactly! After that, evangelicals will line up behind me. It’s a lot easier than reading the Bible. I can’t get through five paragraphs of that thing. Beget this, beget that, forget it!
IVANKA: Daddy, you can’t…intentionally commit gaffes. Those are what sink other candidates.
DONALD: But I’m not other candidates. Look, darling, we both know I’m going to commit a gaffe at some point, right? No way am I getting through these 15 scheduled live GOP debates without saying something un-PC, right?
IVANKA: Well, you do tend to shoot from the hip.
DONALD: It reminds me of when the Mar-a-Lago contractor told me that I had to choose between a gold-plated trim or a gold-plated inlay. I said why not both? He said it would look crass. I said, double-down. And now it’s the best club in Florida.
IVANKA: But Daddy, attacking Mexicans and Muslims, it’s so…so…
DONALD: …impractical? Nope, turns out I don’t need them. Now, you know I was thinking of running as an independent, but I’m going to need all of Mitt Romney’s states, so I’ll just have to run as an anti-Republican Republican.
IVANKA: An anti…what?
DONALD: I’ll dump all over George W. Bush and the Iraq War every chance I get. I may even make fun of POWs. Get some of those swing voters over to me. None of the other Republicans can do that.
DONALD: So I get all of Romney’s states, because for God’s sake I’m twice the candidate he was, and then I get the Rust Belt, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania. No Mexicans, no Muslims, just white working-class people who have been kicked around by the elites for 30 years now.
IVANKA: And black people.
DONALD: You know the blacks love me.
IVANKA: Are you going to attack black people too?
DONALD: Attack? Of course not. I’m going to talk about law and order. Ohio knows what I’m talking about. Cincinnati hasn’t forgotten how blacks almost burned it to the ground. Pennsylvania follows the news of those idiots next door in Baltimore.
IVANKA: Daddy…I don’t like it. And I don’t think it’s going to work. The press is going to eat you alive.
DONALD: The press is going to give me twenty times the coverage they give Marco Rubio or Jeb Bush. But see, it’s all going to be couched in “He’s finally gone too far,” or “Now his campaign is over.” And then when my numbers shoot up, the press will look like morons. And that’s the key. The reporters won’t lose their jobs for incompetence, while all my voters have already lost their jobs, or at least had their hours cut back, and they were competent! The media will never understand that…they won’t write a single article about it. Instead they’ll sit there in their cushy offices disparaging me, never understanding why my voters hate them so much, or why their “he’s done” pieces move my numbers up.
IVANKA: I have to say, you’ve really planned this out.
DONALD: You don’t know the half of it. I’m going to mock the disabled. I’m going to mock Jews. I’m going to kick the crap out of that fag Rosie O’Donnell. This is going to be fun!
IVANKA: What about women?
DONALD: What about women?
IVANKA: What are you going to say about women?
DONALD: Nothing at all, darling, don’t worry. I need women voters. I might attack a specific woman, like that hideous Carly Fiorina, or if a reporter gives me a hard time. Depending how Hillary reacts, I may say she’s “playing the woman card.” That’s all part of the long game of making her defend PC.
IVANKA: One last thing, Daddy – what about pre-existing tape of you?
DONALD: What do you mean?
IVANKA: If you’re the Republican nominee, they’re going to dig up old tapes of you. What about all those Howard Stern appearances?
DONALD: Those are comedy. That’s a comedy show. Nobody tells Howard the truth, it’s just for laughs. The only tape of me pre-approving the Iraq War is from Howard’s show, I’m going to say I was kidding, people will buy it.
IVANKA: I distinctly remember you telling Howard it was okay to call me “a piece of ass.”
DONALD: Again, that’s just locker-room, frat-boy humor. No one will care.
IVANKA: What about when you said “you have to treat them like shit?” What about when you bragged about never changing a diaper?
DONALD: Oh, come on. Meanwhile the Trump empire has hundreds of women executives.
IVANKA: Are there other tapes out there? Some producer of The Apprentice who might be holding a grudge? Or all the various appearances you’ve made everywhere? Maybe some beauty pageant contestant who had her iPhone recording while you said something crazy?
DONALD: You know what, darling? You’re really making me re-think this anti-PC strategy.
IVANKA: Right. It won’t work.
DONALD: No, what I’m realizing is I don’t just want to do it, I need to do it. I need to be the bulletproof, shoot-from-the-hip candidate, because when the tapes come out, my supporters will have already been like “we don’t agree with everything he says, but.” I’ll go with your indirect approach, but I better make sure I attack PC on the campaign website. [Note: I can’t link for this joke, because the website took down the section on PC which included the clip of Trump saying “Political correctness, we just don’t have time for it.”]
IVANKA: Please don’t embarrass me, Daddy. Don’t make me defend something terrible if it’s anti-woman.
DONALD: You have nothing to worry about. From now until Election Day, I’ll be more feminist than Gloria Steinem.
(shouting in background)
DONALD: Melania, do you not hear our fucking kid? Do you not know your fucking one job?
DONALD: I think I’m going to announce tomorrow. Want to ride down the escalator with me?
IVANKA: Uh, I’ll join you later.