Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump have ZERO experience or expertise in government affairs. Just 2 entitled rich kids.
— Matt Murphy (@MattMurph24) March 29, 2017
My impression of Jared Kushner, gleaned from reading of him over the years — and especially in the past six months — is that he's a husk as a businessman, utterly hollow, but utterly convinced he is supremely gifted.
It terrifies me that he has been cast as the voice of reason in the Trump Administration, not to mention his feckless, Stepford Daughter wife, Ivanka.
But my impression seems correct, at least if this former Kushner staffer — the illustrious Elizabeth Spiers — is to be believed.
On my first day of work as the editor in chief of the New York Observer, which had been acquired five years earlier by Jared Kushner, now the son-in-law and senior adviser to President Trump, I inherited an office and a desktop computer, both in fine but used condition. The computer was a recent-model Mac, but when I turned it on, it was inexplicably running Windows. I summoned our beleaguered IT guy to explain, and he informed me that it had belonged to Kushner, who liked the design of Apple products but preferred the Windows OS.
“So he was basically using a $2,500 desktop as a monitor?” I said. The IT guy shrugged.
That's a fairly gossipy example, but also:
Kushner’s claim to business knowledge, beyond admiring Silicon Valley, boils down to his work for his family’s commercial real estate company, which is hardly comparable to a government institution. And if industry dynamics are not transitive across the board, expertise isn’t, either.
On that count, I’m not even sure how to quantify Kushner’s expertise, anyway. Yes, he ran the company — which he inherited, not uncommon in New York’s dynastic, insular real estate world. But he was sure he had the goods. When I worked for him, I wasn’t sure he had a realistic view of his own capabilities since, like his father-in-law, he seemed to view his wealth and its concomitant accoutrements as rewards for his personal success in business, and not something he would have had in any case. To me, he appeared to view his position and net worth as the products of an essentially meritocratic process.
This is not going to end well. Let's all hope, and let's all make sure, it does end. Soon.