The Three Faces of Don

When I worked at Time magazine in the early ’80s, I bought a frame at the company gift shop that was a mock-up of the Time Man of the Year cover, but it was Mother of the Year. I put in a picture of my mom, looking chic in a suit, holding me as a baby.

I gave it to her for Mother’s Day as a goof.

But for Donald Trump, whose office at Trump Tower was an infinity mirror of his magazine covers, the annual Time rite has always been a serious obsession. He complained after it was changed in 1999. He asked women at a rally in 2016, “What sounds better, Person of the Year or Man of the Year?”

In 2015, when Time made Angela Merkel Person of the Year, he whined that he wasn’t the choice. “They picked person who is ruining Germany,” he sour-grapes tweeted.

Even though the prestige of the once-mighty Time had dwindled, Trump was thrilled when he finally got Person of the Year in 2016. About the cover line, “President of the Divided States of America,” he demurred that the country would be “well healed” under his leadership.

Well, turns out he was just a heel.

In 2017, David Fahrenthold revealed in The Washington Post that the framed copies of Trump on the cover of Time, hung in at least five of the president’s golf clubs from Florida to Scotland, were fakes.

The red border of the faux covers was skinnier; even my Mother of the Year frame got that detail right.

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