The Atlantic

The Most Illuminating Moment of the Debate

Donald Trump sees everything—even his own children—as a reflection of himself.
Source: Mark Reinstein / Corbis / Getty

The moments after your first child is born are humbling and overwhelming, the emotional equivalent of staring directly into the sun. You realize that you are suddenly responsible for a human life that you helped create, a sliver of two souls smuggled into another body, a person you will love and protect desperately for the rest of your life.

Shortly after Donald and Ivana Trump’s son was born, however, the future president had an unusual concern for a parent: What if this kid grows up and embarasses me?

“What should we name him?” Donald asked, according to Ivana’s memoir, Raising Trump. When Ivana suggested Donald Jr., the real-estate heir responded, “What if he is a loser?”

That anecdote helps explain one of the more memorable by. In doing so, Biden brought up his late son, Beau, who died of a brain tumor after earning a Bronze Star in the Army National Guard.

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