DOWNTOWN — GOP presidential frontrunner Donald Trump will enter his second debate Wednesday, but Trump fans won't be watching at his namesake Chicago tower.
Any momentum toward Trump's still-strong political campaign has built to date without stumping from Trump Hotel Chicago, 401 N. Wabash Ave., the riverfront skyscraper now controversially emblazoned with the developer's name.
The reasons why appear to be as functional as they are philosophical: Sixteen, the tower's terrace bar, doesn't have TVs, while its Rebar lounge has just one screen. But Colm O'Callaghan, the general manager of Trump's Chicago hotel and a regional vice-president overseeing other Trump properties, added there's a distinct line drawn so far between Trump's businesses and his White House bid.
"We’re in the business of running hotels, he’s running his campaign, it doesn’t seem he needs that much help from us," he said. "It’s just not something that’s come up, to be honest with you."
Dave Matthews says there are no plans for campaigning at the hotel:
Despite several flaps, Trump has remained a leading Republican candidate and national spectacle since he entered the presidential race in June. He was leading the GOP field in national polls as of Tuesday, and his first debate appearance last month contributed to the most watched telecast in Fox News history, with some 24 million people tuning in.
His popularity comes amid dustups with Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly and fellow GOP candidate Carly Fiorina, as well as comments about Mexican immigrants that led to NBC dropping Trump from its "Celebrity Apprentice" show. Trump doubled down on his comments about Mexicans during a June visit to Chicago.
O'Callaghan believes that no Trump properties across the nation have hosted a Donald Trump political event this year. This includes fundraisers as Trump's presidential run is self-financed. But even though Trump's hotels aren't aligning themselves with the campaign, O'Callaghan insists they're not distancing themselves either.
"Not everybody gets to say their boss is running for president," O'Callaghan said. "It’s pretty remarkable. The success he's had is something that’s inspired us all."
Still, the fact remains: There won't be a watch party at the Trump Wednesday for Donald Trump's debate. Those who do want to watch there will need to get a room.
The debate begins at 7 p.m. Wednesday on CNN.
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