Trump Porn Star

FILE - In this Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018, file photo, adult film actress Stormy Daniels arrives for the opening of the adult entertainment fair "Venus," in Berlin. On Monday, Oct. 15, 2018, a federal judge dismissed Daniels' defamation lawsuit against President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber, File)

She was born in Baton Rouge and is now famous worldwide as a potentially decisive force in national politics.

She moves in such rarefied circles that she has just beaten President Donald Trump hands down at his own game, the put-down tweet.

Her attorney says he might run against Trump in the next election. Stephanie Clifford sure has come a long way since she graduated from Scotlandville Magnet High School in 1997.

When Clifford found her vocation, she adopted a stage name in honor of Tennessee sour mash whiskey to become Stormy Daniels.

She dropped the apostrophe, but Jack Daniel's became her inspiration when she saw an advertisement that declared it a “Southern favorite,” which was just what she hoped to be.

The apostrophe was not all that Stormy Daniels dropped, for the source of her hard-earned dollars was pornographic movies.

She evidently did manage to become, if not the South's favorite trollop, at least a fairly popular one. She will not mind being called that. When someone tweeted her that “Dumb whores go to hell,” her response was that she is a smart one.

She was making a decent living — OK, an indecent living — when Trump won the election. That turned out to be her lucky day. She and her attorney, Michael Avenatti, have continued to whip up the publicity that is pure gold in Daniels' line of work, and could hardly have wished for a more effective foil than Trump.

If Daniels ever was Trump's favorite trollop, she certainly isn't now. The sexual romp she alleges they had in Tahoe was a dozen years ago, but he rises to the bait every time it is mentioned.

As for Daniels, she wins even when she loses. Last week, for instance, a federal judge threw out a lawsuit she had filed alleging Trump defamed her by suggesting she had lied when claiming that a stranger had threatened her if she didn't dummy up about their encounter. The judge ruled that the First Amendment, of which Trump is no fan when he is the subject of adverse comment, gave him the right to disparage Daniels.

Trump was not exactly gracious in victory, calling Daniels “horseface” in the inevitable gloating tweet. Does Trump write these tweets himself or does he get help for some petulant third-grader? Either way, he plays right into Daniels' hands, and the world's media rushed to print her response, in which she addressed the president of the United States as “Tiny,” and referred to his “shortcomings.” Daniels had said she regretted mocking Trump's private parts in her book, but evidently, she got over that. Still, nobody expects decorum around the White House these days.

Daniels would never have published a book but for her feud with Trump, and she has said the price of her pornographic performances has quadrupled because of it. The publicity must have been good for Avenatti too. The “horseface” tweet also called him a “third-rate attorney,” and he issued a response that, among other compliments, described Trump as a “shyster” and a “liar.” Avenatti is, however, no threat to Trump at the ballot box, having recently reached a settlement for $800,000 with the IRS over unpaid taxes.

That sum may be chickenfeed if Trump continues to fan the flames and keep the headlines coming, as he seems determined to do. He says he will “go after” Daniels and Avenatti in Texas, where she lives. Texas law, which will determine how much Daniels must pay Trump for his legal fees, is evidently most generous to the winners of defamation cases.

Another lawsuit filed by Daniels also remains pending. She seeks to cancel the nondisclosure agreement for which Trump paid her $130,000 through his attorney Michael Cohen. Trump dropped the suit he filed against Daniels after she blabbed about their tryst, and he didn't sign the agreement anyway, so the litigation has no obvious point. Any hope Avenatti entertained that Trump might have to give a deposition, and face questioning on whether the payment violated campaign finance laws, would seem to have evaporated.

Still, it remains a live international story, and the girl from Baton Rouge laughs all the way to the bank.

Email James Gill at Gill1407@bellsouth.net.