Trump lands the cover of Time magazine, with a headline as blunt as he is …

donald-eagle2Donald Trump is making his first appearance on a Time magazine cover since 1989 this week, and the message is clear to doubters of all political stripes:

“Deal with it.”

The article explores Trump’s unlikely catapult from outlier in the Republican potential field to an established front-runner in only a few months, all the while violating what appeared to be nearly every cardinal rule of American politics.

He’s offensive, he’s brash. And his take-no-prisoners approach seems calculated to ruffle feathers of established Republicans as well as his campaign rivals.

One paragraph in the article by Michael Scherer sums up the Trump phenomenon succinctly:

Trump is a walking, talking wake-up call for the GOP and media elite. The ironies are as unmistakable as they are unforgiving. A conservative middle class crushed by economic change and unsettled by demographic transformation has reached the point where a condo promoter conveys more credibility than the party’s most accomplished governors. When he says he will beat China, steal Iraq’s oil and stick it to Iran, he is selling an unlikely dream. But that, after all, is what campaigns are about. “I’m just as disappointed with the Republicans as I am the Democrats,” Trump says. “It’s just so false and so phony and they can’t move—it’s moribund. They become weak and ineffective, except with one thing, getting themselves re-elected. That’s the one thing they’re good at.” Preach.

The article is even-handed and probably some of the best mainstream media attention Trump has received so far — or is likely to receive, for that matter.

Even the photographs are complimentary. As the magazine reports in a sidebar, choosing the American eagle as Trump’s picture partner was a natural.

Given Trump’s presidential run on the slogan “Make America Great Again,” award-winning photographer Martin Schoeller decided to bring “Uncle Sam” himself.

“Mr. Trump liked that idea,” the photographer said, according to Time. “I thought he might be open to it considering he’s a man who loves attention. He likes controversy, and he likes to be in the spotlight.”

(If there were a Pulitzer for understatement, that sentence would be the front-runner for 2015.)

Time reported:

The 27-year-old American bald eagle, named Uncle Sam, was flown in from Texas by master falconer and wildlife rehabilitator Jonathan Wood – and brought to the 25th floor of the Trump Tower in mid-town Manhattan. “It’s hard to plan what animals will do,” says Schoeller. “There’s not much training you can do with a wild bird and Mr. Trump was a little hesitant holding the bird, so it was very tricky to get the bird to [stay] on his hand.”

Wood, the bald eagle’s owner, felt the shoot went well – and he would know. For the past 20 years, after Uncle Sam was hit by a car in 1994 and was deemed “non-releasable” to the wild, Wood has been crisscrossing the country with it.

“I’ve done a lot of educational programs in schools with that bird,” Wood told Time. “He’s been in movies, television shows and commercials. Millions of people have seen him.”

And pairing Trump with Uncle Sam made perfect sense to the falconer.

“Donald Trump is an icon,” Wood noted, “and this bald eagle is an icon.”

The billionaire businessman seemed to like the results also. He sent out three tweets, beginning with the Time cover shot portraying the famous Trump scowl:

Here’s the video put together by Time:

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