pennsylvania_ave_-_old_post_office_to_the_capitol_at_nightThe symbolism was obvious: A rich presidential candidate turns a mothballed government relic into a palatial hotel steps away from the White House. But for Donald Trump, not one for subtlety, even that wasn’t enough. It had to be “one of the great hotels of the world.”

When Trump International Hotel Washington, D.C. hosted its soft opening Monday, it capped the transformation of a century-old post office building into one of Washington’s most expensive and ostentatious new hotels — and a monument to Trump.

But its main draw, the gilded name out front, might also be its biggest obstacle. What began as merely a prominent real estate project has morphed into a political landmark, where polarizing ties to the blustery mogul could influence its business through November and beyond.

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