The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Why Don King and his bedazzled jacket are campaigning with Donald Trump today

They go way back: Vice President George H.W. Bush, right, shared a light moment with Donald Trump and fight promoter Don King on April 12, 1988, at New York’s Plaza Hotel during a fundraiser for Bush by Trump. (David Bookstaver/AP)

If you thought Donald Trump’s presidential campaign couldn’t get any more circus-like, behold: Famously flamboyant boxing promoter Don King joined the GOP candidate on a swing through Ohio.

King, we should note, is wearing a rhinestone-encrusted denim jacket (similar to? or the same one?) that he memorably sported at the RNC this summer and is saying provocative things (um, year, he used the n-word).

Why, one might reasonably ask, is King on the trail, aside from the fact that Trump might prefer to be in the company of someone whose hair is even stranger than his? King hails from Cleveland, where Trump held his first event of the day. He’s beloved by many there, but his legacy isn’t without controversy (the city council is currently debating whether to name a street “Don King Way” and one proposal would put the new moniker on “the same street where King stomped a man to death who owed him money in 1966,” according to a local news report.)

And Trump, who has struggled to appeal to black voters, has pointed to King’s endorsement of him in June as defense against critics. “Don King, and so many other African Americans who know me well and endorsed me, would not have done so if they thought I was a racist!” he tweeted.