President Donald Trump?
How about just, President Trump.
What do we call the Trumpster is he runs for president and wins?
Not to worry.
He's not going to run.
There's a good piece in today's New York Times that states the obvious - that Trumpster is not going to run, and that NBC is not even considering the possibility. "The Celebrity Apprectice," in other words, will be with us for years, as long as there are celebrities like Gary Busey to do the honors. (I wonder what Nic Cage has on his calendar next year?)
Why won't he run? Today, I give you my benefit of 25, make that 30 years, of Donald watching. By the way, if you too have lived in the New York metropolitan area for the last 30 years, you too, could write this post...
To the reasons!
1.) He loves publicity, not scrutiny. In interview on "Today" - which is more a commercial for "Apprentice" than an interview - does not qualify as "scrutiny. Meredith Vieira's softie with him two weeks ago was nothing, nothing, nothing compared to what he would get the minute he declares. Every newspaper , every political reporter on the planet and beyond will sift through every statement, every declaration, and - most important - every business transaction the Trumpster or his Trump Organization engaged in. They'll even go back to LeFrak City to see what shenanigans when on there. It would be endless. Heaven knows what sort of stuff the papers would turn up. Trumpster certainly doesn't. Fact is, he does love publicity and this "will I won't I run" business is playing right to the heart of what he loves most."
2.) Trumpster has deep deep ties to the Democrats. Oh, he doesn't? How could you do business for forty years in NYC without having deep deep ties to the Democratic party organization? Wait till the Tea Partiers who seem to be enamoured of him at the moment find out how much he's given to Democratic campaigns over the years.
3.) Trumpster has lead a wild life. Well, of course he has! Trumpster doesn't drink and he's pretty much anti-drug and always has been (says he has been any way.) But he's still lead an interesting, colorful life. He doesn't want that history on the front page of any newspaper.
4.) Trump couldn't handle the paycut. In reality, being in the White House means no longer doing what you are accustomed to doing - living large. Of course there have been wealthy presidents, but there have never been billionaire presidents. Trump's lifestyle is indeed lavish, and he's not about to kiss that goodbye, even for a four year stretch.
5.) Donald would hate the pressing of flesh. Can you imagine Trump hopping off a plane in Des Moon so he can make the church picnic in Indiananola at 2 p.m., then get down to Osceola for a 4 p.m. Rotary meeting, then over to Creston for a 5:30 local GOP meet, and then back to Urbandale at 7 for a dinner in honor of the local big-shot-who-has-deep-ties-to-the-party-machine? Never. Not in a million years. And by the way, that's just the beginning! Even if he had a decent showing in Iowa, he'd have to amp that up - a thousand fold - in time for Super Tuesday.
6.) Trump is from New York. This isn't pre-war American in the 1930s and Donald is not a Roosevelt. New Yorkers - certainly New Yorkers from New York City - cannot win the White House. Someone has to have told that to Donald - as least someone who wasn't lying to him - that NYC is a liability for a whole set of reasons.
7.) He'd have to file financial disclosure forms. Oh boy, will the world descend on those figures like vultures on rancid meat. The Donald's numbers - the real numbers, and no "I'm the richest guy in the universe" numbers, but a painstaking line by line accounting of exactly what he's worth down to the change in his pocket. (Does Donald have change in his pocket? Doubful, so he can skip that.)
8.) Trump loves what he's doing too much. Go back to reason number one, but I leave this as my final reason. All this attention is a subset of what Donald is really all about at the end of the day. Here's what I wrote a him back in '04 when I reviewed his "Apprentice" role, and why the appeal. I see no reason to change my assessment and no reason whatsoever to assume Trumpster has changed, and really wants to be prez - which he doesn't:
"... when he walks through the doors of the darkened boardroom, a shiver of joy (or revulsion) goes through each of us. The shuffling gait. The Nixonian jowls. The gimlet-eyed stare at the little Trump wannabes. The flip of the wrist. The whole bloody package is a glory of the modern television age. But with Trump, of course, there is more - much, much more.
To anyone of a certain age who lived through the '80s in the tristate area, Trump defined an era, as much perhaps as Jay Gould or Boss Tweed or J.P. Morgan once defined their city and era.In a sharp-elbowed but particularly revealing 1997 profile in The New Yorker, writer Mark Singer attempted to locate firm ground under the financial P.T. Barnum of our time, concluding that Trump had achieved "the ultimate luxury - an existence unmolested by the rumbling of a soul." He had "universal recognition" and was a "creature everywhere and nowhere, uniquely capable of inhabiting it all at once, all alone." Existential hell? Not at all!
In fact, Trump was the perfect creation - self-creation - of the entertainment age, and social historian Neal Gabler picked up this theme in his 1998 book "Life: The Movie," which anticipated the reality TV craze. Trump "understood that in an entertainment-driven society, celebrity was among the most effective tools of salesmanship," Gabler wrote, adding that his "blockbuster" - the books, models, yachts, divorces, casinos, towers, apartments and near-bankruptcy - "was so good a show that not even failure could close it."