Trump’s out. His statement:
“After considerable deliberation and reflection, I have decided not to pursue the office of the Presidency. This decision does not come easily or without regret; especially when my potential candidacy continues to be validated by ranking at the top of the Republican contenders in polls across the country… I maintain the strong conviction that if I were to run, I would be able to win the primary and ultimately, the general election. I have spent the past several months unofficially campaigning and recognize that running for public office cannot be done half heartedly. Ultimately, however, business is my greatest passion and I am not ready to leave the private sector.”
Hmm. I can’t help but think of all the readers who wrote in, complaining that I and others at NRO were not taking his candidacy seriously.
I believe the first words I wrote about Trump’s latest publicity stunt were:
I Will Not Vote for a Short-Fingered Vulgarian
Is this Donald Trump for president stuff serious? Really? We’re sure this isn’t the latest version of the near-quadrennial publicity stunt (2008, 2000)?
Is it possible this is all stage-setting for some new line of ties coming out? A new book? Reality show? A new board game?
The guy whose dalliances with Marla Maples were the stuff of New York Post headline dreams, who made a large chunk of his fortunes by building casinos and turned Atlantic City into the depressing, pawn-shop-strewn Gotham City it is today, and whose ostentatious taste would prompt Liberace to urge him to “tone it down a little” is going to run for the party of traditional values? The guy who lost money almost as fast as he made it and who once had a personal debt of $900 million is going to carry the banner for the party of fiscal responsibility?
And now Politico reports: “The move came after NBC officials, whose network his “Celebrity Apprentice” airs on, said they would have an answer within 24 hours as to whether or not The Donald would be back for another season next fall.”
Given a choice between running for president or keeping his television show, Trump chose to keep his television show.
One cannot help but notice that Trump’s CPAC speech, arguably the kickoff to the presidential semi-campaign, came just weeks before the season premiere of “The Apprentice” in March and his statement that he’s not running comes about a week before the season finale. Hey, what are the odds?