Donald Trump Apparently Pretending To Run For President Again

He's back.

trump-hair

As you may recall, back in 2011 Donald Trump spent the better part of three months leading the media on with the supposed possibility that he would throw his hat in the ring for the Republican nomination for President in the 2012 election cycle. It began with Trump speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference that February, where he first laid out the possibility of running, and continued through much of March and April and only finally came to an end in late May when Trump announced that he was not running at roughly the same time that NBC announced that his show The Apprentice had been renewed for another season. In between that time, the real estate mogul kept himself in the headlines by openly suggesting that the President was not born in tahe United States, and thus ineligible to be President, and that he may very well be a Muslim. Additionally, while several polls over this period showed that a solid majority of Americans would never vote for Trump in a General Election, there was at least a brief period of time when he was topping all of the other declared or potential 2012 Republican candidates in polls of Republican voters.  In the end, Trump’s “candidacy” was viewed by most political observers as either a political stunt or an elaborate joke, and he went back to hosting a “reality” show and making real estate deals.

With the race for the 2016 Republican nomination just starting to heat up, though, it looks like Trump is back:

Real estate mogul Donald Trump announced Wednesday he will be forming a presidential exploratory committee ahead of the 2016 election.

“I have a great love for our country, but it is a country that is in serious trouble. We have lost the respect of the entire world. Americans deserve better than what they get from their politicians — who are all talk and no action!” Trump said in a statement.

In addition to the committee, which will help Trump decide whether to officially announce a run for president, the Republican has “made several key hires” of staff with roots in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, and hired additional advisers based in New York.

In his announcement, Trump touted his experience building his company and creating jobs throughout the Trump Organization, with “very little debt.”

“Our real unemployment rate is staggering while our manufacturing base is eroding on a daily basis,” Trump said. “We must rebuild our infrastructure, control our borders, support local control of education, greatly strengthen our military, care for our veterans and put Americans back to work!”

Trump has publicly toyed with running for president in the past, including announcing in 2010 that he was interested in a possible 2012 bid.

But he has a steep hill to climb with Republican voters. In a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll from March 11, 74 percent of Republicans said they viewed Trump in a negative way — more than any of the 14 other candidates discussed in the poll.

On Thursday, Trump will travel to New Hampshire, a battleground state, to meet with veterans and local business owners.

The easiest conclusion to reach, of course, is that this is just like all of Trump’s previous flirtations with politics and the campaign trial and that he won’t actually take the step of getting in the race, most likely bowing out at the last minute as he did four years ago. There are, after all, plenty of reasons for Trump not to run regardless of what he might say online. If he is a candidate for President, then he’s going to have to come down from his pedestal and actually get out among common people in states like Iowa, New Hampshire. As many people have noted in the past, Trump is no fan of that kind of glad-handing and indeed has something of a phobia about shaking hands. He’d have to get over that if he were going to be a real candidate. Additionally, running for office would mean that he would have to release much more public information about his personal finances, investments, and business contacts than he has ever done in the past. This is one area of his life that Trump seems to guard jealously, and it just seems unlikely that he’d be willing to do that this time around. Finally, even though Trump is claiming now that he’s leaving his reality show behind, NBC is saying that it still plans to go forward with at least one more season of the show at some point in the future. Much as was the case in 2011, then, it seems fairly easy to dismiss this entire announcement as part of another publicity stunt for the show and, of course, the omnipresent Trump “brand.”

At the same time, though, Trump has never gone so far as to form an exploratory committee before, so that could mean he’s serious this time, or at least as serious as Donald Trump is likely to be about anything. If that’s the case and he does enter the race, then the Republican clown car is going to be even more entertaining than any of us imagined.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2016, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. gVOR08 says:

    I think Larry O’Donnell has it right. The financial disclosures would show Trump isn’t the billionaire he claims to be. So he’ll never go that far.

  2. Ron Beasley says:

    @gVOR08: Iv’e heard that Trump has less money than his father left him.

  3. grumpy realist says:
  4. michael reynolds says:

    There’s a John Mullaney line: “Donald Trump is like what a hobo imagines a rich man to be.”

    I would love to see Trump get in. But he won’t for the reason Lawrence O’Donnell gives and @gVORo8 mentions.

  5. grumpy realist says:

    I keep wondering what would happen if The Animal That Lives On Donald Trump’s Head and Whatever Lives on Callista Gingrich’s Head were to ever mate and have offspring.

    Now THAT’S a scary image…

    (Even scarier is Donald Trump x Callista Gingrich. AAAEEEH!)

  6. Slugger says:

    His family owes it to him to take him to a gerontologist. If he claimed to be Napoleon or Jesus, the situation would be obvious. Republican candidate is less grandiose, but we should not allow that to overlook a potential problem.
    The presidency of the US is a pretty darn serious job. The GOP leadership has done little to keep clearly unqualified people from making grandiose claims. It is time for the guys in white coats to step in. I remember when we had to hide the car keys from Grandma.

  7. Hal_10000 says:

    if Trump runs for something, he’ll have to advocate some actual views. That will be his undoing. Vox pointed out that when he said he was going to run for the Reform Party, he advocated the government seizing 15% of wealth and paying off the debt with it, an idea even Vox had to concede was singularly awful.

  8. Jim R says:

    Maybe Palin can be his fake running mate? Imagine the books that will be sold and reality shows spawned.

  9. Pinky says:

    I’ve never bought into the idea that people run for president in order to get book deals or reality shows. I definitely can’t see Trump running for president for those reasons. He’s just an incredibly self-centered guy who thinks that people want to watch him and read his books (and for some reason, people actually do). He also thinks that he’d be a good president.

  10. ernieyeball says:

    In addition to the committee, which will help Trump decide whether to officially announce a run for president, the Republican has “made several key hires” of staff with roots in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, and hired additional advisers based in New York.

    Well, former Scott Walker aide Liz Mair is looking for a new gig. Citizen Trump might do well to hire her if he sincerely wants to gain any insight relevant to Iowa politics.

    Tweet #2 Liz Mair @LizMair
    But I think it’s potentially advantageous for the party and the country. Iowa doesn’t have great history of picking GOP nominee…
    3:07 AM – 18 Mar 2015

    Tweet #25 Liz Mair @LizMair
    But I think it’s potentially advantageous for the party and the country. Iowa doesn’t have great history of picking GOP nominee…
    3:07 AM – 18 Mar 2015

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/scott-walker-aide-fires-off-154708296.html

  11. ernieyeball says:

    @Pinky:..I’ve never bought into the idea that people run for president in order to get book deals or reality shows.

    I dunno Pink. I suspect Ms. Palin really wanted to be President of the United States Senate, for a year or two anyhow.
    This way she was able to start fleecig the rubes sooner.

  12. ernieyeball says:

    …fleecing…

    (What happened to the edit function on Safari?)

  13. ernieyeball says:

    This is Tweet #2. Pay no attention to the moron behind the keyboard.

    Liz Mair @LizMair
    1. The “morons” I was referring to in that 1 tweet were Ds who were feigning surprise at an Iowa family having benefited from farm subsidies
    2:41 AM – 18 Mar 2015

  14. grumpy realist says:

    As usual, Charles Pierce takes it away….

  15. Tillman says:

    Hahaha. Just Googled “running for president to sell something” and the top result was Ross Perot’s entry in Wikipedia.

    I wonder what the psephologist’s take on Donald Trump is.

  16. @michael reynolds:

    There’s a John Mullaney line: “Donald Trump is like what a hobo imagines a rich man to be.”

    There’s a great Russian word with no English equivalent, “poshlust” (pronounced pozh-lowst), the refers to the particular sort of tackiness you get when a lower class person tries to act upper class without the cultural background to pull it off properly.

    Donald Trump is pretty much the poster boy for poshlust.

  17. al-Ameda says:

    Isn’t Trump the only person in America who ran a casino into bankruptcy?

    I hope he runs, the entertainment value is enormous.

  18. Facebones says:

    He is only “running” to increase his brand recognition.

    He pretended to run for president last time and was able to get a $160 million contract extension from NBC out of it. This was at a time when NBC was a distant fourth in the ratings, getting beaten by Univision, and The Apprentice was their biggest hit.

    He’s probably trying the same trick now, but The Apprentice is four years older, NBC is in better shape, and doesn’t need him as much.

    (Now, should Blake Shelton pretend to run for president…)

  19. DrDaveT says:

    Trump: I have a great love for our country, but it is a country that is in serious trouble. We have lost the respect of the entire world.

    Shockingly, I agree with him about this. I suspect that we diverge on exactly what it is that American has done that has lost the respect we used to get.

    And the idea that electing Donald Trump president would improve our image with the rest of the world is… well, ‘delusional’ doesn’t even come close.

  20. DrDaveT says:

    Incidentally, what is the previous record for “worst hair by the leader of a first-world nation”? Golda Meir? Margaret Thatcher? James Buchanan?

  21. de stijl says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    “poshlust” [that] refers to the particular sort of tackiness you get when a lower class person tries to act upper class without the cultural background to pull it off properly.

    It even works in English. Just add a space in the middle: posh lust.

    @michael reynolds:

    “Donald Trump is like what a hobo imagines a rich man to be.”

    Jethro Clampett?

  22. Moosebreath says:

    @al-Ameda:

    “Isn’t Trump the only person in America who ran a casino into bankruptcy?”

    Unfortunately not. He’s not even the only person considering running for the Republican nomination for President in 2016 who invested in a casino which filed for bankruptcy. The difference between Trump and Chris Christie is that Christie invested public funds.

  23. michael reynolds says:

    @de stijl:
    Jed Clampett. Jethro was a Bodine, and of course twin to Jethrine.

    I don’t know how much you know about Jed, but he was a poor mountaineer. How poor? Barely kept his family fed. That poor. Then one day he was fracking up some crude and the rest is history.

  24. Kylopod says:

    @Pinky:

    He also thinks that he’d be a good president.

    Is that an understatement if I ever heard one? Here is what he said in March 2011:

    “[I]f I decide to run, you’ll have the great pleasure of voting for the man that will easily go down as the greatest president in the history of the United States: Me, Donald John Trump.”

    Of course, the fact he says stuff like this doesn’t prove he actually believes it. That’s why so many of us suspect his whole political persona–and “persona” is definitely the right word–is some weird type of performance art. We can choose to take his words at face value and conclude that he really is as delusional and megalomaniacal as he sounds. Or we can see it as a calculated, self-conscious attempt to push people’s buttons. Whatever else you can say about Trump, he isn’t easy to forget. He gets himself into the headlines by being more ridiculous than anyone you’ve ever heard of or even imagined. Are we really going to think it’s not a deliberate strategy? Talking about what Donald Trump “thinks” misses the point by a mile.

  25. OzarkHillbilly says:

    There really is a God. And she has a really wicked sense of humor.

  26. KM says:

    @grumpy realist:

    (Even scarier is Donald Trump x Callista Gingrich. AAAEEEH!)

    Jesus, grumpy why?!?! No amount of brain bleach will ever make that go away. The pic at the top of the article was bad enough – now I have apocalyptic images of mutated tribble-hairpiece things from hell rampaging the countryside with Donald and his queen in DC. You should take up horror scripts on the side 🙂

  27. dmhlt says:

    A Circus isn’t a Circus until Bozo the Clown shows up.