Whatever you might call Donald Trump — real estate mogul, reality show host, birther, or other — presidential candidate is not one of them. In a written statement, Trump announced that he will not run for the White House, opting to stick with Celebrity Apprentice. “Ultimately, business is my greatest passion and I am not ready to leave the private sector,” Trump said. But it’s not as if he had a viable choice between hosting second- and third-tier stars on the one hand, and running for the highest office in the land on the other.
The so-called “Donald” argued that he would have won the Republican primary, and later defeated President Obama in the general election, while also acknowledging that one cannot half-step while waging a presidential campaign. But there’s this thing called the truth that stands in the way of his explanation. Trump is not in the race because he wasn’t ready for prime-time, which became abundantly clear to the public, and quickly at that.
In the last few weeks, Trump’s campaign fizzled. At one point, he could have been a contender, and he found himself as a frontrunner among a field of GOP prospects, however lackluster and random they may have been. Ultimately, high negatives did him in, with nearly 60 percent of those polled saying they would never vote for him or Sarah Palin.
WATCH ‘THE LAST WORD’ COVERAGE OF TRUMP’S EXIT FROM 2012 RACE:
Clearly, Trump was his own undoing, and his farce of a campaign made for great entertainment as it, and he, began to unravel. And in that sense, he invested a great deal of time and effort to fire himself in the public eye. What is truly impressive is that he received so much undeserved free publicity— on-air, online and in the papers — without articulating a clear policy platform other than profane rants and racially insensitive attacks on President Obama. For example, his solution to dealing with China, a nation Trump says is “raping” the U.S., is to curse them out. “Listen you motherf***ers we’re going to tax you 25 percent,” Trump said last month during a Las Vegas stump speech.
Moreover, Trump decided from the start to put his money on the birthers, those conspiracy theorists who depart from reality on a full-time basis by insisting that Obama is a foreign citizen who was born in Kenya, and is therefore an illegitimately elected leader who is unfit to serve in the Oval Office. Trump even claimed that no one knew Obama in Hawaii, the president’s birthplace. “Why doesn’t he show his birth certificate? [...] I want him to show his birth certificate!” Trump said on The View, adding, “There’s something on that birth certificate that he doesn’t like.”
As if the birtherism wasn’t offensive enough, Trump then suggested that the president was unqualified for the Ivy League institutions he attended due to bad grades. Once again, Trump bathed in the murky waters of racial politics, first by questioning Obama’s citizenship, and then by insinuating that this brilliant president, and by extension, other black collegians, are unqualified “affirmative action” candidates who are admitted because they are black.
“The word is, according to what I’ve read, that he was a terrible student when he went to Occidental,” Trump said. “He then gets to Columbia; he then gets to Harvard. How do you get into Harvard if you’re not a good student? Now, maybe that’s right, or maybe it’s wrong. But I don’t know why he doesn’t release his records.” Such racial rhetoric serves as a wink and a nod to aggrieved white voters, members of the GOP base, who are resentful of an African-American president and black progress in general. They simply can’t get over the 2008 election, and they never will. But the presidential wannabe’s house of toothpicks began to collapse on April 27, when the White House released Obama’s long form birth certificate, which indicated that he was born in Honolulu, Hawaii on August 4, 1961. One would have thought that was enough to shut up Trump for good.
Three days later came the White House correspondents dinner, when the president applied a verbal beat down to Trump, who was clueless enough to be in attendance at the event in order to accept it. The next day, word came out that the Navy Seals had killed Osama bin Laden. A poker-faced Obama had already received the news about bin Laden while he was roasting Donald Trump.
That same week, we learned that the federal government sued Trump in the 1970s for discriminating against black renters. “I have a great relationship with the blacks. I’ve always had a great relationship with the blacks,” Trump said in March. That he was sued in his twenties for refusing to rent to blacks, so early in his adult life, only underscored Trump’s electability problem.
Yet, despite this, Trump insists he would have won the presidential race, just as he claims The Apprentice is the top-rated program on TV, when in reality the show’s ratings have been slipping for years. As proof of both his lack of business savvy and political acumen, the show’s popularity further eroded when Trump’s birther banter drove away Celebrity Apprentice viewers. It turns out that these viewers are the most liberal and Democratic folks in prime-time television.
Plus, no one ever explained how someone can file for bankruptcy no fewer than four times, and still be regarded a business guru. Surely, news of the bankruptcies and lawsuits alleging fraud at the institution formerly known as “Trump University” would have gained more traction had he stayed in the race.
What can you say about Donald Trump? He’s crude, arrogant, tasteless, flighty and lacking in substance. He’s a racial grenade thrower, and while he was in the game he had the worst haircut in American politics — and that says a lot. Other than the combover, the only thing more outrageous than a Trump presidential run is that some people in this country gave the man half a chance in the first place.