Since the announcement of his presidential campaign, Donald Trump has repeatedly outlasted predictions by the corporate media of his campaign’s imminent collapse by successfully mining a vein of resentment toward political correctness, mainstream media bias, and the bi-partisan collaboration by elites to force “immigration reform” onto an unwilling public. This vaulted him to the top of the polls, a position he has maintained for months. His polling success and durability has led to the frequent media meme of, “Can/Will Trump actually get the nomination/win the election?” However, a more important question is not being asked…”Does Donald Trump actually want to be President of the United States?”
Harry Truman famously referred to the White House as the crown jewel of the American penal system. Given that context, is a multi-billionaire real estate investor and reality television star really interested in the daily and hourly grind of the Presidency? Does he really want to put his assets and investments into a passive trust for four to eight years? I say no.
Then why run?
Two reasons. Donald Trump is, first and foremost, a dealmaker, and seeks out investments and transactions to obtain the greatest possible gain at the lowest cost. The Presidency comes with tremendous power, but also at great opportunity cost for one interested in and capable of pursuing other things. Would he not see the better “deal” as playing the role of influencer and kingmaker, therefore garnering a portion of the power of the Presidency for himself with no opportunity cost in exchange?
I mentioned Trump ran for two reasons. One was to increase his profile and influence, and two was to prevent Jeb Bush from getting the nomination. As Trump’s attacks and Jeb!’s inherent weaknesses make the latter a growing reality, we should look for his role to shift to the former, especially if he does not maintain a lead in the polls. Trump’s primary campaign message has had a circular logic to it until this point. His default defense when challenged is that he is leading in the polls, and his main attack against others is their comparatively weak position, especially those at the end of both the physical and metaphorical stage. How would Trump’s famous ego react to not being the front-runner, and even worse, not literally being center-stage for the remaining debates?
If Trump’s poll numbers dip below 20%, look for Trump to “sell high” and get out of the race and leverage his remaining block of support to be a kingmaker (my money is on him backing Cruz) and have tremendous influence on television, with the nominee, and within the party, all while selling a lot of hats and books in the process.
Does Donald Trump really want to be President? I think he’ll make a better deal.