We all knew it. Donald Trump is beginning to form his exit strategy from the presidential race. Donald Trump does not want to be president. In fact, he never wanted to be president. His entire campaign has been a long con and a ruse to strengthen his brand and feed his ego.
Last week, Stephanie Cegielski, a strategist for the Make America Great Again super PAC published an open letter to Trump’s supporters on the website, xoJane, in which she details the real reason behind Trump’s run for president:
“Almost a year ago, recruited for my public relations and public policy expertise, I sat in Trump Tower being told that the goal was to get The Donald to poll in double digits and come in second in delegate count. That was it. The Trump camp would have been satisfied to see him polling at 12% and taking second place to a candidate who might hold 50%. His candidacy was a protest candidacy.”
Somewhere in the middle of the letter she basically lays it out:
He doesn’t want the White House. He just wants to be able to say that he could have run the White House. He’s achieved that already and then some. If there is any question, take it from someone who was recruited to help the candidate succeed, and initially very much wanted him to do so.”
So let’s assume that all of that is true. Donald Trump can’t just quit. After all, he’s Donald Trump. The next logical step would be to take a fall, possibly losing the nomination by a small margin. But again, if you’re Donald Trump you don’t lose. If you’re Donald Trump and want to get out while still maintaining your brand and your dignity, you play the long game and come out looking like a victim. In a sense, you spin it so that your supporters think you’re so accurate in your claims of the world that it frightens the establishment into shutting you down, you’re that powerful.
Over the course of the last week, Trump has made headlines and drawn attention by doing and saying things that are completely contrary to what anyone would consider sane.
Trump’s conversation with Chris Matthews on MSNBC about abortion was just the beginning. During the interview he told Matthews that women who seek abortion should be punished a stance even the toughest of the GOP think is absurd. Not to mention, women are the largest demographic in this country. There is no path to nomination without their support. Why would anyone alienate them?
Trump also suggested that South Korea and Japan be allowed access to nuclear weapons. A suggestion that deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes said would be “catastrophic.”
Trump also said he would not be opposed to using nuclear weapons in the Middle East or in Europe, during the above-mentioned interview with Chris Matthews.
Adding whipped cream to this well-crafted sundae of incompetence and ignorance, Trump called in to a conservative Wisconsin radio show and blasted Gov. Scott Walker.
“But you had a $2.2 billion budget deficit and the schools were going begging and everything was going begging because he (Walker) didn’t want to raise taxes because he was going to run for president. So instead of raising taxes he cut back on schools, he cut back on highways, cut back on a lot of things. And that’s why…Wisconsin has a problem.”
The host of the show, Charlie Sykes, is probably one of the most influential voices in Wisconsin’s talk radio arena. Sykes is also so strongly opposed to Trump that he’s vowed never to support him in any election. This is clearly something Trump had to have known going into the interview. It’s hard to believe he didn’t.
Chris Wallace a reporter for Fox News asked Trump during a “Fox News Sunday“ interview, “Are you in the process of blowing your campaign for president?”
Trump is completely unqualified for the job of president. His disapproval ratings are above 60 percent in national polling, and three-quarters of women in the country can’t stand him. As for his foreign and domestic policy, the Economist’s Intelligence Unit puts Trump in the top ten list of global risks. He’s right up there with “The rising threat of jihadi terrorism destabilizes the global economy“
Republican strategist Cheri Jacobus, who had met with Trump about becoming their communications director, confirms most of this, telling the National Review:
“I believe Trump senses he is in over his head and doesn’t really want the nomination. He wanted to help his brand and have fun, but not to be savaged by the Clintons if he’s the candidate. He wouldn’t mind falling short of a delegate majority, losing the nomination, and then playing angry celebrity victim in the coming years.”
What began as a con will end as a con. Trump will continue to make bombastic, ludicrous and inane comments, proving to the media—who are all too eager to give him all the attention he wants—that he is wholly unqualified for the job. Other republicans will criticize him for the things that he says, proving to his followers that he is being targeted by an establishment that is afraid of him. Trump will walk away unscarred, his brand strengthened and his dignity intact. He will be the guy who nearly became president, but was too much for people to take. In the end, he probably never wanted the job to begin with so now it’s time to focus on the real candidates at hand.