The Donald is a reality TV show made flesh. Every move he makes is seemingly crafted for a single purpose: to make a splash.
Now he’s picked up playing one of his favorite games again, hinting at a future run for office. Here’s Trump on Fox News discussing a potential run for president in 2016: “People in this country are just desperate for leadership, so whether it’s me — or, frankly, let it be somebody — but somebody has to come along and straighten out this country…”
Oh, come now. This is a role Trump has reprised more than once.
In 1987, after an admirer created a “draft Donald” movement, Trump fanned the flames by taking out full-page newspaper ads to discuss the nuances of his foreign policy. His spokesman offered this illuminating statement: “There is absolutely no plan to run for mayor, governor or United States senator. He will not comment about the Presidency.”
In 1999, Trump acted as though he intended to ride the Reform Party ticket into the White House. He said he’d spend nearly $100 million on his campaign, and he told Larry King that his first choice for vice president would be Oprah.
In 2005, he was reportedly mulling a run for the governorship of New York.
In 2011, after catching birth-certificate fever, Trump brought up his supposed presidential ambitions and told a CPAC crowd, “if I run and if I win this country will be respected again.” In an April 2011 interview with the Wall Street Journal, he said he couldn’t announce until “The Apprentice,” his NBC show, wrapped up filming, but added that he would probably run as an independent if he lost the GOP nomination. He backed off in May, saying he was “not ready to leave the private sector.” Then just days later, he told Fox that a viable candidate hadn’t emerged and said “I can’t rule anything out.”