In a statement that surprised absolutely no one, Donald Trump decided not to run for President. Now here are more words than are necessary to explain it all.
Few took it seriously, though I was happy to participate in an interview with him tomorrow that he abruptly canceled Friday.
In any event, I actually do think he took the idea to run seriously. We can all say that we knew he wasn’t going to run, but in gearing up for tomorrow’s cancelled interview I talked to several people close to him and all of them were convinced Trump was actually taking the prospect of running seriously.
Several things happened over the last week though that I think got him to the conclusion we all knew he’d arrive at quicker than I or probably he thought he’d arrive.
First, in a little noticed Reuters wire story at the beginning of last week — so little noticed I first noticed it in a South African newspaper — Trump said he was surprised by the public scorn related to his consideration of a Presidential bid.
Second, the New York Times and others started piling on last week about the lawsuits involving Trump. This escalated to a meltdown on CNBC on Friday morning.
Third, he had the prospect of facing me tomorrow with a no-limits Q&A for an entire hour that would be broadcast live.* Then he abruptly canceled late Friday afternoon.
By the weekend, I think Donald Trump finally had to take seriously the fact that many didn’t take his bid for the Presidency seriously and he was either going to have to change some minds or change his mind. It’s a lot easier to change one mind than many. Likewise, for the first time in a very long time, the maestro of media spin let a story spin out ahead of him beyond his control.
Trump does not like story lines he cannot control.
*why of course I’m going to shamelessly take credit for something I had nothing to do with.