With Donald Trump there is nothing new. It’s always all been right there, if you pay attention. Just in time for the Republican National Convention next week, where Trump is expected to receive the GOP nomination, we’ve surfaced our 1997 “Art of the Donald” feature by Mark Bowden.
Here’s the lead. Some of this should sound familiar.
Stately, plump Donald J. Trump drapes his right arm over the back of a wicker sofa, balancing his breakfast at arm’s length on a white plate. Stacked on the plate are a dozen strips of fried bacon. Just bacon. It’s part of this diet. The greatest diet. All protein. The best. He reaches with his left hand across his body to the plate, picks off a stiff piece with two famously stubby fingers, steers it to his famously curled lips and chomps off the end.
The greatest. The best. The stubby fingers. Bowden saw it all before we all saw it again this past year. And there’s more—way more. The wives. The vendettas. The tall tales. The bad business deals. The tacky taste. The disputed net worth. The temper. The crass language. It’s all there. And we’re living through it all again.
Much has been made by pundits about Trump’s miniscule campaign team, one not replete with the usual coterie of GOP experts. Here’s 1997 Trump on working with experts:
“I relied too much on guys who were supposed to be experts. You can have a guy with degrees from Harvard and Wharton, who’s amazingly knowledgeable and smart, who knocks your socks off with credentials, know what I mean? And if he doesn’t have touch, you’re screwed. I was turning over too much of my business to guys like that. I figured, Why should I do everything? Let those guys handle it. But you have to have touch. It’s like Jack Nicklaus and putting. It’s something you’re born with. I’m convinced of that.”
Througout the piece Trump comes off as a man who is disgusted by failure (he destroys part of a tennis court in a tantrum) and dazzled by simple competence (tile! drapes!).
Perhaps the best quote in the piece, though, is from the author Bowden, who writes:
He has often identified his special gift as deal making, but his real talent is something else. If you watch him in action, what you see is a man willing a fantasy into being.
Next Thursday night, barring a delegate revolution, Trump’s political fantasy will become every GOP voter’s reality (or nightmare, depending who you ask).
You can read the whole article here.