TRUMP REVERTS TO THE ORIGINAL SCRIPT
So Donald Trump's not running. What interests me about his statement is that it barely acknowledges any of the things that actually happened while the phony campaign was going on. For the most part, it reads like something that was written weeks ago, when he and his advisers planned this whole stunt:
After considerable deliberation and reflection, I have decided not to pursue the office of the Presidency.... I maintain the strong conviction that if I were to run, I would be able to win the primary and ultimately, the general election. I have spent the past several months unofficially campaigning and recognize that running for public office cannot be done half heartedly. Ultimately, however, business is my greatest passion and I am not ready to leave the private sector....
I expected some of the "you people don't appreciate the greatness of men like me" talk we were getting from him last week:
... you know, I've heard for years that if you're a very successful person who's done a lot, made lots of deals, good deals, fair deals, put a lot of people to work, you cannot run for high political office, in particular the presidency. And I sort of see it where -- I mean, I have been hammered. Every article is -- if they say anything, it's only negative. And they really are very, very protective of the president. They go all out to protect the president. And to be honest with you, I've never seen anything quite like it.
But no -- nothing of the sort. In today's statement, there's no acknowledgment that he was hammered in the press and laughed at by the public. There's no acknowledgment of birtherism.
He does say he's not running even though "my potential candidacy continues to be validated by ranking at the top of the Republican contenders in polls across the country" (which, of course, isn't true anymore), and he credits himself with making a difference: "Issues, including getting tough on China and other countries that are methodically and systematically taking advantage of the United States, were seldom mentioned before I brought them to the forefront of the country's conversation" (which isn't accurate at all).
But apart from that, this reads like a statement that was in the can all along. He was always going to drop out by saying that his true passion is the private sector. The statement comes off as an effort to pretend the whole thing never happened.