On January 7, 2000, Donald Trump was asked what would stop him from entering the race for president that year as the candidate of the Reform Party. The question had been preceded by six months of growing momentum, which saw Trump go from denying interest in a presidential candidacy in July to forming a presidential exploratory committee in October, and months of interviews, publicity, and speculation.
"Death," Trump replied. His latest book, The America We Deserve, had been released that very week, coincidentally. A little over a month later, he announced that he'd decided not to run because of disunity within the Reform Party.
There were some minor rumblings again, in 2006, that the Donald was thinking of a campaign in 2008. He "hinted" to the Post "that he may go for president in 2008," and the chairman of New York's Independence Party, Frank McKay, tried to draft Trump into the race. It didn't work.
Will 2012 be the year that Trump finally takes the plunge? According to a thing that happened in New Hampshire that we have very little information about ... who knows!
Mark Halperin at The Page today reveals that residents of New Hampshire "received a telephone poll in September testing multiple 2012 Republican candidates and match-ups that included some 30 questions on real estate magnate Donald Trump. Among other queries, the calls reportedly asked if voters had heard that Trump donated to Democrats in the past and if they thought his high-profile appearances on TV would help or hurt him in a political race."
But as intriguing as the poll may be, Trump says he doesn't know anything about it. "I never heard of this poll, but I'm anxious to find out what it says. I do not know about a poll taken in New Hampshire," Trump told CNN this morning. He also claimed that running for president in 2012 is "not something I talked about or consider, but somebody has to do something or this country is not going to be a very great country for long," which, according to our Politispeak Translator 5000, a powerful supercomputer that takes up four rooms at Daily Intel, is a "weak denial" followed by an "allusion to a potential change of heart."
So would Trump have any chance at all if he decided that he was the one who "has to do something" to preserve America's greatness? As Halperin points out, the Republican nomination for 2012 is "wide open." But as the mystery telephone poll notes, Trump has not exactly been a loyal Republican. Not even close, actually. Does a guy who donated thousands of dollars over the years to Anthony Weiner, Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer, Kirsten Gillibrand, Charlie Rangel, Charlie Crist, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee sound like someone the tea partiers would get behind? Trump doesn't seem to have any books coming out soon, but he does have a TV show the promotion of which may be the best he can hope to gain from any presidential run.
Trump: It Wasn't Me, But Interested to Know More [Page/Time]
TRENDING: Trump says he's not behind mysterious NH poll [Political Ticker/CNN]