Who is the private man behind the bombastic, egoistical public persona? Exactly the same, say those who know him. His rise from real estate to reality TV to presidential candidate is testament to the power of positive thinking
Randal Pinkett strode into the salmon-coloured marble atrium of Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue, stepped into a lift that glided up to the 26th floor and entered an office that, along with a vista of wintry Manhattan, was lined with signed memorabilia and magazine covers bearing the face of Donald John Trump. The first and only African American winner of the reality TV show The Apprentice had arrived for his first day at work.
But when he walked in, Pinkett recalls, Trump was methodically working through a foot-high stack of magazines and newspapers on his desk. Each item in the stack had a Post-it note; and Trump took an item off the top of the stack, put it on his desk and opened it at the Post-it note. He read the relevant article then put it to the side. Disconcertingly, this ritual continued throughout their half-hour meeting in early 2006.
So Im wondering, Pinkett says, is this guy reading current trends in real estate, is he reading stock market coverage, is he reading about global business? I lean over as were talking and I realise everything hes looking at is an article about himself. In fact at several points in the conversation Donald got so excited about what he was reading about himself that he would pick up the magazine and hold it up to me and say, Look Randal, do you see that The Apprentice was number one in the ratings last week, isnt that great?
Apparently somebodys job responsibility is to find all this stuff and to organise it for him to read. I can only conclude that Donald loves reading about Donald.
Donald loves reading about Donald. He has, according to many who know him, study him or write about him, made Donald his lifes work. Now he is seeking to perfect his masterpiece. His Jovian self-belief helped him sweep aside 16 rivals, including governors and senators, to become the first non-politician in decades to win a major partys nomination for president. Barring a spectacular rebellion, the billionaire tycoons coronation will take place next week at the Republican convention in Cleveland ahead of what could be the ugliest election fight ever against Hillary Clinton.
How Donald Trump got to this once unthinkable, preposterous height is a story of immigrant ancestors working hard and making good, of hustling and hucksterism, of show business and showmanship, of success and celebrity, of bending the truth and branding the enemy, of a particular interpretation of the pursuit of happiness.
It is also a story of monumental ego undented by self-doubt. Trumps swagger, eager to establish himself as the alpha male in the room, is said to be matched only by his lack of introspection. He is a world-class narcissist, says David Cay Johnston, author of the upcoming The Making of Donald Trump, who estimates his worth at no more than $1bn. Donald believes that he is this incredibly great person and if you dont recognise that, youre a loser.
Once, boasting of his golfing prowess, Trump asked journalists: Do I hit it long? Is Trump strong? It would be no great surprise if, should he become president, he ordered his face carved into Mount Rushmore alongside Washington, Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt and Lincoln.
Read more: www.theguardian.com