So Trump didn't want to be president but colluded with the Russians to do it?
In his stemwinder piece on the early chaotic days of the Trump administration, Michael Wolff would have us believe that Donald Trump really didn't want to be president.
It's a desperate, pathetic new narrative, because up until now, the left has been adamant that Trump colluded with the Russians to do it.
Writing in the reliably anti-Trump New York magazine, the same one that published the gag-inducing photo spread of Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski as some kind of celebrity media love couple, Wolff now tries to discredit the Trump presidency and its many accomplishments by claiming that Trump was just somehow thrown in there and by some twist of fate ended up president.
As the campaign came to an end, Trump himself was sanguine. His ultimate goal, after all, had never been to win. "I can be the most famous man in the world," he had told his aide Sam Nunberg at the outset of the race. His longtime friend Roger Ailes, the former head of Fox News, liked to say that if you want a career in television, first run for president. Now Trump, encouraged by Ailes, was floating rumors about a Trump network. It was a great future. He would come out of this campaign, Trump assured Ailes, with a far more powerful brand and untold opportunities.
"This is bigger than I ever dreamed of," he told Ailes a week before the election. "I don't think about losing, because it isn't losing. We've totally won."
Even if it were true, such talk is nothing more than the reassurances one gives oneself when one undertakes a tremendously risky venture. Any smart person does this.
Trump didn't run like some guy who didn't want to win. He ran roughshod over seventeen Republican candidates during the primaries; often said things he shouldn't have said; fought for Wisconsin and Michigan and Pennsylvania with superhuman energy in repeatedly huge rallies; and never gave up anywhere in the campaign, even with the most tremendous setbacks that would have shaken any weaker candidate out. How on Earth does anyone survive that decades-old Billy Bush tape just days before the general election? How does anyone deal with the constant negativity of the press and the push-polls that kept saying he was losing, day after day? Trump showed the strength and the guts to soldier on – and he won.
Yet up until now, Trump was somehow busy colluding with the Russians to steal the election from its rightful heir, Hillary Clinton, who couldn't quite stand up straight for the 9/11 memorial – or, more to the point, give a straight answer about her obvious health problems, let alone state a plan for fixing Obamacare. Nor could she bother to campaign in Wisconsin or Ohio, among their deplorables.
Based on the reality of what went on during that Trump campaign, Trump wouldn't have had time to collude with the Russians even if he wanted to sell off more of America's uranium supply in exchange for emoluments.
And to claim he didn't want to be president is simply absurd.
Ironically, the same claim was made about Obama, who reportedly considered his first presidential run a dry run with no serious hopes of winning. Like Trump, he campaigned hard and was blessed with a weak opponent. Reportedly, he was surprised when he won. Everyone is surprised when he wins; why do you think Miss Universe crownings are so tear-filled? When a new pope is named, he's promptly whisked off to something called the crying room so he can cry it out before he goes out onto the balcony to wave. It's always an emotional moment when someone wins something big.
There were people who were surprised at Trump's win, too, but I was not one of them. Gas prices had hit $3 a gallon, the U.S. was at a historic 75-year inflection point, Brexit and Colombia's referendum signaled change from afar, the IBD-TIPP poll pointed to a Trump victory, and the small money in the betting parlors overwhelmingly favored Trump. So much for surprises if you watch a lot of presidential elections and know what to watch for.
The Wolff piece is an engrossing read, but it's missing a lot of context and has only biased sources looking out for themselves to go on. File it under fiction, right next to the Russian collusion narrative.