Donald Trump's Fake Gubernatorial Campaign Will Soon Have a Fake Exploratory Committee
Famous orange-American Donald Trump has had a busy few months, feuding with State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, pretending to be friends with recently deceased civil rights icon Nelson Mandela, and fulminating on Twitter about how climate change isn't real because it's cold outside during winter. But he's still found time for one of this favorite hobbies: pretending to run for office.
Every so often for the past 25 years or so, perhaps whenever his ratings start to sag or his hideous tie collection is selling less briskly, Trump feels the urge to pretend he's considering a run for some ever-changing political position: mayor, governor, president, President for Life. Back in October, he was hinting yet again at a totally real run for president . That bout of hinting passed without Trump ever making a formal announcement, both because it's way too early for presidential candidates to start declaring themselves and because he will never actually run for anything.
But four days ago, Buzzfeed's McKay Coppins called Trump's bluff.
It was clear from the very first word that Coppin's piece, "36 Hours on the Fake Campaign Trail with Donald Trump," would be unflattering, and it really, really was. Coppins focused on Trump's new supposed ambition -- becoming the Republican nominee for governor of New York -- but also on how tiresome his Boy Who Cried Running For Office schtick has become:
[M]any in the media have soured on his political sideshow. Covering Trump's various stunts and inflammatory comments feels increasingly like a chore, akin to donning a network-branded parka during a snowstorm and shouting into the camera about a predictable phenomenon that viewers somehow still find surprising. Trump's supposed political aspirations, in particular, inflict upon reporters made to cover them a special sort of journalistic indignity; it's like hyping the "storm of the century" before a single flake has fallen.
The profile has already cost one Trump aide his job, 32-year-old political consultant Sam Nunberg. Trump told the New York Post that Nunberg promised him that Coppins was "a friend of mine" who'd write "a fair story." Trump promised him that if the piece turned out to be "a wise-guy story, you'll be fired."
It was, and he was. Trump also spent a few minutes tweeting angrily about Buzzfeed and Coppins, as is his wont:
@mckaycoppins is a failed and dishonest reporter who refuses to mention the sarcasm in my voice when referring to him or irrelevant buzzfeed— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 16, 2014
How come discredited reporter @mckaycoppins refused to write that the events in New Hampshire, Buffalo and N.Y. were all record breakers!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 16, 2014
But the story seems to have touched an orange-tinted nerve. In what surely must be coincidental timing, Trump told the Post yesterday that he was setting up an "exploratory committee" for the governor's race "within a week or so," which, the tabloid writes, with a straight face, "set[s] the stage for him to begin spending significant sums in pursuit of the nomination."
It's almost exactly like the totally real "exploratory committee" Trump promised he'd set up in 1999 , buoyed by what he called "amazing" polls and "unbelievable" interest from the media. (The New York Times noted dryly that Trump refused to identify the members of that committee "whose main task seemed to be to advise him to go for it.")
Trump set up another "committee" in 2011, this one headed by his lawyer and Trump Organization executive vice president Michael Cohen . That time, they even had a website, ShouldTrumpRun.com (now defunct).
But we're sure this time is for real. Really, really real. Yep.
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