Final Trumpdate: The End of the Affair

A look back at the fastest failed presidential not-quite-campaign before you stop caring

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Our brief affair with Donald Trump was like the romance between Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy in Before Sunrise, the 90s movie in which two young Gen Xers meet on a train and fall in love in one night in Vienna before they're whisked away to their separate lives on separate continents in the morning. Over the course of his blink-and-you-missed-it presidential candidacy, we stared into Trump's eyes. We talked to him about our hopes and fears. We listened to him drone on about his hopes and fears. The we realized we had to go our separate ways. Will we meet again, 10 years later, like in the sequel Before Sunset? History would suggest yes.

Every day your humble aggregator downloaded a super high-resolution photograph of Trump, one with enough pixels to make a single eye the size of a human head, allowing her to grow so familiar with every winkle and contour and smudge of bronzer on Trump's face that she felt like she'd dated him, maybe, because whose face do you examine that closely except a boyfriend's? (Maybe a puppy's? But certainly not a presidential candidate's.) The daily photo search was even more delightful as Trump has a combination of qualities rarely seen in politicians: a boundless vanity plus zero inhibition about making funny faces. Better still, he is a dude--while it is considered sexist to make fun of women for being vain or ugly, that is not the case for men. Which meant freedom to make fun of Trump's vain and ugly combover.

Like in every good cheesy romantic movie, we must end the affair with a montage of the Trump affair. These are the moments we'd highlight, set to some maudlin singer-songwriter tune, like maybe Sarah MacLaughlin.

  • His Proudest Moment "Today I am very proud of myself because I have accomplished something that nobody else has been able to accomplish," Trump said from a New Hampshire tarmac after the White House released President Obama's long-form birth certificate. "I hope that it's true so we can get on to much more important matters. So the press can stop asking me questions... I am really honored to have played such a big role in hopefully getting rid of this issue."
  • Onto Transcripterism Robbed of the birther issue, Trump moved on to the similarly-racially-tinged conspiracy that Obama somehow got into a really good college for a reason other than academic excellent. "I heard [Obama] was a terrible student, terrible," Trump said. "How does a bad student go to Columbia and then to Harvard?"
  • Go Back to Iraq to Get the Oil Trump is along among candidates in his reaction to the old lefty protest against the Iraq war, "No Blood for Oil." Instead of saying that line was a terrible distortion of America's noble foreign policy goals, Trump argued that blood for oil was a pretty good idea. Defending his position, Trump told Fox News, "I very simply said that Iran is going to takeover Iraq, and if that’s going to happen, we should just stay there and take the oil. They want the oil, and why should we? We de-neutered Iraq, Iran is going to walk in, take it over, take over the second largest oil fields in the world. That’s going to happen. That would mean that all of those soldiers that have died and been wounded and everything else would have died in vain--and I don’t want that to happen. I want their parents and their families to be proud."
  • Take Libya's Oil Too As for establishing a no-fly zone to prevent Muammar Qaddafi from slaughtering his people, Trump's position was "meh." He explained, "I'm only interested in Libya if we keep the oil.  If we don't keep the oil, I'm not interested. We don't know who the rebels are. They make the rebels like it's some romantic, beautiful novel - the rebels. I hear the rebels are Al Qaeda, I hear they're Iran-backed and Iran-influenced. Where are they getting those weapons before we came along? From Iran. Gaddafi's going to go around saying he won the war against this country. When you ask me what I'd do — I'm only interested in Libya if we get the oil."
  • Not So Up on His Abortion Facts Trump showed he was a Washington novice in his response to NBC News' Savannah Guthrie's question, "Is there a right to privacy in the Constitution?" Trump replied, "I guess there is, I guess there is.  And why, just out of curiosity, why do you ask that question?" Guthrie asked how he could believe that given his pro-life position. Trump responded, "Well, that’s a pretty strange way of getting to pro-life.  I mean, it's a very unique way of asking about pro-life.  What does that have to do with privacy?  How are you equating pro-life with privacy?" Guthrie explained the origins of Roe v. Wade. Trump responded, "Yes, right, sure. Look, I am pro-life. I've said it. I'm very strong there."
  • Dropping the F-Bomb Trump's first big political speech, in Las Vegas, was notable only for the profanity. On Washington: "I've been dealing with politicians all my fucking life,” Trump said. On wars overseas: "We build a school, we build a road, they blow up the school, we build another school, we build another road they blow them up, we build again, in the meantime we can't get a fucking school in Brooklyn." On OPEC: "We have nobody in Washington that sits back and said, you're not going to raise that fucking price." On a potential export tariff on China: "Listen you motherfuckers, we're going to tax you 25 percent!" Sadly, such odd policy proposals don't sound more credible just by intensifying them with swears.
  • It's Not a Combover! "Okay, what I do is wash it with Head and Shoulders," Trump explained to Rolling Stone, offering the first-ever detailed step-by-step to getting his signature hairdo. "I don't dry it, though. I let it dry by itself. It takes about an hour. ... I mean, I get a lot of credit for comb-overs. But it's not really a comb-over...  Do I comb it forward? No, I don't comb it forward. ... It's sort of a little bit forward and back. I've combed it the same way for years. Same thing, every time. ... I actually don't have a bad hairline. ... When you think about it, it's not bad."
  • Pity Party Near the end of his faux campaign, Trump began to feel sorry for himself. "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. ... 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. ... I can see now why Ross Perot dropped out. ... And I heard from people that were involved that he was just getting hammered because he did a lot. He did a lot of deals, a lot of everything. And he didn't like it."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.