To me, it seems significant and damning that, shortly before entering the presidential race, Donald Trump sought Bill Clinton’s advice about the political landscape, and that Clinton apparently encouraged Trump to run. Clinton has his own dog in the fight and thus, even if he could put aside his innate anti-Republican partisanship, could not be expected to provide disinterested analysis.
But Trump has a way of talking himself out of difficulty. In response to news of his consultation with Bill Clinton, I imagine Trump might say something like this:
Look, I’m a businessman, and a very successful one. I gotta tell you, I’m very, very rich. People can’t even imagine how rich I am.
As a businessman, before I make a decision, I consult with the smartest, most successful people. That’s how I got to be so rich — more rich than you can even imagine.
Who’s the most smartest, most successful politician out there? Bill Clinton. So I talked to him.
Who do you want me to take political advice from? Mitt Romney? John McCain? Bob Dole? I gotta tell you, these guys were terrible candidates. They’re losers. I like to talk to winners, not losers, and definitely not losers who were captured.
So, yeah, I talked to Bill Clinton. Doesn’t mean I agree with him on the issues.
Yes, I gave money to his Foundation and to his wife when she ran. Look. I’m a businessman — a very, very rich businessman. I give lots of people money. That’s how the system works, I gotta tell you.
These guys all beg me for money; I have all their phone numbers. They say, “please, please Donald, will you give me some money?” So I give them money — I feel sorry for them. I gotta tell you, I’m a very, very nice man. Most people don’t know that about me.
Anyway, back to Bill Clinton. He gave me good advice. He said I was striking a chord with frustrated conservatives. He was right — I’m way, way ahead in the polls. He said I’m a rising force on the right. He was right. I’m ahead in Iowa and New Hampshire. And nationally, I’m leaving these losers like Jeb Bush — the last thing we need is another Bush — and Scott Walker — a terrible governor — in the dust.
If I had asked the so-called pundits for advice, what would they have told me? You can’t win — you’re too outspoken. I’m winning because I’m outspoken. You’ve never run before, you won’t know what to do. I’m winning because I’ve never run before.
If these pundits knew anything, they wouldn’t be pundits, they’d be winning candidates. And they’d be rich, like me. I’m very, very rich.
Bill Clinton is rich too. He’s smart, not a loser. But I gotta tell you, he’s not as rich as me.