Every once in a while, we see speculation that Donald Trump doesn’t really want to be president. This doesn’t seem all that likely, because if Trump really didn’t want to be president, he either wouldn’t have run or could quit the race at any time. Carl Cannon modifies the theory to speculate that some part of Trump’s subconscious is trying to sabotage his own bid:
Donald Trump loves winning and hates losing, while [Trump’s subconscious] knows that running a smart campaign and beating Hillary Clinton means he’d inherit a job he has neither the qualifications nor the temperament to perform successfully. [Trump’s subconscious] wants to lose. He wants this campaign to be over so Donald Trump can go back to doing what he’s good at: promoting his personal brand and counting his money.
Whether or not some part of Trump is trying to lose, this report in Vanity Fair suggests that Trump is looking at non-presidential options for the future:
Trump is indeed considering creating his own media business, built on the audience that has supported him thus far in his bid to become the next president of the United States. According to several people briefed on the discussions, the presumptive Republican nominee is examining the opportunity presented by the “audience” currently supporting him. He has also discussed the possibility of launching a “mini-media conglomerate” outside of his existing TV-production business, Trump Productions LLC. He has, according to one of these people, enlisted the consultation of his daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who owns the The New York Observer. Trump’s rationale, according to this person, is that, “win or lose, we are onto something here. We’ve triggered a base of the population that hasn’t had a voice in a long time.” For his part, Kushner was heard at a New York dinner party saying that “the people here don’t understand what I’m seeing. You go to these arenas and people go crazy for him.” (Both Kushner and Ivanka Trump did not respond to a request for comment.)
Trump, this person close to the matter suggests, has become irked by his ability to create revenue for other media organizations without being able to take a cut himself. Such a situation “brings him to the conclusion that he has the business acumen and the ratings for his own network.” Trump has “gotten the bug,” according to this person. “So now he wants to figure out if he can monetize it.”
Hope Hicks, Trump’s spokeswoman, adamantly denied that such conversations have occurred. (“There is absolutely no truth to this whatsoever,” she told me. “This hasn’t been even uttered. Not even thought about.”) Then, after conferring with Trump, she issued a subsequent statement clarifying her point: “While it’s true Mr. Trump garners exceptionally high ratings, there are absolutely no plans or discussions taking place regarding a venture of this nature.”
Some candidates just get a television contract after quitting the race; Mike Huckabee got his own show. Talk about raising the bar, if you can turn a presidential campaign into a cable television network.