Trump, 69, would be one of the oldest candidates in the race.
He’s two years older than Hillary Clinton the presumptive Democratic candidate and seven years older than GOP candidate Jeb Bush.
Trump will also have to reveal his financial net worth–he claims he’s worth $8 billion–and more detail about his financial dealings involving his vast holdings of New York City real estate, golf courses, Atlantic City casinos and other properties.
There’s no question Trump possesses charisma and a high media profile. He’ll attract attention to the Republican Party. But it’s another question whether his politics will mesh with the more conservative, religious elements of the party, which he needs to win the GOP primary.
Trump has never been known to be particularly religious, although he’s Presbyterian, and he’s been married three times. He’s also been a political chameleon.
He was a Republican before aligning himself with the Reform Party from 1999 to 2001. Then, for the next eight years, he was a Democrat. He became a Republican again for two years before ditching the GOP again to become an Independent. In 2012 he rejoined the Republican party.
Whether all that flip-flopping will sit well with GOP stalwarts remains to be seen. It’s possible his personality will transcend party politics, but than hasn’t been the case in the past with other candidates.
During his press conference this morning announcing the campaign, he mainly focused on the negative. He lambasted President Obama and GOP contender Bush alike on such subjects as Islamic terrorism, oil, immigration, the economy, unemployment and Obamacare.
“Our country needs a truly great leader, and we need a truly great leader now,” said Trump, “We need somebody who can take the brand of the United States and make it great again,” he said.
In his business dealings, however, Trump’s style is best described as “bailout capitalism.”
Although he has often portrayed himself as a self-made man, he inherited substantial real estate holdings from his father that were said to be worth $30 million to $200 million. His father built his fortune after World War II by taking advantage of federal housing programs.
While Donald has parlayed that into a substantially larger empire, hes gotten help from a tight circle of bankers and investors. They bailed him out after a series of poor business decisions in the 1980s pushed him to the brink of business bankruptcy.
By 1991, he also faced personal bankruptcy. Banks and bond holders lost hundreds of millions of dollars on his soured deals, but chose to restructure Trump’s debt, in effect, bailing him out rather than going through a long and costly bankruptcy proceeding.
In effect, Trump had become too big to fail, precisely like the Wall Street companies that drove the United States to the brink of economic collapse in the Great Recession of 2008.
His financial fortunes took a turn for the better in the mid-1990s, and he was back to business as usual, developing real estate projects all over the world.
But his casino company, Trump Entertainment Resorts, Inc., struggled throughout the 2000s and filed for bankruptcy for the third time in 2009, costing 1,000 employees their jobs.
Trump lost a substantial share of the company and gave up his management position in the two previous filings, but bragged how he was able to cash out of the project before it went down the tubes.
How that experience will translate into policies that he thinks will restore “the American Dream” remains to be seen.
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