“He said, ‘I’m going to walk away with it and win it outright,’” a long-time New York political consultant recalled. “Trump told us, ‘I’m going to get in and all the polls are going to go crazy. I’m going to suck all the oxygen out of the room. I know how to work the media in a way that they will never take the lights off of me.’”
This gathering of New York’s political class was not held on the eve of Trump’s announcement. It was much earlier than that – 25 months ago, in the weeks before Christmas of 2013, a period well before most Americans and even many politicians were thinking about the 2016 presidential contest. Well before Trump would come to utterly dominate the GOP race from the very moment he declared himself a candidate…
Notoriously frugal, Trump insisted he wouldn’t need to spend much money on paid advertising, drawing disbelief from the professionals gathered around his table.
“You can’t run for president on earned media,” one attendee recalled telling Trump.
The billionaire looked up, and paused for a long moment. “I think you’re wrong,” Trump said.