The Donald reveals his decision with humility (almost)

An imagined first draft of Donald Trump's announcement about his intentions for the 2012 presidential race

May 02, 2011|By Carl Hiaasen

Rejected first draft of Donald Trump's final announcement about his political intentions in 2012.

First, let me say how proud I am of myself for heckling Barack Obama until he produced the "long form" of his birth certificate, something no white president managing two wars and a budget crisis has ever been asked to do.

At long last, the national debate can move on to other idiotic conspiracy theories, which I may or may not exploit to boost my TV ratings.

Tonight, though, belongs to the 50 billion Donald J. Trump fans who've tuned in to see the season's last episode of "The Celebrity Apprentice." To all my fellow Americans watching at home, and to all of you gathered here in the boardroom, the waiting is over.

(Pause for spontaneous applause from studio audience).

Before I reveal my decision about whether or not to seek the presidency of the United States, I want to say a few words to all those pundits and bloggers who've been viciously attacking my integrity during these last few weeks.

To start with, I'm not a racist.

What I am is an egotistical gasbag who will say or do anything for attention. There's a big difference!

Just because I needlessly insulted a black president and fired La Toya Jackson (and, OK, Dionne Warwick), that doesn't make me a racist. I fired Gary Busey, too, didn't I? And he's as white as they come.

Other critics have questioned my truthfulness regarding my enormous, mind-boggling wealth. It's true that on occasion I have exaggerated my net worth by a few billion dollars, and also perhaps overstated my stake in certain high-profile real-estate projects.

Does that make me a liar and a poser? No. It makes me a guy who talks big, and that's just what this nation needs: More big-headed white guys talking big.

Now for the announcement that all of you are awaiting: After consulting with my family, my political advisers and of course my close personal friend Martha Stewart, I've reluctantly decided not to seek the Republican nomination for president.

(Dramatic pause for a collective groan of disappointment from the audience.)

Let me give you my reasons for this very difficult decision.

Ever since I braced President Obama about his birth certificate, I've been hounded by the media to produce my own birth records (which is fine), my tax returns going back five years (which I'm looking for), my contract with NBC (which I've misplaced, though I'm pretty sure it's in my golf locker down at Mar-a-Lago), a list of all current corporate holdings and mortgage positions (like I keep track), and a sworn affidavit from my hair stylist stating that no orangutans were harmed during the weaving of my toupee.

Make no mistake: These petty demands are meant only to distract voters from the more serious issues I've raised, such as whether or not I'm richer than Mitt Romney (I am!).

Tragically, the frivolous and mean-spirited nature of the debate has taken a toll on my family, which is the second-most important thing in my life. In good conscience, I can't put my kids through a grueling presidential campaign in which they'll hear their father maligned as a publicity-grubbing charlatan who couldn't find Yemen on Google Earth.

The truth is, I did find Yemen on Google Earth. It was Bahrain that gave me fits.

Don't get me wrong. I know I'd be a fantastic president, just like I'm a fantastic billionaire reality-show host.

Before the bloggers start in, let me set the record straight. My choice not to run for the highest office in the land has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that the job pays only $400,000 a year, which is, frankly, a joke.

When Donald Jr. told me what the president's salary was, I gotta admit, I thought he'd been spending a little too much time on Willie Nelson's bus.

(Pause for audience laughter).

Just kidding. Willie's a close personal friend.

But seriously, can you believe that the most powerful guy in the free world gets paid a lousy 400 grand a year? The batboy for the freaking Yankees makes more than that!

I understand that by bowing out of the presidential race, I'm disappointing billions and billions of Americans who'd been counting on me to save the country.

Two of them are sitting in this boardroom tonight.

Meat Loaf, what can I say? I know I promised that you could be Secretary of Defense in the first Trump administration.

And, Lil Jon, you were my first choice to replace Bernanke at the Federal Reserve.

Gentlemen, you're both fantastic patriots and close personal friends of mine.

Be patient. Your time will come.

Meanwhile, to all the fans who've cheered for me on this brief but overhyped journey, all that's left to say is: I'm almost humbled.

God bless me, and God bless America. Good night.

(Remain seated for thunderous applause).

Carl Hiaasen is a columnist for the Miami Herald.

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