Donald Trump folds; won't run for president

The press is announcing this morning what most people have known for weeks: Donald Trump will not run for president.

Perhaps Barack Obama did have something to teach Trump after all: if you've auditioning for the most difficult job in the world it helps if you can bring something to the table other than a grudge about taxes.

When the president schooled Trump on what the heat of public office can feel like at the annual Washington Correspondents dinner last month, a clearly agitated Trump looked thin-skinned and tight lipped throughout his drubbing. It was the tipping point for the American public, and even Trump himself had the sense to know he would never recover from it.

Reacting to this morning's news critics weighed in immediately: "Trump must have debated running long and hard, but in the end he fired himself." "Perhaps he wasn't born here, who knows?"  "That thing on his head today appears to be omelette," they crowed.

Barbs aside, it was a most instructive non-run: Trump's campaign seemed to begin so well, or at any rate it seemed to begin like all modern Republican campaigns do these days - by bashing minorities, including immigrants, gays, Muslims, etc before announcing your intention to run for office.

By denying the rights to others you take for granted yourself you can make some handy headlines in the press, and early on Trump did. But it all went sour so quickly. For one thing, more and more, those same unfavored minorities are fighting back, hard, these days. And gambits like questioning the presidents birth certificate - the better to question his fitness, indeed his appropriateness for office, with all that implied - backfired spectacularly.

Trump may have won himself some cheap international publicity, but you have to wonder at what cost to his brand: himself.

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