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By Andrea Peyser
Aug 8, 2016
That’s all folks! I’m out.
Embracing the presidential aspirations of Donald Trump was, from the start, an exercise in magical thinking. In my heart, I wanted the smack-talking, hair-challenged, self-absorbed New York City billionaire Republican to nail down this baby.
But in my head? Not so much.
I’ve hung out with Trump, 70, many times over the years, professionally, socially and in wacky combinations of the two. I interviewed him inside a stretch limo in New Hampshire in 2011 about his White House ambitions. But the chat devolved into a madcap dash through Podunk streets too small for his ride — or his ego. Trump soon got palpably bored with the Granite State and the presidency, and started motor-mouthing about “Celebrity Apprentice’’ and his suspicion, which was proven wrong, that President Obama was born in Kenya. He asked the driver to drop him off at his private chopper emblazoned with the name “TRUMP’’ for the trip home.
”Want a ride in my helicopter?’’ he asked me. Not wanting to find myself airborne over the Throgs Neck Bridge with no exit strategy, I begged off.
Here is a guy with the common touch, but the attention span of a flea. He’s someone voters would enjoy having a beer with, even though he doesn’t drink alcohol. Can you imagine the torture of sharing a Bud Light with Democrat Hillary Clinton?
But some of us smitten with his shoot-from-the-lip style have reached our limits.
I think Trump secretly doesn’t want the prize. Why would he crave spending endless hours in policy meetings, cavorting with miserable domestic and world leaders and abandoning his collection of obscenely opulent abodes to live in public housing at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. in Washington, DC?
His penthouse, which sprawls over the 66th, 67th and 68th floors of Trump Tower looks like the palace of Louis XIV — if the French king mated with Liberace, with 24-karat-gold accents adorning everything from the lamps to the china, marble bathtubs and a vaulted living-room ceiling painted with a fresco of scantily clad babes.
When I visited about two months after his lovely wife, Melania, now 46, gave birth to the couple’s son, Barron, now 10, the infamous germophobe boasted that after fathering five children, he’d never changed a diaper.
I enthused that Melania, who stood quietly nearby aboard 5-inch stilettos, had lost all her baby weight. Trump corrected me: “She’s almost lost all the baby weight.’’
I was embarrassed for the mother of his youngest kid, who ignored the dig. Trump staffers asked a photographer and me to put sterile cotton booties over our shoes so as not to sully the carpet. It was time to get the hell out of the loony bin.
My all-time favorite Hollywood GOP curmudgeon, Clint Eastwood, 86, told Esquire magazine in the September issue that we’re living in a “pussy generation’’ beholden to political correctness. Trump, he said is “onto something.’’ But he stopped short of endorsing him.
Trump picked a stupid fight with the Muslim Gold Star parents of 27-year-old Army Capt. Humayun Khan, who was killed in Iraq in 2004. Sure, dad Khizr Khan put the candidate on the spot while at the Democratic National Convention. Holding up a copy of the US Constitution, he needled Trump — “Have you even read the Constitution?’’
Trump could have said he’s sorry for the Khans’ loss, and left it at that.
Instead, he said the dad had “no right’’ to “viciously’’ criticize him, and accused the slain soldier’s mom, Ghazala Khan, of standing by silently as her husband spoke because she is Muslim. (She later said she was too distraught to speak.)
And Trump won’t back down from his lunacy and bigotry.
I can no longer justify calling myself a Trumpkin. I’m done with The Donald. Let’s grab a beer —or I will — and call it quits.