Donald Trump: The making of a narcissist

David Smith writes: Randal Pinkett strode into the salmon-coloured marble atrium of Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue, stepped into a lift that glided up to the 26th floor and entered an office that, along with a vista of wintry Manhattan, was lined with signed memorabilia and magazine covers bearing the face of Donald John Trump. The first and only African American winner of the reality TV show The Apprentice had arrived for his first day at work.

But when he walked in, Pinkett recalls, Trump was methodically working through a foot-high stack of magazines and newspapers on his desk. Each item in the stack had a Post-it note; and Trump took an item off the top of the stack, put it on his desk and opened it at the Post-it note. He read the relevant article then put it to the side. Disconcertingly, this ritual continued throughout their half-hour meeting in early 2006.

“So I’m wondering,” Pinkett says, “is this guy reading current trends in real estate, is he reading stock market coverage, is he reading about global business? I lean over as we’re talking and I realise everything he’s looking at is an article about himself. In fact at several points in the conversation Donald got so excited about what he was reading about himself that he would pick up the magazine and hold it up to me and say, ‘Look Randal, do you see that The Apprentice was number one in the ratings last week, isn’t that great?’

“Apparently somebody’s job responsibility is to find all this stuff and to organise it for him to read. I can only conclude that Donald loves reading about Donald.”

Donald loves reading about Donald. He has, according to many who know him, study him or write about him, made Donald his life’s work. Now he is seeking to perfect his masterpiece. His Jovian self-belief helped him sweep aside 16 rivals, including governors and senators, to become the first non-politician in decades to win a major party’s nomination for president. Barring a spectacular rebellion, the billionaire tycoon’s coronation will take place next week at the Republican convention in Cleveland ahead of what could be the ugliest election fight ever against Hillary Clinton. [Continue reading…]

Scary as this is to contemplate, I’ve started wondering how Trump would feel about living in the White House — indeed, whether he would actually be able to live there.

To have to move down from his penthouse in Trump Tower to such a lowly dwelling in a town I assume he despises, would be very disturbing for a man so long used to occupying his own imperial throne. The transition from the grotesque opulence he prefers to the near monastic conditions of the White House would require a kind of self-abnegation that could be intolerable for a man so used to living in a world that by design reflects his greatness. On top of that, he’d be going from the position of a home-owner to that of a tenant (be that a tenancy that comes with lots of perks).

Maybe he wouldn’t actually move in — he could just use the White House as his office and commute from New York.

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