The Trump we saw: Populist, frustrating, naive, wise, forever on the make

From The Washington Post:

The man who would be president rose from his tall, thickly cushioned leather desk chair, buttoned his suit jacket, and waved his visitors to follow along: “Come on, boys, I have something to show you.” He ushered us from his lushly carpeted office in Trump Tower, with its breathtaking view of Central Park and the majestic Plaza Hotel, immediately across the hall to a windowless room, not five steps away.

“I just discovered this,” he said, pointing at the conference table that took up most of the room. He swept his arm over the table, beckoning us to inspect. Every inch of the table’s surface was filled with stacks of magazines. “All from the last four months,” he said, and on every cover of every magazine, there he was, Donald J. Trump, smiling or waving or scowling or pouting, but always him.

“Cover of Time, three times in four months,” he said. “No one ever before. It’s amazing.” There he was on the New York Times Magazine, and on Esquire and on Rolling Stone and on and on, the man who was about to be nominated as the Republican candidate for president, his success (or his notoriety) emblazoned on magazine after magazine. He was very much impressed.

He was all sunshine on that June day, an exemplar of the power of positive thinking, the core of the theology that he’d grown up with in Fred Trump’s office and the Rev. Norman Vincent Peale’s church. In that moment, Donald Trump was the can-do dealmaker, the tough decider, the ebullient kid who, as his sister put it, was “just a nice boy from Queens.”

A few moments later, he would switch gears and show us his other side, also a classically American streak, this one darker, with a trace of paranoia and a dash of …

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