Sunday, June 5, 2016

Dealmaker Trump honed his craft on New Jersey politics

Donald Trump at opening of his Taj Mahal in 1989 – Leif Skoogfors/Corbis via Getty Images

For someone who has courted the media for years, there's still surprisingly more to learn about Donald Trump.
Matt Katz, who taught us a thing or two about another famous headline-hunter in American Governor: Chris Christie's Bridge to Redemption, now shares some interesting tales about Mr. Trump's New Jersey years.
It starts with this recollection from a former governor:   
One morning in the mid-1980s, New Jersey Gov. Tom Kean walked into his office at the State House in Trenton. His secretary said Donald Trump, the casino owner from Atlantic City, was on the phone. Kean figured Trump wanted something from him.
"Donald, I'm very, very busy. What can I do for you?" Kean asked.
"Really nothing," Trump responded. "It's just a beautiful day today and I wanted to tell you you're the best governor in the country."
Kean had been expecting Trump to ask him about some piece of legislation that Trump had interest in. Instead, Trump opted for charm. Kean thought: "He's not such a bad guy!"
Everybody in New Jersey politics has a Trump story. That's because for more than a quarter-century, Trump, a self-proclaimed political outsider, played the ultimate insider's game in New Jersey, where political deals require relationships and cash. With the state's presidential primary on June 7, New Jersey voters will get their first opportunity to vote for a man who has long played an outsize role in state politics.
Read the full, fascinating story here

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