Never Enough - Michael D'Antonio

From Jesse Mulligan, 1–4pm, 3:07 pm on 28 September 2015
Michael D'Antonio.

Michael D'Antonio. Photo: Toni Raiten-D'Antonio

Donald Trump's bid to be the Republican Party’s nominee for President comes from a personal dislike for the standing US President, according to Pulitzer Prize winning author Michael D’Antonio. 

The reality TV star and property tycoon “has a real and genuine antipathy for Barack Obama", he told Radio New Zealand's Jesse Mulligan. "I think he would love to take the keys to the White House with him going in and Obama coming out.”

D'Antonio details Trump's rise in business and politics in his new book Never Enough: Donald Trump and the Pursuit of Success.

Name recognition is part of what has elevated Donald Trump to the position of front-runner in the race to be the Republican Party’s nominee in a field of more than a dozen, D’Antonio says. “He represents the worst of a culture that is besotted with reality TV, that has elevated greed above almost every value. It’s amazing how fame governs all now and Donald saw that in the 1970s. If you become famous, you could convert it to billions and he did it.”

Some of the other candidates in the field have started to take on Trump, but D’Antonio says only one has managed to get under his skin, neurosurgeon Ben Carson. “Carson’s not a fighter and Donald doesn’t know what to do with someone who doesn’t fight.” 

Trump initially cooperated with D’Antonio for his book, but then withdrew his support and his access. The author says this is part of Trump’s modus operandi and one the Republican Party has to be wary of. “He always leaves himself a trapdoor, a way out. He’s pledged to be loyal to the Republican Party with the caveat they must treat him fairly. Anyone who has ever been a child and argued with playmates knows it’s easy to say no fair.”

Despite his money and fame, D’Antonio believes there is a sad side to the billionaire. Ivanka Trump, Donald’s ex-wife, talked to him for the book. “The truth is she never figured him out. She was married him for 15 years and has known him for 40 years and still doesn’t feel like she knows him, That is so sad to me to not be known to the people who you’ve spent the most time with. It’s almost tragic.”

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