Though Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has flirted with the possibility of running for office since the turn of the century, it was only recently revealed that he was pushed in that direction almost three decades ago by a political power player — a former U.S. president.
Former first lady Pat Nixon caught Trump’s appearance on the popular 80s daytime talk show, “Donahue.” On the show, a younger Trump talked about a variety of problems America faced at the time and explained how he thought they could best be fixed.
Mrs. Nixon was apparently so impressed that she told her husband, former President Richard Nixon, about Trump’s ideas and ambition. President Nixon was so impressed that he fired off a letter to The Donald shortly thereafter, encouraging him to run for office, with a prediction of success if he chose to do so.
Some have drawn similarities between Nixon, the 37th president, and Trump, who has often used the phrase “silent majority” at his press conferences and in his Internet postings.
Nixon ran on a similar platform and frequently used the “silent majority” term that eventually won him the election against incumbent Democrat Lyndon B. Johnson (H/T IJ Review).
Trump has insisted that the somewhat controversial phrase wasn’t inspired by Nixon, but described voters typically not enthusiastic about career politicians running for office.
“Remember, many Republicans didn’t vote for Mitt Romney. He didn’t inspire people. They’re going to vote for me,” Trump explained in response to a reporter’s question about the Nixon references. (H/T Breitbart).
Still, the letter from Nixon, which was revealed by author Michael D’Antonio his new Trump biography, “Never Enough,” is high praise. We can’t imagine that it’s a regular occurrence for former presidents to fire off letters of admiration to successful businessmen to suggest they run for office.
Nixon’s prediction obviously is ringing true as Trump is exemplifying a never-before seen ability to rally people around him. His campaign set records for votes received and, regardless of whether you agree with his principles, it cannot be denied that his campaign has been surrounded with more grass-roots enthusiasm than any in recent history.
Nixon must have seen something really special those 30 years ago.
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