What did you think of Donald Trump a decade ago?

In 2003, I had thought of Trump as being a bit of a fictitious character and had only heard the name but never thought of him as a real person. Up to a few years ago I could only vaguely associate the words “reality TV,” “Apprentice,” “you’re fired” with his name, and knew next to nothing about him.
How about you?

I thought he was a rich deal-making businessman mostly in real estate (I had read something about his book “the Art of the Deal”.

Longer than a decade ago, but I always viewed him as rather obnoxious and full of himself, tho I didn’t pay a whole lot of attention. I seem to recall he was often on the front page of the tabloids with his latest arm candy, wallowing in his playboy image. And since I didn’t think he was an attractive man anyway, I didn’t understand how he got all those hot girlfriends… OK, I know: $$$$

Bottom line: I never thought much of him in any regard.

I’ve been aware of Donald Trump since the 1980s, and I recall hearing about his antics with the USFL, and the Taj Mahal.

He has always struck me as a public clown. A Barnum type. I figured he was a slightly richer con man and huckster. That’s been my basic opinion of him all along.

His game was what we would now look at as a Paris Hilton level. Never very important, but never really going away. The whole Apprentice thing fit into that mold.

It’s absolutely stunning to me that anyone with a brain would consider giving him any significant responsibility.

He was the guy who acted like an obnoxious douchebag on The Apprentice.

Only years later would I realise it wasn’t an act.

I thought he was a narcissistic ass hat thanks to Bloom County. What I saw of him in other popular culture references seemed to confirm the image. I also was aware of his 2000 Presidential campaign (he sought and didn’t win the Reform Party nomination) and regular discussion of maybe running for President every cycle even before that. I was not impressed with the idea any of the times I heard his name come up.

I first heard of him with the USFL lawsuitwhen the lawyer for the NFL – who had the same last name as mine – eviscerated him.

After that, he was always something of a self-promotion buffoon.

I thought he was an average businessman and a superior asshole. The only real success I saw at that point was basically selling the country his own hype.

A rich loudmouth.

A second rate scam artist and minor celebrity who made a small fortune out of a large fortune his father gave him. Only person I can think of that ran 3 (or was it 4?) Atlantic City casinos into the ground and into bankruptcy. Total spoiled loser and misfit. Unfit to be city dog catcher. Just imagine what I think of him now.

A decade ago I mainly knew him for having terrible hair. He was the rich punchline to some jokes who had several buildings named after him. I also had heard of art of the deal but never read it. I’m not a fan of reality tv but I’m pretty sure his show was on at that point. The show was mainly idiots acting stupid and getting fired by him. I don’t think he did anything but say you’re fired on the show.

I’ve known about him for years and everything I’ve ever seen him do or say has suggested a non-stop dedication to total twattery.

I’ve not seen or heard anything to make me doubt his commitment to being an arsehole.

I thought he was an ignorant grifter.

Now I think he is an ignorant grifter with nuclear weapons.

I watched and enjoyed the Celebrity Apprentice mostly because of the Donald. I found him to be a caricature of a rich, powerful, egotistical businessman and I thought he was hilarious. Prior to that, I was well aware of him as a rich man, but didn’t know enough about him to have an opinion. But mostly, yeah, I just thought he was very entertaining.

I knew he was a real estate developer with a love of over the top tackiness. His buildings had a reputation for slightly shoddy construction die to corner cutting - a lot of them had these forced air HVAC systems like you might find in a hotel and they confounded builders that wanted to do a state of the art remodel. Most of the buyers in his buildings were wealthy foreigners, in large part because Trump buildings carried sort of a reverse cachet among native New Yorkers. I remember a young hedge fund wife telling me that she was embarrassed to own a Trump Condo, but her and her husband had to find something fast, it was a starter home, they were going to move in a year or so, etc etc.

This assessment is based on my work experience in construction and remodel of ultra-high end NYC homes.

I remember the tabloid scandals revolving around his love life.

And I remember reading stuff in the papers about sleazy/suspicious deals with AL Pirro, mobbed-up lawyer, convicted felon and adulterous ex-hubby of Jeanine Pirro. And I worked a block away from the Trump Soho while it was being built so I knew about all the scandals associated with that project.

I actually dont watch much TV and I was only vaguely aware of The Apprentice, etc. and I certainly wouldn’t waste my time watching that big orange ass. And my feelings there haven’t changed.

Going back to the late 80s, he was a “short-finger vulgarian to me” (Spy Magazine).

Crude, has horrible tastes, lies, cheats, brags about ridiculous things. The thinnest skin of any person I’ve ever heard of. Racist, misogynist, etc.

And then he got into politics …

The guy from the Apprentice who fought with Vince McMahon.

I go way back with Trump. :smiley:

During the summer of 1981, I had a three month work assignment in NYC. My office was at the corner of 42nd and Lexington, across the street from Grand Central Terminal and the Grand Hyatt Hotel, which at the time had just been redeveloped by Trump and had his name on it. The NBA draft was held there early in my stay, so I noticed the hotel and asked my NYC native co-workers who Trump was. The consensus was that he was a blowhard asshole of a real estate developer.

In 1987, I was going to college and working nights as a security guard. The job had almost no duties except being there, so I would occasionally read books that I found in the drawers of the guard’s desk. One of those books was The Art of the Deal. I finished that book convinced that Trump was the most dishonest, narcissistic and generally unpleasant person whose words I had ever read.

Somewhere around 1990 or 1991, I was working for a stock broker and read the Wall Street Journal regularly. I read a story then about an illegal transaction in which Fred Trump sent a bag man to a Trump casino to buy 3.5 million dollars in chips so that Donald could make an interest payment, staving off (for a while) the bankruptcy of the casino. I thought then and now that you have to be unusually bad at business to bankrupt a casino, unless you happen to be siphoning money out of it secretly.

So I guess I could say that my first inkling of him was that he was a blowhard asshole, and everything I have learned since has reinforced that impression.

I thought he was a bloated, self-important windbag who made Graydon Carter’s career by responding to the “short-fingered vulgarian” insult in Spy magazine. I also thought he was not nearly as good a businessman or as rich as he claimed to be. I did not, however, predict that he would actually be elected as President one day, so Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale have one up on me.


Pompous, rich boy douchebag.