Some of the city’s most prominent power brokers were involved — including former New York mayor Abe Beame — and at the center was a brash young developer named Donald Trump.
As Barrett was sitting alone at the table doing his research, he was surprised when a nearby phone began to ring.
What began as a branding exercise seems to have morphed into something different. But I think the original concept was ‘Get yourself in, make a big splash.’ “Then suddenly it became a real campaign.” As a real estate mogul, Trump used to do “real development,” Barrett says.
But as he wrote in a Daily Beast article in 2011, for the past decade Trump has done little actual building.
Far from an independent capitalist, Barrett showed, Trump was a businessman who relied heavily on government largesse.
“This is a guy whose wealth has been created by political connections,” Barrett says today.
But after a few rings he lifted the receiver and heard an unfamiliar voice. ’ ” Barrett says, his voice booming, taking on Trump’s now unmistakable accent. He was “circling,” as he puts it today, determined to have his ducks in a row by the time he sat down with his subject.
His campaign, once covered by the media mostly as a joke, is showing no signs of slowing down: At press time he was leading in most major polls of likely G. And despite lurching from one crisis to another — the disparaging comments about Mexican immigrants, the insistence that Senator John Mc Cain was not a war hero — his fledgling campaign has not yet fallen apart. Trump’s continued success seems to have caught everyone by surprise, including Barrett.
But Barrett’s reporting paints a picture of Trump’s background that’s somewhat at odds with the one he paints for himself.