Howard Stern is probably as close to an actual friend as Donald Trump has. His take on why Trump ran for president and what he’s thinking about the whole thing now is no doubt a bit tongue in cheek, but I would bet there’s a lot of truth to it:
Howard Stern said on his program Wednesday that Trump will hate being president and the role will be detrimental to his mental health
Stern and Trump are long-time friends, with Trump making numerous appearances on Stern’s radio show over the years.“I personally wish that he had never run, I told him that, because I actually think this is something that is gonna be detrimental to his mental health too, because, he wants to be liked, he wants to be loved,” Stern said. “He wants people to cheer for him.”
“I don’t think it’s going to be a healthy experience. And by the way, he’s now on this anti-Hollywood kick. He loves Hollywood. First of all, he loves the press. He lives for it. He loves people in Hollywood. He only wants hobnob with them. All of this hatred and stuff directed towards him. It’s not good for him. It’s not good. There’s a reason every president who leaves the office has grey hair.”
. . .
Stern said he considers Trump a friend, but is opposed to his politics.
“I like Donald very much personally. I was shocked when he decided to run for president, and even more shocked that sort of, people took it seriously,” Stern said.
“I remember saying to him when he announced his presidency, I remember being quite amazed, because I remember him being for Hillary Clinton,” Stern added.
“And I remember him being very–I mean he was pro-abortion. So the new Donald Trump kind of surprised me.”
Stern said he doesn’t believe Trump has had a change of heart on issues like abortion, but is instead playing to his base.
The radio host said he also believed Trump ran for president solely to get a larger contract from NBC for “The Apprentice.”
“I think it started out as like a kinda cool, fun thing to do in order to get a couple more bucks out of NBC for The Apprentice, I actually do believe that,” Stern said.
“He just wanted a couple more bucks out of NBC, and that is why Donald is calling for voter fraud investigations. He’s pissed he won. He still wants Hillary Clinton to win. He’s so f—ing pissed, he’s hoping that he can find some voter fraud and hand it over to Hillary.”
Again some of this is probably a bit hyperbolic, but the idea that Trump’s presidential run was a publicity stunt that spun out of control remains plausible. As is the idea that Trump almost literally can’t stand the criticism that comes with the job, given his extreme narcissism. (That Trump is lying about issues like abortion is so obvious it doesn’t need to be argued).
On a related note, I think the best play for the anti-Trump movement right now is to hammer home relentlessly the message that Bannon is the real president, and that Trump is a puppet/empty ill-fitting suit. Getting Bannon fired should be the top short-term priority, and there’s no way Trump can tolerate that message becoming the conventional wisdom.