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First take

When Donald Trump emerged to announce his run for president, the song playing in the background was Neil Young’s “Rockin’ in the Free World”. That was probably a good indicator of the judgement he’ll be using in the rest of his campaign: Young released a statement saying “Donald Trump was not authorized to use Rockin’ In The Free World in his presidential candidacy announcement. Neil Young, a Canadian citizen, is a supporter of Bernie Sanders for President of the United States of America.” (A nice little boost for Sanders there.) Not to mention that Trump must not have paid attention to anything about the song beyond its title, since it is actually a protest against practically everything Trump stands for. A minor glitch? Practically everything in his announcement speech was a glitch, from his reference to himself as “the best jobs president god [lower case] ever created,” to his self-delighted proclamation, “I’m really rich.” This act will not take him to the White House, certainly, and almost certainly not to the nomination: Such an overt expression of raw ego may sell to a sliver of a fan base but not to enough to get very far. He won’t necessarily flame out quickly, though. He’s a celeb, which is a real advantage in today’s America. He also has enough money to self-fund his campaign, well into primary season anyway, if he really wants to; he doesn’t need to court a billionaire, and he can fire shots at his competitors who do. A lot of other Republicans may desperately want him out of the race, but with his ego finally on the line – after talking about running twice but backing away – he may not be able to let it go. For quite a while.

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