Keith Olbermann has us asking: Will the real Donald Trump please stand up?
By Soraya Nadia McDonald
The Washington Post
November 8 at 12:30 PM
KEITH OLBERMANN, professional liberal, is perhaps the last person you would expect to have nice things to say about Donald Trump, but he does. As a guest on Friday's Real Time With Bill Maher, Olbermann revealed a rather unexpected side of Trump that certainly dents the puffed-up, willfully ignorant blowhard image Trump has brandished on the 2016 presidential campaign trail.
Olbermann told Maher he's encountered Trump on multiple occasions. He revealed, rather sheepishly, that he lives in one of Trump's eponymous towers in New York.
The man he described sounded considerate, quiet and kind, which is to say, the complete opposite of the version that has been publicly presented for the last few months.
"This is the scariest part of this: I have seen him," Olbermann said. "I have talked to him, and obviously he'd be more interested in whether or not I'm happy with the experience than the average guy living there 'cause I have something of a public persona, but every conversation I ever had with him there, or when we worked together at NBC -- simultaneously at NBC -- was polite, calm, was about you, not him, was rational and solicitous."
Political spectators have been saying for some time that Trump has been treating the race for the presidency like a reality television show stint. And there's no person better suited for reality TV than someone who understands he or she needs to create a character. If you don't, one will be fashioned for you; just ask Jason Mann of HBO's Project Greenlight.
"All I keep thinking is, Which is the real one?-- this crazy guy on TV who sounds like if somebody said, ‘An Internet comments section is running for president?' "
Has Trump been playing us Stephen Colbert-style this entire time? Possibly. But someone's been falling for the act. Trump's appearance on Saturday Night Live gave the show its highest ratings in nearly four years.
"For the longest time, I thought, 'Well, which one is it?' And then I thought, 'It doesn’t matter'," Olbermann said.
"One of these things is a character. That scares me."
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