Home / TV / Donald Trump: The Rise and Flameout of a Presidential Run

Donald Trump: The Rise and Flameout of a Presidential Run

How the real-estate mogul/reality star went from surprisingly viable candidate to joke in a few short weeks

Donald Trump's 2012 presidential run appears to be over before it even began, thanks to a devastating series of events that culminated in the killing of terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden.

How did the Donald go from the GOP's latest Great White, Rich and Middle-Aged Hope to a has-been in just a few short weeks? Read on for a timeline of Trump's flameout.

October 2010: Trump lets slip that he's mulling a presidential run while receiving an honorary degree in Scotland, presumably conducting a straw poll of people who can't vote for him.

January 12, 2011: Trump makes his presidential intentions officially known in his own homeland (we're assuming — we haven't seen his birth certificate), telling Fox personality Sean Hannity that he plans to run for president. Hannity and Trump suggest that Obama might be over his head in the presidency; neither one of them discuss the orange curiosity that hovers over Trump's head.

April 7, 2011: The Donald earns his first powerful enemy, when beloved pudding-pop spokesman Bill Cosby opines that Trump should "run, or shut up" on the "Today" show.

April 21: Another potential show-biz ally peels away from Trump when Jerry Seinfeld bails on a planned appearance at a fundraiser held by Trump's son, due to the Donald's alignment with the birther movement. What is the deal with birthers?

April 22: Hollywood might not dig Trump's presidential aspirations, but the right-wing masses hear him loud and clear — Trump ties former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee for the top slot in a Gallup poll of potential GOP presidential candidates.

April 27, 2011: The beginning of the end: The White House releases President Obama's long-form birth certificate. While Trump claims victory, saying that he's "very proud of myself" for having forced the release, he's now robbed of the main plank of his platform, and is forced to question Obama's academic credentials as a back-up.

April 29, 2011: At the White House Corespondents Dinner, Trump is tag-teamed by Obama and "Saturday Night Live" funnyman Seth Meyers, with Obama joking that firing Gary Busey is the kind of decision "that would keep me up at night." Meanwhile, with Trump appearing the whole evening as if he wanted to storm out of the room, many wondered if he could handle the pressures of the presidency. Meyers finished Trump off, noting that it was "surprising" that Trump was running as a Republican, because "I just assumed he was running as a joke."

May 1: President Obama announced that 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden had been killed in Pakistan. Adding insult to injury, he preempted the end of "Celebrity Apprentice" to do so. Trump's presidential aspirations, like bin Laden, appear to be buried at sea.

May 6, 2011: Trump decides not to drive the pace car at this year's Indianapolis 500 race. The official excuse is that it would be inappropriate to do so while mulling a presidential run, but it could just be that Trump realizes he's running in too many circles as it is.