I have a unique and rather wide spectrum of observation when it comes to how Donald Trump has gone from world class real estate developer, to casino mogul, to best-selling author, to reality television star, and now to the prohibitive favorite to win the 2016 Republican nomination for president of the United States.

Full disclosure, I interviewed with and was directly hired by Donald Trump back in September of 1989 to serve as the senior hotel executive for then Trump Castle Casino Resort by the Bay.

It was a Trump rule. In order to receive the top hotel position at one of his casino properties, you had to pass an interview with Trump himself. Come to think of it, it was "The Apprentice," 25 years before Trump (with television producer Mark Burnett) created this popular brand.

Donald Trump / Scott Olson/Getty Images

I was only 29 years old, and it was my absolute "dream job" at the time. My interview was on a Friday night, with Trump in his private multi-level suite. It lasted 35 to 40 minutes. I had been told beforehand that I would have about five minutes to win the job.

As we finished our meeting, we shook hands and Trump said: “Welcome aboard, Harry. This is the hotel that I choose to stay every weekend when I'm here in Atlantic City. We're going to be spending a lot of time together."

It was surreal. I left in a daze, walking back to the self-parking garage. It was a blur. Did this really just happen? I was going to work for Donald Trump. For two years, I saw Trump every Friday through Sunday. He almost never missed a weekend in Atlantic City.

It was a great experience. First, landing the job, and then successfully managing the tremendous opportunity that Trump had placed in my hands.

Fast forward now to the present. All during this primary election season for president, the national media failed to grasp the movement and sheer personality that is Donald Trump. They not only underestimated him; they refused for the longest time to even take him seriously.

All of the stages of denial have played out one-by-one before our eyes. First, they said he wouldn't even run. Then, they said even if he does, it's a publicity stunt. It won't last, proclaimed The 4th Estate.

Then they confidently professed that it's "The Summer of Trump," like it was some failed short-lived Broadway play that would open and close in a blink of an eye.

They have been wrong every step of the way – spectacularly wrong about everything Trump.

 

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