Donald Trump is officially running for President of the United States.
On Tuesday, after promising a big announcement earlier in the week, the real estate mogul and self described “really rich” person sailed down an escalator to a “TRUMP—MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN”—emblazoned lectern in the lobby of the 68-story Trump Tower on 5th Avenue in New York City.
He came out to “Rockin’ In the Free World” by Neil Young, who is from Canada.
He stood in front of 8 American flags.
His hair glowed like a halo.
“Whoa, that is some group of people—thousands!” he boasted.
Trump began by questioning when the last time America beat China was. “I beat China all the time, all the time,” he said. And when was the last time America beat Japan, he wondered.
“When was the last time we saw Chevrolet in Tokyo?” he asked. “It doesn’t exist.”
As Trump decried U.S. foreign policy, someone in the crowd shouted “We need Trump now!” Trump replied, “You’re right.”
The government, Trump said, spent too much money on its Obamacare website. “I have so many websites,” Trump said. “I have them all over the place. I hire people, they do a website, it costs me $3.”
Trump mocked the other GOP candidates for their grand promises, “‘The sun will rise, the moon will set, all sorts of wonderful things will happen,’ and people are saying, ‘What’s going on? I just want a job.’”
America, Trump said, “needs a truly great leader and we need a leader now…We need a leader who wrote The Art of the Deal [Trump’s book]…We need somebody that can take the brand of the United States and make it great again!”
That’s why, Trump finally declared, “Ladies and gentlemen, I am officially running for the president of the United States and we are going to make our country great again…I will be the greatest jobs president that god ever created.”
In December, in news first reported by The Daily Beast, Trump said he was considering 2016: “Well, I’m thinking about it. I’m certainly looking at it.”
Not that anybody thought it would happen.
Trump is The Boy Who Cried Campaign. He first teased a presidential campaign in 2000, when he suggested he might run as an independent. In 2006, The New York Post reported that he might run in 2008 as an independent. Then, in 2010, Trump said he was “being serious” about running as a Republican. In 2012, Trump again publicly toyed with the idea, but ultimately decided not to run.
Trump noted his reputation in his speech Tuesday. Pundits had predicted “Donald will never run,” Trump said, “because he’s private” and fears people finding out he’s not as wealthy as he claims. Trump said such accusations were completely baseless, because “I have a total net worth of 8,737,540,000.”
Throughout his speech, Trump made a number of declarations and promises, from the mundane—“I promise I will never be in a bicycle race, that i’ll tell ya”—to the grandiose—“I would build a great wall—nobody builds walls better than me…And I would have Mexico paying for that wall.”
Trump’s confidence was palpable. “I think I am a nice person,” he said at one point. “People that know me like me.”
At another point, Trump said, “I’m really rich.”
But it all amounted to one simple message: “Just to sum up: I would do various things very quickly.”