TIME

A seasoned showman knows how to prime his audience, and Donald Trump is one of the best. Standing in the gleaming lobby of a skyscraper bearing his name, the biggest name in business held court for nearly an hour, the cameras and the crowd hanging on his every word, before finally arriving at the big reveal.

“Eight billion, seven hundred thirty-seven million, five hundred and forty thousand,” Trump declared, pausing for emphasis, letting the awesomeness of his alleged net worth wash over his fans.

With Trump, it is always about the money. His announcement Tuesday that he would run for President of the United States, after nearly three decades of feints and false promises, was mere prelude to the business that really mattered.

For the crowd gathered at Trump Tower on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue, the symbols of his status were ubiquitous. Employees sold Trump power ties, Trump polo shirts, Trump…

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