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President Donald Trump will save us? Ha!

"I am the only one who can make America truly great again."

So says Donald Trump, the real-estate mogul and larger-than-life TV personality, who has formed an exploratory committee to run for president in 2016.


Donald Trump
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Donald Trump

It seems a rather ironic boast from a businessman who, many would argue, built a real estate, marketing, licensing, publishing and television empire for himself, but often at the expense of his constituents — both shareholders and bondholders, alike.

While Trump's personal successes, in his words, are "HUGE," so too are the losses suffered by stakeholders in many of Trump's publicly traded enterprises.

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Of course, "The Donald" would, no doubt, disagree with this characterization of his experiences as the CEO of several different public entities.

But published reports and public records have pointed out that entities associated with Trump, his casino and gaming properties in Atlantic City, in particular, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy four times in the last 24 years.

Creditors and shareholders, in many ways the most important constituents in public companies, put their trust in Trump and lost money.

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Indeed, when I asked him about the losses suffered by stock and bondholders back in 2005—during an interview for a USA Today profile—he told me he didn't like the negative questions, cut the interview short, and essentially hung up on me.

As a presidential candidate, Trump will face questions far tougher than that which he won't be able to dodge with he click of a receiver.

(I never did collect enough answers to run the piece.)

However, ascending to the presidency of the United States requires that one put the good of one's constituents above personal gain, not something for which Trump is best known.

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In each of his previous declarations that he might run for president, Trump further raised his profile and kept his name in the public discourse when it might have been otherwise overlooked.

If Trump is, indeed, serious about running for president, he will have to exit his TV gig, take time away from his real estate and marketing efforts, and actually outline a policy prescription for making America great again. (A senior Trump advisor did say this week that Trump would not be renewing his "Apprentice" contract.)

Restoring America to its former greatness, if it indeed is no longer "great," does not require a shallow PR campaign, nor a marketing genius to devise clever and boastful slogans.

It requires someone who is deeply committed to shared prosperity.

It requires a skilled negotiator, with foreign policy expertise, not just connections to foreign businessmen.

And it requires an articulated vision beyond the vague notion of greatness that, while appealing, does not address the most important issues confronting American economic and foreign policies.

What the presidency most assuredly does not need is someone who shoots from the lip just because it makes good TV and burnishes the brand.

Most of all, the presidency requires someone willing to sacrifice his own interests for the good of the people.

In business, that is not something associated with the Trump brand.

It will be interesting to see if Trump can shed the legacy remembered by stakeholders, and convince the American people that he has their best interests at heart, rather than just milking the exposure of a presidential campaign for personal gain.

Commentary by Ron Insana, a CNBC and MSNBC contributor and the author of four books on Wall Street. He also editor of "Insana's Market Intellgence," available at Marketfy.com. Follow him on Twitter @rinsana.