Trump casts a long shadow over the Republican party - Macleans.ca
 

Trump casts a long shadow over the Republican party


 

Donald Trump leaves no one indifferent. Call it ego or insatiable narcissism, but no one outside the political ring can command this much attention. Not even a ranting Charlie Sheen.

Establishment GOP luminaries like Karl Rove, George F. Will and Charles Krauthammer have variously characterized Trump’s potential candidacy in a presidential election as a “joke” and “not serious.” More recently, in discussing Trump, conservative columnist David Brooks wrote that he admired his country’s tolerance for blowhards and crackpots. This was hardly an endorsement. Few experienced campaigners think he can win and many are out to prevent him from running. Yet some Republican operatives are facing up to the possibility Trump will make a go of it.

Trump’s admirers are less vocal, but they include som key supporters. Sarah Palin has egged him on; Reverend Franklin Graham thinks Trump may be onto to something with this “birther” stuff; Meghan McCain wants to help; and some Tea Partiers like his abrasive anti-Obama message. None can deliver what is needed to win the nomination, but they show that Trump can be a player if he so chooses.

Already, there has been a casualty in the Republican ranks. Mississippi’s Republican Governor Haley Barbour has decided to opt out of the race for the GOP nomination. While he may not have appeared as immediately electable and his preemptive withdrawal was not directly Trump-related, the man is smart and would have been a legitimate aspirant. Now, he will not even try because his candidacy was destined for the back pages. (Fundraising is complicated when you are stuck with single-digit poll numbers.) Others will soon follow Barbour’s lead as this race begins to revolve around the question of whether Trump will run or whether this is just a publicity stunt.

Meanwhile, “The Donald” lets no criticism go by without an intervention. His approach is similar to Sarah Palin’s in 2010—before her poll numbers collapsed. So Trump is now trashing Karl Rove, Jerry Seinfeld, Robert De Niro and anyone who ridicules his motives or his qualifications. He is on every TV network, nearly every second day. His latest schtick has been to go after Obama’s college report card and today he congratulated himself for resolving the birther controversy.

With Trump taking up so much room, how can more conventional politicians like Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty or Mitch Daniels capture the attention of the electorate? Between the Tea Party’s complaints about the Boehner-Obama budget deal, the strident social conservative voice of Michele Bachmann, and the everyday Donald Trump sound bites, it has become difficult for serious Republicans contemplating a presidential run in 2012 to gain any traction.

Two weeks ago, Trump argued he was richer and therefore a better businessman than Mitt Romney. He then said George W. Bush was so bad “that we got Obama.” He has pushed the “birther” issue and sent investigators to Hawaii to investigate. How can a fiscal conservative or a moderate Republican, seen as the best alternative to Obama, compete with him in an era of cable news? Donald is Trumping” the race big time! And it hasn’t even officially begun.


 

Trump casts a long shadow over the Republican party

  1. I'm starting to believe all that End Times stuff.

  2. Trump clowns around for a few more months, and actually scores some hits on Obama — nobody else was able to shake the birth certificate loose, no matter how silly the story was. Now Trump is pushing for a release of The One's academic records.

    No serious Republican wants to do this messy work of unnerving your opponent. So let the clown do the damage, and the "serious" Republicans can stay above that silly fray.

    I am not so sure that Trump is as damaging to Republicans as some think he is. As long as he gets nowhere near the actual 2012 ticket.

    • Earlier today the White House released a copy of Obama's birth certificate signed by the doctor who delivered. Looks like the birther BS is going to be done with (hopefully)

      • Not even close, it will never be over. He's still black.

        • have to agree with you ,unfortunately. Progress still to come, I hope.

      • CNN tracked down the doctor and found out (gasp!) he died recently at the age of 81. Coincidence? I think not!

        • What a ridiculous thing to say .

        • I have a feeling that two replying commenters have missed your great gift of witty prose, TonT…

    • Wrong. A recent survey a majority of Americans where unable to name the Republican candidates (potential candidates) Trump is making so much noise that the media is not interested by the others. He is stealing the show not for the Republican cause for his personal profit. In the end Obama released his birth certificate so that Trump has nothing left to talk about. Nobody wants to hear what he has to say on anything else then the Birth Certificate. Not because people believed him, just because it's entertaining. Watch how he's going to fall of the map now that there's nothing else to talk about.P

    • I am not so sure that Trump is as damaging to Republicans as some think he is."

      I agree. It is good cop, bad cop routine. Trump is making a big fuss, indepedents are getting frustrated, win-win for republicans.

      Trump not running for President, won't win nomination if he does. I don't think Trump would put up with scrutiny, questions and incessant demands of campaign. Not used to it, use to getting his way without question or backchat.

  3. How can anyone take this self-centred overblown windbag seriously on anything? Perhaps Americans don't care anymore about the country's image but every one of these clown chips away at the USA's credibility everywhere except Fruitcake, USA. I't a sad thing really. One or two would be embarrassing but forgettable, but they keep popping up. Trump doesn't even make entertaining "Reality TV". But many will watch anything. Dancing With the Stars should have a special with Trump coupled with Palin. I just hope they schedule it at 3 AM on the cartoon channel.

  4. Donal Trump is an IDIOT, ilitrate and bonfoul….cannot speak a sentence or make a judgement from a sentence that is why he boasts about himself.

    Because of his illiteracy, he feels he can makeup for it by lying and actually becoming a true RACIST IN CHIEF

    NBC has considered scrapping his Aparentice show.

    Should we never hear about his financials, taxs records and bankruptcy lawsuit, it(He) will go out quietly. Franklin Graham is also a racist and has lost all legitimacy for leadership.

  5. Actually, by the time Trump announces he's not running, whoever does run will look like Daniel Webster and Thomas Jefferson rolled into one by comparison.
    And believe me, Trump will find other things to talk about, and he'll get attention, and his book sales will go up…

  6. I understand there's a Royal Wedding sometime soon. Can the intrepid media world
    move along now, please ?

  7. Trump's lead on the polls is based on name recognition, and he is not a serious contender. At this stage of the game Lieberman was way ahead in the 2004 primaries, and Giuliani was a country mile ahead in the 2008 primaries. The birther issue is not going to move votes, government spending is. Nor do many Republicans actually believe Obama was born outside of the US – they just say they do on polls as a reflection of how much they dislike Obama.

    Don't believe me? They just conducted a poll on whether Trump was born in the US, and a similar proportion of people said Trump was born in the USA as said that about Obama (see fivethirtyeight).

  8. Someone who went bankrupt running a CASINO has already had his licence to print money revoked!