Saturday, April 23, 2011

Who Will Trump the Donald?

It's pretty certain. Donald Trump, wealthy man from real estate and the master of poor hairstyles, will run for the Republican nomination for President of the United States. He is smart, articulate, popular with some and more to the point, comes with little political baggage.

True, he comes with other baggage - two divorces, a bankruptcy and his penchant for which publicity. His focus on Obama's birth record is an example of his opportunism, as is his role as executive producer and star on The Apprentice. He is the man behind some seemingly sexist pageants and is also backing the sale of alternative health products. Others may dislike him because of his wealth, estimates between $750 million ( Deutsche Bank's estimate, which The Donald disputes vehemently) and $2.5 billion.

His political views are well laid out in several interviews he had done over the last decade. He is pro life, pro gun and, anti same sex marriage and anti foreign aid. He wants out of Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan and strongly believes that, rather than playing nice with China, we should get tough economically with them until they do something to correct their currency. He would put the economy first.

He wants to be liked, but doesn't mind being disliked for doing what is right. He talks a good story, appears tough and cares deeply about America.

He is not likely to win the Republican nomination, even though he may well be a winning candidate. The nomination is likely to go to a GOP "establishment" figure, like Mitt Romney or Mike Huckabee. The Donald has no strong ties with the party elite, is seen by the party as an outsider and spoiler and, as one commentator has already said, "he will out for himself before the party", which is actually what Presidents do.

If he fails to win the party nomination, he may run as an independent - in fact, if he reads the tea-leaves in time, he may just do this off the bat. If this is where he goes, he will split the Republican vote and give Obama a second term. If by some miracle he does become the party nominee, he may be the only candidate who could garner sufficient support with the party and the people and beat Obama.

There are many days between now and polling day November 2012 and so much could happen. Sarah Palin could develop intelligence, Trump might find just the right person to run as his running mate to bring the party on board, the early GOP primaries might signal to the party that their anointed candidates stand no chance of winning and the Tea Party might switch to coffee. Whatever the case, The Donald will make things interesting, at least for a while.

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