A Forum for Opinions on News, Politics, and Life
April 7th, 2011
By Tom Carter
No one knows for sure how serious Donald Trump is about running for president in 2012. He’s made comments here and there about maybe doing it, and he certainly has the personal fortune to fund a campaign. At the same time he’s grabbed some headlines with “birther” comments, going so far as to release his own birth certificate, after a false start when he released a document that wasn’t even as official as President Obama’s Certificate of Live Birth from Hawaii.
In a shocker WSJ/NBC poll yesterday, Republican primary voters preferred Mitt Romney by 21 percent, with Trump and Mike Huckabee tied for second at 17 percent. Those three held significant leads over Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin, Tim Pawlenty, and other potential Republican candidates for president.
Maybe that isn’t so shocking. The Republican Party, split between more traditional conservatives and the ubers of the Tea Party variety, seems fully capable of picking a sure loser as their standard bearer for 2012. That’s even considering the trouble Obama has gotten himself into in a variety of ways and the appearance that he’s ripe for the picking in 2012.
However, Obama could be a more powerful candidate in 2012 than some people think. He’s certainly a better campaigner and speech-reader than he’s been a president. And he has a powerful, effective campaign machine behind him with lots of cash sure to be available. It would be well to remember 2008 — with a great campaign organization, well-written and well-delivered speeches, vague vision and empty promises, plus powerful support from the media, he succeeded in winning the presidency despite having no discernible experience or qualifications.
If the Republican Party wants another four years of the Obama presidency, all they have to do is nominate some quirky, far-right candidate (or one who seems to be far-right), and they’ll get it. Trump, Palin, Bachmann, et al. certainly fit that bill.
Both parties shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that the king-makers are that vast mob of independents and moderates who can swing either way. It’s a given that Obama will get almost all of the African-American vote, most of the Hispanic vote, and all of the far-left vote. Likewise, the Republican nominee will get the far-right vote and some of the Hispanic vote, plus a very small slice of the African-American vote. It’s the independents and moderates, who outnumber both leftist and rightist voters, who will make the difference. They may hold their noses as they vote, really not liking either of the choices, but they’ll vote.
It’s virtually certain that Obama will get the Democratic nomination, and we know what we’ll get with another four years of him. And since he won’t have to face another election, we’ll get it in spades. All the Republicans have to do to win the White House, it would seem, is to nominate a serious candidate preferable to independents and moderates.
With a serious presidential candidate, a stronger majority in the House, and a majority in the Senate (which is entirely possible), the Republicans could emerge with full control of the government after the 2012 elections. They botched it last time they were in that position, with George W. Bush in the White House. Would they do a better job next time? Doubtful, but throwing the rascals out and giving power to the other Party would make a point. Then all we have to do is keep throwing the rascals out every few years until they get the point.
As for Donald Trump — he’s certainly a successful businessman with a proven track record as a manager with vision who knows where he wants to go and how to get there. But really, would we want his weird personality and that bizarre comb-over hairdo in the White House? I don’t think so….
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