The Donald in the White House?

April 7th, 2011

By Tom Carter

Donald TrumpNo 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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4 Responses to “The Donald in the White House?”

  1. Lisa |

    If Donald runs, he will give all other Republican contenders a run for their money. Then when he is the last one standing he will give Obama the same. He is bold. He is the only one at this point who is discussing how he would resolve a variety of issues. It seems as though daily he is on some talk show or talk radio espousing his position. He is refreshing amongst the other milquetoast potential candidates. I hope he runs if for no other reason than to keep the other Republican candidates on their toes.

  2. Tom Carter |

    I agree, Lisa, that it would be fun to watch the Donald take on all those politicians. They wouldn’t know what hit them! But, and this is the big “but,” I seriously doubt that he could win the general election against Obama. Republicans need to focus on the finish line, or they’ll end up losing again.

  3. Seth Forman |

    Look, I never liked Donald Trump. I think his competence as a developer and businessman has been greatly exaggerated (his father was a wealthy developer who left him millions). I think he has crawled around in the muck and mire of what now passes for popular culture, and deserves some blame for that. He is an outsized egotist (about on a par with Obama) whose passion for self-promotion is about the only reliable thing we know about him. His knowledge of foreign policy and global economics — (he is now playing the populist card, e.g. “China is stealing our jobs”) — is abysmal (though he does seem to err on the good side of things, e.g. pro-Israel). And that his candidacy for president may eventually be taken as serious owes nothing so much as it does to Obama’s election. Obama was, by far, the least accomplished, least experienced, least well-known candidate for president in American history, and the standard for a serious presidential candidacy has now been eroded as a result.

    But Trump is playing a very important role right now. In my forthcoming book, “Identity Crisis: Identity Crisis: Race and Conflict in the Age of Obama,” I point out that Obama was not vetted properly by the media before being elected, mostly because of his race. The so-called “birthers” have been derided widely as maniacs (many undoubtedly are) for asking for his birth certificate. I believe that Obama was born in Hawaii and is an American citizen eligible to be president. But there is something amazing about the lengths to which he has gone to keep his actual birth certificate hidden. As I will write in my next post, one need not be a “birther” to think that Obama’s decision not to provide a birth certificate is unique in our history, and could potentially amount to a serious constitutional crisis. The most convincing argument I’ve heard for his reason for not providing the actual birth certificate is that it mentions his step father (an Indonesian Muslim) as his adopted father, and possibly lists his religion as “Muslim.” This would completely change what Obama has said about his past and represent a public fraud of a very significant magnitude. More on this soon.

  4. Tom Carter |

    Seth, I think Trump has more ability than you give him credit for. He may have inherited millions, but he accomplished a lot with the money. He went from boom to bust several times, and he’s shown that he has great planning and organization skills. Still, I think he would be a terrible candidate and a worse president. In any case, if he decides to run it’ll be interesting.

    On that damned birth certificate: I don’t doubt that Obama was born in Hawaii. If not, a large-scale conspiracy involving lots of people, including officials of the state of Hawaii and perhaps two newspapers, would be involved. I just don’t believe conspiracies like that can hold up for long and are almost always flights of fancy in fevered minds. However, I also wonder why he’s been fighting so hard and spending so much money to keep additional birth records from being revealed. There’s something there that he doesn’t like, it would appear — not something that would disqualify him from the presidency but would embarrass him, at a miniumum.

    In any case, there are more important issues that need to be dealth with. Obama’s Certificate of Live Birth from Hawaii is sufficient to legally establish citizenship, get a passport, etc. So everyone should just get over it.

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