I debated about filing this column, worrying that writing anything — anything at all — about Donald Trump would only fuel the existing chatter about a possible presidential bid for the Republican nomination by the celebrity businessman.
I decided, however, that a painfully honest appraisal of Trump’s prospects and of the Draft Trump movement was overdue.
Talk of Trump as a future president or even as a serious contender for the GOP nomination is so far beyond stupid that I almost don’t know where to begin. I can’t believe that so many people are chattering about the possibility that he might run and could be elected, though admittedly most of them are laughing about the absurdity of the prospect.
The press release announcing the formation of the committee to draft Trump for the Republican nomination said organizer Nick McLaughlin “has never been active in politics before” and has never met Trump. Yet McLaughlin said, “I am certain [Trump] is the man America needs.”
A Marine who served three tours in Iraq and earned the Purple Heart and other medals, McLaughlin deserves our admiration for his military service to his country. But there is no indication that he or anyone else knows much about Trump other than what they (and we) see on television and in newspapers. And yet, McLaughlin is “certain” that the country needs Trump. Ridiculous is the only word to describe it.
Trump has created an image of himself as a straight-talking, shoot-from-the-hip businessman who “fires” people on his TV show. His massive ego and bluster may make him appealing as the host of a reality show, but no serious person could yet regard him as material for the White House.
In the world of real estate and business, Trump is a wheeler-dealer. I don’t know anything about his finances and past deals, but I know that other businessmen with extensive holdings and financial dealings have proved to be the mother lode of opportunity for opposition researchers.
I’m sure that Trump, who knows how to get publicity and relishes in it, understands that his personal life and all of his business dealings would become a matter of public record and public scrutiny just as soon as he announced his intention to run for president, and that alone makes it hard to believe that he is seriously considering a presidential (or any other political) bid.
A Feb. 12-15 Newsweek/Daily Beast poll of 918 likely voters found Trump trailing President Barack Obama by only 2 points, 43 percent to 41 percent. Doesn’t that show that Trump would be a serious threat to Obama and that voters wouldn’t at all be hesitant to vote for a celebrity who has never held elective office?
From left, Lisa Peng, daughter of Peng Ming, Grace Ge Geng, daughter of Gao Zhisheng, and Ti-Anna Wang, daughter of Wang Bingzhang, hold pictures of their imprisoned fathers during a House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations hearing in the Rayburn House Office Building titled “Their Daughters Appeal to Beijing: ‘Let Our Fathers Go!’”
Each year since 1990, CQ Roll Call has reviewed the financial disclosures of all 541 senators, representatives and delegates to determine the 50 richest members of Congress. This year's report, derived from forms covering the calendar year 2012, shows it took a net worth of $6.67 million to crack the exclusive club.