In This Corner…Donald Trump

2012 Contender Series – Donald John Trump

(Updated, May 16, 2011. To no one’s surprise, Trump has bowed out of consideration for the Republican Presidential candidacy after NBC renewed ‘The Apprentice’. Many speculated that his interest was merely a publicity stunt and it turns out this was the case despite Trump’s repeated denial to the contrary.

Trump’s poll numbers briefly hit a high mark of second place after he inflamed renewed interest in the President’s birth certificate non-troversy. When Hawai’i released the long form of the birth certificate, the issue became problematic for Trump. Following a scathing roast of Trump at the White House Correspondent’s Dinner and the subsequent killing of Osama bin Laden sucking all the media attention away from The Donald, Trump’s poll numbers plummeted almost 20 points. It was only a matter of when and not if Trump would drop out.)

I tried to ignore Donald Trump but his proliferation of every media outlet means we would be remiss if we didn’t address at least his influence on the campaign so we may as well get this over with.

The Donald

Donald Trump was born in 1946 to a self-made real estate tycoon so he comes to his profession honestly. Trump eventually attended the famed Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania where he earned a BS in economics with a concentration in finance. Afterwards he went to work for his father’s company and has headed the Trump empire since he took over in 1971. ‘The Donald’ (a nickname accidentally coined by his first wife from the Czech Republic) has been married three times and has five children.

Trump has always had a knack for capturing media attention as a means of valuing his properties. Many buildings with his name on it aren’t even owned by the Trump Organization. He merely licenses his name in order for their owners to command higher rent prices. Trump’s fame is eclipsed only by his signature double comb-over hair style which he has refused to alter over the course of his career.

The Trump Organization has dabbled in myriad investments; some successful, some not. Some of those properties include casinos, golf courses, a brief ownership of a USFL football team, The Miss Universe and Miss USA pageants, Trump University (a business school in which he was forced to drop the term

Trump Tower

‘University’), and his television production company which, of course, includes the current NBC show, ‘The Apprentice’. Trump has made numerous television appearances usually playing himself or a caricature of himself.

The Trump Organization has not always had financial good times. Several of his properties; most notably the casinos, have previously gone into bankruptcy and there are pending lawsuits involving other properties post-real estate bust. Forbes estimates Trump’s current net worth at $2.7 billion with an annual salary of $50 million.

Political activity:

Most recently, Donald Trump has expressed an interest in running as the Republican candidate for President of the United States. Many critics, including some on his own network, dismiss this as yet another publicity stunt designed to increase the ratings of his television show (or at least ensure its renewal). Trump has taken a few outrageous political stances and flip-flops from previous views. In particular he has stoked the far right birther controversy over President Obama’s birth certificate. He has stated that he thinks Obama will go down as the “worst President in history” and just yesterday he began to question the legitimacy of President Obama’s Ivy league education.

Despite the criticism, several polls show Trump as the lead candidate over all other Republican contenders. It’s possible that the Republicans fielding a shallow bench against Trump’s notoriety is causing the high numbers. But a USA Today/Gallup poll shows that 64% of all Americans would not vote for him. 46% of Republicans would not vote for him. Lawrence O’Donnell clams this will all be over when NBC renews the Apprentice on May 16th.

What do the 538Refugees think? Is Trump serious about running for President? Can he win? And would he make a good President?



About Mr. Universe

Mr. Universe is a musician/songwriter and an ex-patriot of the south. He currently lives and teaches at a University in the Pacific Northwest. He is a long distance hiker who has hiked the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail. He is also an author and woodworker. An outspoken political voice, he takes a decidedly liberal stance in politics.
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17 Responses to In This Corner…Donald Trump

  1. mclever says:

    I hope Larry’s right about May 16th…

    Regardless, I doubt that Trump started his campaign as a serious endeavor. He doesn’t mind playing a caricatured buffoon, and I think the campaign began as a self-aggrandizing ploy for attention. Which he got! It’s possible that his already over-puffed ego will get deluded by a selective reading of the polls, and he may decide to become serious about it, but I doubt it. To me, his current questioning of Obama’s education suggests that he is actually less serious, because I don’t think he believes a word of it. I think he’s toying with us mostly to entertain himself, and it probably costs less to declare himself a candidate and hit the media circuit than it would to develop and run a serious ad campaign for his business/shows. The Donald loves free media exposure!

    He possibly could win the Republican nomination. I would normally say there’s no way that the GOP establishment allows him to win, but the party is less unified than usual which diminishes the power of the old-guard within the GOP. He has money and name-recognition amidst a chaotic field. Romney or Huckabee could beat him if the GOP coalesces behind one of them earlier rather than later, but if Trump managed to corner the Tea Party vote over someone like Bachmann, then he would make it a real challenge for a “serious” candidate to win.

    Trump will not win the Presidency, unless far too many Americans think it would be a great joke to vote for him. In these serious times where people are far more worried about real bread-n-butter issues like jobs, education, health care, and gas prices, I doubt many voters will find the joke funny. If he’d run in 2000, coming off the Clinton-high, he might have had a better chance, because most Americans weren’t taking their politics seriously in those good times.

    Imagine a debate between Trump and Obama. The Donald all outrageous and wacky vs. Obama all professorial and pragmatic. It’d be like a WWE face vs. heel promo, but not as funny… Obama will come across as the adult, because too many Americans won’t trust the slick-as-a-car-salesman, multi-bankrupt Trump with their hard-earned tax dollars during a recession. Too easy.

    If he somehow managed to pay his way to victory, Donald Trump would not make a good President. The American Government doesn’t run like a real-estate/venture-capital business. If he tries something that doesn’t work out, he can’t just declare bankruptcy and wipe the slate clean to start over. In a business, the top dog gets to call the shots, but in government, if he wants to get something done, he’s got to corral some 530 other folks to go along with him, and half of them will hate his guts unreservedly while the remaining half will want to blame him for everything that doesn’t go their way. I don’t think Trump can build a consensus with those kinds of adversaries. He can’t just say, “You’re fired!” to the Speaker of the House. I think Trump as President would increase the acrimony in DC and less would get done.

    Furthermore, I wouldn’t trust Trump to run our lemonade stand, let alone our nation. He’d probably borrow money for some alleged expansion scheme that wouldn’t work out. He’d skim all of the revenue as salary, declare bankruptcy, and leave us to deal with the creditors and cleanup. No thanks.

  2. Monotreme says:

    Short-fingered vulgarian.

  3. WA7th says:

    haHAhaHAh-urp! ::plunk::

  4. mclever says:

    @Monotreme

    Thank you Spy Magazine! LOL!

  5. Brian says:

    Even the Freepers, who love him even more than Palin, realize he is unelectable. They seem to just appreciate the fact that he’s harping on the birther issue. Some of them have suggested that he’s a Clinton operative just trying to force the illegally elected Obama out so Hillary can swoop and grab the nomination. It’s quite fascinating to watch.

  6. mclever says:

    Nate’s article today on polling about Trump’s alleged birthplace:

    http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/04/26/poll-finds-most-americans-uncertain-of-trumps-birthplace/

    “According to the survey, just 43 percent of Americans believe that Mr. Trump was definitely born in the United States. Another 20 percent believe that he was probably born here. Some 7 percent of respondents told Gallup that Mr. Trump was probably or definitely born in another country, while 30 percent were uncertain.”

    And, no, that isn’t a joke. Those are the actual poll results from Gallup. Trump has released two different versions of his birth certificate–both the hospital version which does not satisfy the legal requirements for proof of birth and the NY state-certified version which constitutes legal proof. Yet, only 43% of Americans are confident that his birthplace was in the United States, let alone being certain he was born in Queens, NY. (Compare with 38% of Americans who are similarly certain about Obama.)

    If there’s so much doubt about his place of birth, how can he possibly run for President?! [snark]

  7. mclever says:

    @Brian

    My reading of the Tea leaves suggests very mixed reactions to Trump. A few love him (as you say, especially for harping on Obama’s birthplace), but most don’t trust him. Theories range from Democratic plant to Clinton operative to just a greedy money-grubber. They point to Washington Post links that show Trump has a history of Democratic favoritism in past contributions, and they point to his many flip-flops on the issues. In current polls, he may be scoring “name recognition” points with low-information voters, but he’s not really making headway with the more active Tea Partiers.

  8. drfunguy says:

    Apparently the Trumpet is also peddling the Obama is the mulsim manchurian candidate fantasy promoted by this screed: “President Obama’s unwillingness to allow the American public to see his records at Harvard Law School prevents resolution of a continuing controversy over whether radical Islamic influences promoted his admission and financed his legal education there.”
    Read more: Did radical Muslims help send Obama to Harvard? http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=104684
    Another sinister accusation came yesterday from Ezra Klein, who claim that Obama is actually a moderate Republican from the early ’90′s: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/the-shocking-truth-about-the-birthplace-of-obamas-policies/2011/04/15/AF6qINpE_blog.html
    Unlike other Obama conspiracies, this one has actually evidence. Obama’s positions on the individual mandate in healthcare reform, cap and trade to combat climate change and a mix of budget cuts and tax increases to reduce the deficit all mirror those of Bush the elder…

  9. dcpetterson says:

    Breaking news.

    The White House has finally obtained and released President Obama’s “long form” birth certificate.

    http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/entertainment/books/blog/2011/04/president_obamas_birth_certifi.html

  10. dcpetterson says:

    There are currently 4 states that are considering laws requiring Presidential candidates to show their birth certificate. I wonder if those laws will now die before they are even voted on? If those laws are not enacted now, what does that say about the intent of those laws?

  11. Pingback: Donald Trump just school President Obama! « THE STR

  12. Mr. Universe says:

    I know one thing, it would take me a couple of years worth of salary to afford as much airtime publicity that Sideshow Don is getting for free.

  13. Mr. Universe says:

    The pingback above has a video of Trump claiming responsibility for the White House releasing a long form of the birth certificate. This circus just keeps getting better.

  14. Pingback: White House Releases Long Form of Obama Birth Certificate | 538 Refugees

  15. WA7th says:

    If the President double-dog dared him to run, and that if either wins, he shaves the loser’s head, Trump would have to do it, right?

  16. rgbact says:

    Brian-

    I sort of agree with the Freepers–seems like a great hatchet man for Hillary or Romney even. He may be unelectable, but I love the prospects of him getting major media time ripping into Obama.

    Call the birther stuff crazy, but if Bush had been forced to publicly respond to rumors that he blew up the WTC—I would have a bad feeling about what independents thought about him–insane as I thought it was.

  17. mclever says:

    Oh, a *Romney* hatchet man. Now there’s a new one!

    Not that I think it’s true for a second, but I kinda like the idea that Romney and fellow “businessman” Trump would collude to muck up the primary field and stir up the rabble in the early going. I can see some scenarios where this benefits Romney by making him seem much more “reasonable” to the general electorate.

    Nor do I think Trump is in league with the Clintons, though that does bring to mind my favorite rebuttal of the birther conspiracy…

    Given that the Clintons have probably the best opp research squad ever and are masterful political operatives, if there was any truth to the nonsense about Obama not being born in Hawaii or otherwise being ineligible, don’t you think that Hillary would have somehow used that during her campaign? She used just about everything else she could find!

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